The Wolverine, my review.

Posted: January 6, 2014 in Gossip/News/Reviews - Film
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Anyway, hope you are well and had good Christmas and new year. Here is my first review of the year. It is of “The Wolverine” which my son and I watched over the weekend (Released at cinema in June 2013).  Please don’t read if you have not seen the film, spoiler alert.

We pick up the story after the events of “X-Men: The Last Stand”.  Where Jean Grey (Famke Janssen) aka The Phoenix went berserk and was killing everyone, leaving the tough task of ending her to our clawed mutant. They’d been lovers, which made the act all the more painful and unforgettable to Wolverine (Jackman) who’s been having nightmares about her ever since. One of the down sides of being immortal like him is that you don’t just lead an ordinary life with death guaranteed.

At the start of the film we go back to 1945, where Logan, the Wolverine, is being held in a Japanese POW camp near Nagasaki. During the atomic bombing of Nagasaki, Logan rescues an officer named Yashida and shields him from the blast.

In the present day, Logan lives as a hermit in Yukon, tormented by hallucinations of Jean Grey.  He is located by Yukio (Rila Fukushima), a mutant with the precognitive ability to foresee people’s deaths, on-behalf of Yashida, now the CEO of a technology corporation. Yashida, has since become one of the richest men in Japan with his business empire. but  is dying of cancer, and he wants Logan to accompany Yukio to Japan so that he may repay his life debt. Wolverine is flown on a private jet to Tokyo with Yukio .

Yashida is dying, Wolverine can never die. Here comes the match made in heaven. Knowing that Wolverine is in pain, Yashida offers up a trade, his onw mortality for Wolverine’s powers. Yashida, in his mighty wealth and power, feels it’s too soon to let go, and believes he’d be doing Wolverine a favour, essentially putting him out of his misery. A dodgy looking slick blonde oncologist with evil eyes (Svetlana Khodchenkova) also roams the room and Wolverine discovers why he’s really been summoned to Japan. Wolverine turns this offer down, claiming “you don’t want what I have” and is more than ready to leave town. This is until Yashida dies, the oncologist with a secret gets up to no good, and Yashida’s funeral turns into a Yakuza-led kidnapping frenzy.

Mariko (Tao Okamoto), the business tycoon’s granddaughter, is the target, and after a lengthy chase that ends with Wolverine fending off the bad guys on top of one of those 300mph bullet trains, Wolverine and Mariko cosy it up in a nice little house by the river down south, although not before visiting a shady “love hotel” in which they need to pick a room out of all the specifically “themed” ones. As culture clashes go, here is something so mild and tame that it would be easy to often forget that this is in fact set in Japan. Sure there are ninjas flying around, samurai swords clanging against one another, arrows being shot around, but aside from a few laughs from how Wolverine conducts himself with a pair of chopsticks and how he doesn’t know how to tie up a Japanese robe, Wolverine is still the angry, traumatised buff man we’ve all come to know over the years, and this trip to the east doesn’t add anything significant – he’s constantly referred to as a samurai without a master.

Jean Grey pops up every now and again, with Janssen dressed in a white nightgown always in the most dream-like, hypnotic sequences that provide distraction for Wolverine on a mission.

For the first time ever there is clear vulnerability established in this immortal character. Due to a nasty little trick played by a sneaky villain his healing powers are compromised, which brings about an interesting angle when it comes to action scenes. Whilst this briefly gives Wolverine a chance to explore something different. But after he gets his healing powers back normal service is resumed and action follows. It is then revealed that Yashida is in fact alive and has turned himself into the  Silver Samurai, an electromechanical suit of Japanese armour with energized swords made of adamantium and wants wolverine’s mutant abilities so that he can live forever.

During the ensuing skirmish the Silver Samurai severs Logan’s adamantium claws and begins to extract Logan’s healing abilities. Yashida starts to regain his youth, but Mariko intervenes and stabs Yashida with Logan’s severed claws while Logan regenerates his bone claws and finishes off Yashida. Logan collapses and has one final hallucination of Jean, in which he decides to finally let go of her.

At the end of the film  Mariko becomes CEO of the Yashida Corporation and bids farewell to Logan as he prepares to leave Japan. Yukio vows to stay by Logan’s side as his bodyguard, and they depart to places unknown. In a mid-credits scene, Logan returns to the United States two years later and is approached at the airport by Magneto and Xavier; who warns him of a grave new threat to the mutant race.

We (my son and I) both thought the Wolverine was a thoroughly enjoyable film. In fact my son thought it was brilliant. I thought it was excellent and was surprised at how good the movie turned out given the bad reviews that I have read before. And further more I must admit the scene during the credits has raised my excitement for next X-Men movie. In the wolverine there is a lot of action and Hugh Jackman is his usual broody moody indestructible self.  Okamoto is sensitively sweet enough to play the potential love interest, with Will Yun Lee and Hiroyuki Sanada also participating in the action. The effects and story are above average with some emotionally charged scenes.

In summary we thought it was well worth a watch.

What do you think?

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