When a cure is found to treat mutations, lines are drawn amongst the X-Men, led by Professor Charles Xavier, and the Brotherhood, a band of powerful mutants organized under Xavier's former ally, Magneto.
In modern day Japan, Wolverine is out of his depth in an unknown world as he faces his ultimate nemesis in a life-or-death battle that will leave him forever changed. Vulnerable for the first time and pushed to his physical and emotional limits, he confronts not only lethal samurai steel but also his inner struggle against his own near-immortality, emerging more powerful than we have ever seen him before. Written by
Twentieth Century Fox
When Mariko and the Wolverine say goodbye, Mariko is standing in front of the plane and someone brings her a yellow briefcase which subsequently disappears. See more »
[an air raid begins on Nagasaki. At a prison camp, a young lieutenant sets all the prisoners free]
You! Go! Go!
[in a pit]
That was a B-29, bub. There's no outrunning what's coming. You're better off down here. I'd hurry if I were you.
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Rounded-rectangle encompassed full-screen credit: "The making and authorized distribution of this film supported over 15,000 jobs and involved hundreds of thousands of work hours." See more »
Wolverine has been through so much. In spite of that, he remains one of the biggest superheroes of comic-book legend, and thanks to Hugh Jackman's performance in four previous X-Men movies, he became one of the biggest cinematic icons of modern times. Even though the character received his stand-alone film in 2009, filmmakers wanted to go farther and deeper with the character. Taking after Chris Claremont's and Frank Miller's comic, The Wolverine would test the character's limits in Japan.
This film is nowhere near as overblown as other X-Men films: the action is confined to just a few fights. Some of the highlights include a fight on top of a high-speed bullet-train, confrontations with a small army of ninjas, and a final showdown with a giant armored samurai suit. These are fairly cool fights that show off quality choreography and a few cool weapons, but there's very little wow factor. The film does satisfy in the same way thrillers like The Man From Nowhere or Crying Freeman do, but it feels far less like a superhero movie, or even an X-Men movie. Those searching for big, explosive action might be let down, but there is still merit in this moody, slow-burning drama.
The Wolverine takes its time to breathe, giving a steady focus on the title character. It is a much-needed character study; as a sequel to X-Men: The Last Stand, Wolverine is a broken man, tormented by guilt and deprived of purpose. As he travels to Japan and becomes caught up in a major conspiracy, he is revealed to be a figurative ronin: a master-less samurai struggling to regain his honor, perhaps even through death. Due to these issues, and with the threat of taking away his healing powers, this is Wolverine at his most vulnerable, and it makes for a very intense struggle. The conflict runs good and hard throughout the story, and the plot is well-structured. The story has a dense layer of conspiracy that's not exactly easy to comprehend, especially with so many side characters, but other parts are predictable. At the film's core, however, strong parallels are drawn between Wolverine and the Bushido code, and it makes for a rather compelling show.
This film uses pretty straightforward photography and editing, and it's refreshing that way. Acting is good: Hugh Jackman is still perfect as Wolverine, and the rest of the cast is decent and feels authentic. Writing is good. This production uses good-looking sets, props, and costumes. Locales in particular look authentic, and it helps, since the setting plays a major role in this story. Music is not bad either.
The Wolverine is the film the character deserves, with emphasis on "THE" to indicate that this is not just another plain ol' superhero flick, but an exploration on the character and his quest for absolution. Viewers might find this dull, but it exceeded my expectations in spite of the dramatic aspects. In the end, I enjoyed watching the character, both for the action and for the melodrama. It is a worthwhile experience overall.
This film has an extended cut available on specific home video editions. It is an evenly-paced cut that boasts some longer dialogue and longer action scenes (primarily with the ninja fight toward the end), including a little more R-rated cursing and a bit more bloodshed. For mature audiences, it's not a bad cut of the movie.
4/5 (Entertainment: Pretty Good | Story: Good | Film: Good)
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