Archived: Review: The Wolverine (2013) - archived

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Taking place after the events of X-Men: The Last Stand, Logan (Hugh Jackman) is back in The Wolverine. “The Wolverine movie fans have been waiting for” was boomed out of the tellybox on the trailers but judging by Wolvies last solo outing, it should be too hard to top, should it?

We open with the impending destruction of Nagasaki as B-29 bombers appear overhead. Japanese soldiers free the slaves and tell them to run, including a bone-clawed Wolverine who is being kept down a well like shaft. As the generals in front of him commit hari-kuri, one isn’t sure he can go through with it so looks onwards at the nuclear explosion heading his way. Just then, he is whipped up by Logan and thrown down the well, covered by the steel door and protected by Wolverine who takes the pain from the blast.

Years later, the General wants to thank Wolverine for his trouble, it is his dying wish, so he sends his red-headed, triangle faced daughter Yukio (Rila Fukushima) to seek out the titular hero who is moping about in the mountains, drunk and hairy. Reluctantly, Logan heads to Japan where he finds himself embroiled in a strange plot involving the most powerful (and confusing) family in Japan, the General, his grand-daughter Mariko (Tao Okamoto), samurai and his mutant immortality.
Despite his brief spell in the mountains, the Wolverine is set exclusively in Japan, this is both to the films benefit and detriment. It’s a refreshing take to see something outside of New York or LA for a change, but as a result we have to deal with a language barrier and dodgy Japanese actors. What gets my goat is that whilst everyone loves a good ninja, they would be no match for a mutant like Wolverine, yet we get these outlandish fight sequences which seem to push the hero to the limit.

Another twist on this movie is the fact that Wolvie loses his powers to regenerate when a Poison Ivy like villainess named Viper infects him with her venom. Yet we see Logan take a shotgun blast to the chest, a bullet to the knee and a plethora of venomous arrows to the back, yet he still soldiers on. I guess what I’m getting at is that things just don’t seem to work.

The original standalone Wolverine movie, Origins, featured cameos from a number of different mutants, some say this was overkill and foolish, so in The Wolverine we get none of this, save for Yukio’s slight ability to foresee the future. This seemed to be a misstep, we know mutants are everywhere, so you’d expect to see a couple of them holing up in Japan.

The final act is a complete mishmash of bafflement. We get an awful twist wrapped in a giant adamantium samurai robot (like Transformers), the Viper (Batman Forever’s Poison Ivy), some sort of ninja samurai who doesn’t know where his loyalties lie, the red headed Yukio and Wolverine, fighting inside a cliff top laboratory that was the supposed birth place of the General. It is as rubbish as it sounds.

Disappointingly, The Wolverine has only one really good scene, the post-credits sting which sets up X-Men: Days of Futures Past. The rest of the film is a violent disappointment, one that really pushes the boundaries of a 12A. There are a number of instances which involving swearing, even one use of the F-Bomb amidst a sea of S-Hit’s. Then we have the violence which even sees Logan get split in two by a samurai sword (which cut right through him despite him still having an adamanium skeleton), and a particularly gruesome scene where Logan performs open heart surgery on himself.

The Wolverine picks right up where X-Men Origins: Wolverine left off, the bottom of the pile. It could probably be classed as a better movie than the first, but that really isn’t saying much.

Archived: Review: The Wolverine (2013) - archived
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