‘Dark, gritty and better than the predecessor.’
Cast: Hugh Jackman, Tao Okamoto, Rila Fukushima, Svetlana Khodchenkova, Hiroyuki Sanada, Haruhiko Yamanouchi, Will Yun Lee, Brian Tee, Famke Jannsen
Director: James Mangold (of Walk the Line, 3:10 to Yuma, and Girl, Interrupted fame)
The most popular and favourite mutant, Wolverine comes back with his second solo film, The Wolverine. Played by Hugh Jackman again, it’s his sixth time playing Logan. (which includes his five second badass cameo in X-Men: First Class)
The movie is loosely based on the limited series Wolverine (1982) comic by Chris Claremont and Frank Miller. The story begins after the events of X-Men: The Last Stand. Now, an unshaven and an unkempt Logan living in a forest away from the world, battles with himself after Jean Grey’s (Famke Janssen) death. Troubled by her nightmares, he faces even more danger when he journey’s to Tokyo to meet an old acquaintance, Yashida (Haruhiko Yamanouchi), the owner of a multi-million technology company with Yukio (Rila Fukushima), an expert swordsmen and who can foretell a person’s death. As the story proceeds we find him for the first time vulnerable surrounded in a different city by the Yakuza and ninjas.
In the first fifteen minutes, the unkempt Logan looks unfamiliar, but after a brief funny scene before his meeting with the dying Yashida, we find the Logan we know of. Compared to his last solo film, X-Men Origins: Wolverine which was average, The Wolverine comes out fresh and improved. It is now darker and brutal. Don’t expect a light film like the previous X-Men movies. What makes the movie darker is Logan himself with his own haunted story to be mortal again and thereby wanting to join Jean in the afterlife. The fighting sequences are more brutal. And that’s the best part of the movie. Watch out for the adrenaline rushing bullet train fighting sequence which is one of the best scenes in this two hour film. The makers have converted the ‘typical train fighting sequence’ into something completely new, thrilling and very fast paced like a bullet.
There are far less mutants, only Wolverine and Viper (Svetlana Khodchenkova). But that is what makes the movie what it is. Concentrating only on Logan’s character, the soldier’s efforts to save Mariko, the grand-daughter of Yashida (Tao Okamoto) the film proves to be dark, sometimes silent, and entertaining with a few laughs here and there. Viper is a good addition to the film with her slithering powers threatening the very existence of Logan.
Overall, The Wolverine comes out as a good second solo movie. Although the movie does feel empty, fans will appreciate it and non-fans will be happy by Hugh Jackman’s performance as a gritty and vulnerable mutant who is no more immortal. Don’t forget to miss the exciting after credit scene which will make fans go gaga.
– The Moonshaker