The Wolverine

Yeh know, I really wish Darren Aronofsky directed this one as originally planned – R-rating and everything. I mean, can you imagine how warped this would’ve gotten? Or how poignant for that matter? Too bad, didn’t happen. 

In this sixth installment of the X-Men franchise, Logan is faced with his actions from The Last Stand, i.e. haunted by visions of Jean Grey in negligee – hey, that rhymed – as well as flashbacks to his war days, mainly witnessing the bombing of Nagasaki. Coincidentally, he is called back to Japan when he learns that the officer he saved back in the day is dying and wants to say farewell. Bait-and-switch! The dying man, Yashida, is offering a chance for Logan to give up his cursed life of immortality if he helps him become immortal. Logan declines this offer, and then the plot thickens with the kidnapping of Yashida’s granddaughter and yakuza and ninjas and stuff. Oh, and this crazy Viper chick comes in and weakens Logan’s healing factor. Significantly.

And yet, Wolverine battling ninjas is not as satisfying as it ought to be.

And yet, Wolverine battling ninjas is not as satisfying as it ought to be.

This movie could have been awesome, considering that the idea of Wolverine (an anarchic anachronism of sorts) entering a land of honor and tradition has many-an-opportunity for character arcs and development. I didn’t even read the comic and I could figure this stuff out. Instead, we’re given preposterous fights on bullet trains, ostentatious ninjas, lots of rain and samurai romanticism.  Not to say that there isn’t some development, but it takes a long time to get to what little there is – I’d be distracted too if all sorts of loosely explained things were flying at me.

The practicality of a teal pleather onesie escapes me.

The practicality of a green pleather onesie escapes me.

Spoilers ahoy!

Speaking of which, I’ve got a bone to pick with the Viper/Yashida plot: how exactly is Logan’s healing factor extracted from his skeleton? Also, why not kidnap him when Viper had him all doped up to stick the bug in his body? How did those little bugs work – slow, continuous toxin release? I personally hate long villainous dialogue, but if you’re going to suspend my disbelief at least give me some sci-fi mumbo-jumbo to go on. Also, why did the Viper lady take her skin off? The consistency of her abilities kind of went over my head a little. …And are side-flips really the best method for stealthy ninja transport?

Okay, done.

I have to admit, other than the cinematography, the best part of the whole feature was Hugh Jackman’s performance. You can tell he was giving it his all in this one: prime physical condition, tortured demeanor – this is a point in Logan’s life when he is worn and weathered and wants to wander off alone like a dying dog, and he makes you believe it. It’s just a shame everything else kind of fell apart around him.

Lackluster but not totally awful, it was still better than Origins.

Final Grade: B-

(Seriously, Jackman’s performance is this movie’s saving grace – oh, and the stinger’s pretty cool. I’m stoked for Days of Future Past.)

 

Advertisements

About reelgirl

Film lover, kitsch enthusiast, and all around neat gal. You can read what I'm up to at Reel Girl Reviews!

Posted on August 3, 2013, in Review and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Running time 2h 6m. How much of that was padding? On the basis of the comics based movies I’ve seen lately, I’m guessing that it was 25% longer than it should have been. Although your comments on the script suggest it was a slack piece of work, too.

  2. It’s weird, the filler was noticeably distracting, but the movie really didn’t feel that long. It’s a little ironic: time was spent tying up loose ends that really didn’t need to be there to begin with. I wonder if I’m finding myself wanting more of the dark and foreboding superhero stuff of now – it’s become cliché, but at least it’s interesting.

    (Sigh) I think I was just really hoping for another X2.

  3. On the subject of superhero movies I read on another blog that Sony have plans for another THREE Spider Mans. I’m hoping for a superunlikely story twist, something like Peter Parker gives birth to an army of spider babies and takes over the world. Or tries to take over the world. The Avengers send in the Hulk to stomp around all over the little bastards.
    And maybe the guy who wrote the songs for the Team America movie could get in on the action too.
    Much chance of this?
    With all the other comicbook characters to choose from they really ought to give Spidey a twenty year holiday. A movie based on The Phantom Stranger could be worth my time and money (yes, Hollywood, that’s a hint!)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: