Release Date
July 26, 2013
Director
James Mangold
Screenplay
Mark Bomback
Scott Frank
Based On The Comic Books By
Chris Claremont
Frank Miller
Distributed By
20th Century Fox
Budget
$120 million
Action, Adventure, Science Fiction, Thriller
Rated PG-13 for sequences of intense sci-fi action and violence, some sexuality and language
126 minutes

The Wolverine
09fourhalf-stars

Expertly displayed as almost a stand-alone Wolverine film, I compare “The Wolverine” to a franchise film like “Skyfall” that gives us a deeper, emotional perspective on a character that we think we know inside and out. Bringing Logan (Hugh Jackman) to the world of the Yakuza and ninjas in Japan, not only does the story feel different from any X-Men outing, it solidifies itself as different from any comic book adaptation to date. Taking an unstoppable force like Wolverine, with his adamantium infused bones and healing skin, and making him vulnerable for the first time in his extremely long life is genius, as you watch his struggle with his new mortality, yet still doesn’t learn fast enough to not step out of the way of a bullet.

“The Wolverine” builds a strong, slow beginning where we see Logan pining over the loss of Jean (Famke Janssen), who appears in his dreams, following the conclusion of “X-Men: The Last Stand”. Hiding in the woods with only a bear to keep him company, it is not until he is met by Yukio (Rila Fukushima), a young, sword-wielding Japanese girl that was sent to find him by her employer, Yashida (Hal Yamanouchi), a man Wolverine saved during the Nagasaki bombing. On his death bed, he has a proposition for Logan that could make him mortal. Here is where I appreciate the marketing for this film, as it never once gave way to the actual deal that was being made between the two and which I will not explore as to keep it a secret for those going to see it.

Once the action of the film begins, it never stops, following Logan as he protects Mariko (Tao Okamoto), Yashida’s grand daughter, and future heir to the Yashida company and fortune, as they are hunted by her father’s men as well as Yashida’s doctor, who is revealed as The Viper (Svetlana Khodchenkova). Despite suffering from some over-stylization and changes of tone from the dark, thriller that engulfs most of the film, “The Wolverine” is a breath of fresh air in the X-Men world and builds an extremely solid foundation for the future sequels, including one of the most exciting after credits sequences that delivers just enough oomph to get anyone excited for the next installment.

 

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