Friday, August 9, 2013

Theater Review: The Wolverine

I know its sacrilegious to say, but I didn't hate X-Men Origins: Wolverine as much as everyone else. I think what it comes down to the most is that a lot of people that read the comics were upset about the way things came across and how characters were represented. I never read the comics, so I don't look at it as closely.

But, it is still the worst of the series, right behind X-Men: The Last Stand. And with those two combined, a lot of wrongs needed to be righted. We got a nice, fresh look with X-Men: First Class - and here they try to give us the Wolverine story we were supposed to get.

Hugh Jackman reprises his role as Logan for I believe the sixth time in The Wolverine. And, it is probably his best performance out of all three. He has truly embraced and become Wolverine.

The film takes place years after The Last Stand and Logan is now living as a hermit in the woods - still having trouble sleeping and reliving his actions against Jean Grey. He doesn't go into town often, except to get supplies he needs - and he has basically become part of the wild.

But, hunters in the woods have set him off - and he returns to town to approach one of them. Unleashing the Wolverine despite trying to keep him dormant.

About to do go crazy on some people in a bar, Logan is stopped by Yukio (Rila Fukushima), who for the past year has been trying to locate Logan for her employer Yashida (Hal Yamanouchi).

In a flashback, we find that Logan was in a POW camp in Japan near Nagasaki in 1945. The camp about to be bombed, Logan rescues and protects Yashida from certain death.

Yashida, with a new life granted upon him, becomes one of the richest and most powerful men in Japan and is the CEO if his own technology corporation. Now on his death bed, he has asked Yukio to bring Logan to Japan so he can thank him properly for saving his life - before he dies.

But, Yashida also has a surprise for Logan - he believes he has found the ability to take away his healing powers and allow Logan to live a normal life and die in peace.

Of course, that is just the setup. What would an X-Men movie be without a ton of things going wrong, and someone wanting to take something by force. And, we get a lot of great action sequences - and some great insight into Logan's life, and a new love interest, Mariko (Tao Okamoto), the granddaughter of Yashida - who Logan soon needs to protect.

And, he must protect her as his healing abilities begin to fade away.

This was by no means a perfect film, but it was probably the Wolverine movie we should have gotten in the first place. Jackman is outstanding as Wolverine, and can easily carry an X-Men film on his own - but I was definitely missing some of the old gang.

As good as the movie was - I was even more excited by staying and seeing the credit scene. A great scene that helps setup the next X-Men installment. And, I cannot wait now.


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