The Wolverine Review

The Wolverine is a 2013 superhero film directed by James Mangold (Logan), starring Hugh Jackman (Logan), Hiroyuki Sanada, Tao Okamoto, Rila Fukushima, Famke Janssen (Taken 3), Will Yun Lee, and Svetlana Khodchenkova.  The film follows the events of X-Men: The Last Stand, Logan travels to Japan, where he engages an old acquaintance, stripped of his healing factor, he battles a deadly samurai while struggling with guilt.


Positives:

  • Interesting characters
  • Good performances
  • Interesting story
  • Good visuals

Negatives:

  • Lackluster characters
  • Lackluster performance
  • Lackluster script
  • Serious lack of mutants

Plot: The Wolverine has a interesting story but the execution pacing various elements including action romance and humor greatly degrades the storytelling. Logan having recurring dreams about Jean as a means of dealing with the guilt of her death death was actually really good and provided emotional death to Logan’s character . It felt more compelling than his romantic relationship with the other Mariko which completely sucked and was a wasted storyline. (3 out of 5)

Characters: Next to Logan, Yukio (Fukushima) is probably the best character. There is this great relationship that even though the film touched on it didn’t fully bring it out. Logan being this older, more serious character who’s paired up with this young energetic and fun Yukio . And if Mariko (Okamoto) were actually relevant and not a third wheel/damsel-in-distress it would’ve worked out a helluva lot better. Yashida was an interesting antagonist and the way he went about his plans was pretty cool but he is hardly a memorable villain. Viper was actually interesting and the portrayal of the character fit the film. The film would have benefited better had she been the main antagonist. Most of the supporting characters did feel shoed-in and weren’t important nor memorable. Shingen Yashida and Harada weren’t really important and sere horribly written. (2 out of 5)

Cast: Honestly, Hugh Jackman does completely on the role as Logan. Did enjoy the chemistry between Hugh Jackman and Famke Janssen. Rila Fukushima was fun and had good chemistry with Jackman. Hiroyuki Sanada was good but had nothing to do. Tao Okamoto and Will Yun Lee were alright, nothing really special. Svetlana Khodchenkova was cool and a decent representation of Viper. Haruhiko Yamanouchi was pretty cool too. Brief cameo by Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen. Cast also includes Brian Tee and Ken Yamamura.  (3 out of 5)

Visuals: There is a decent use of practical and CGI. There are some elements that could have been done a bit better. The Silver Samurai armor was pretty cool but it could have been designed a bit better. Vipers look and abilities actually work well for the character and the film. The choreography for some of the fight sequences were actually doing really well and are some of the highlights of the film. (3 out of 5)

Score: The score was actually pretty decent. Marco Beltrami does a good job. (3 out of 5)

Writing: The script is horrible. The lack of mutants or any relevant antagonistic force is appalling. The entire movie is Logan killing humans and no one that can kick his ass. One sequence that does kind of stand out as an example is the wedding ceremony. Logan is fighting these various Yakuza gangsters and he is just mopping the floor with him despite having “lost” his abilities. How Logan lost his abilities with the weird looking robot in his chest that could have been explained better.  Janssen’s role does help bring emotional balance to the story.  The idea for the mechanical Silver Samurai is a bit of a hit-and-miss.  In some aspects it looks cool and makes sense in the story but it is a bit of a reach.  Even the fight between Logan and Silver Samurai sucked.  However, the fight between Logan and Yashida is probably the best action scene of the whole film despite it being so short. (1 out of 5)


The Verdict: In the end, The Wolverine is a really bad movie. Although there are some memorable action sequences pretty cool costume designs and great performance by Jackman, Janssen, and Fukushima, the film has alright performances by the supporting cast, the story could have been done better, a whole bunch of characters who were just flat and unnecessary, and a romance that just felt shoed in. The Wolverine gets 3 out of 5.

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