MOVIE REVIEW: The Wolverine – Immortality Is Not Always A Good Thing

Written By: Justin Morales
Director: James Mangold
Starring: Hugh Jackman, Tao Okamoto, Rila FukushimaThe movie starts off with Logan (Hugh Jackman) having a flash back of him as a prisoner of war in 1945 in Nagasaki, Japan. The U.S is about to drop atomic bombs that will ultimately end World War 2 and one Japanese solider, Yashida (Ken Yamamura, Hal Yamanouchi) sees the American B-52 bombers coming and releases all the prisoners of war including Logan. As Yashida prepares to face death from the atomic bombs, Logan uses his mutant power to save the soldiers life. The soldier is grateful for Logan’s humanity and vows to one day repay this debt.

The Wolverine takes place years after X-Men: The Last Stand, which ended in Wolverine killing Jean Gray (Famke Janssen), the love of his life. The thought of him killing her hasn’t left and it affects his persona entirely, human and mutant, to the point where Jean’s ghost appears throughout the film. This led to a promise he makes to himself that he will never hurt another soul, good or bad.

Now with his overgrown beard and untamed hair, Logan wanders Alaska/North Canada and lives like an animal, sleeping in the woods and eating when he can.  Logan is approached one night by Yukio (Rila Fukushima) and invites him to Japan, where the solider who Logan once saved is ready to pay back the debt he promised.

Yashida is a billionaire who is facing something Logan will never be able to face, death, but not for long. Yashida offers Logan the ability to die and rid him of his misery once and for all.

Logan just so happens to fall in love with  Yashida’s grand daughter Mariko (Tao Okamoto), the soon to be heir of his billionaire company. That doesn’t sit well with Yashida’s son Shingen (Hiroyuki Sanada) and Mariko’s fiancée Noburo (Brian Tee) as they planned to disguise themselves to kidnap her and claim the company for themselves. Logan must now fight off ninjas, gangs and the Silver Samuari if he plans on saving Mariko.

Most of the film is very slow paced but I feel it’s needed for all the characters in the film, including Wolverine himself, to develop as a whole.  The Wolverine attempts to add that Dark Knight Trilogy dark psychology vibe. We can already tell that Wolverine has his struggles, with his “having nothing to live for and my immortality is a curse” but we are only verbally given this information from several characters. From Jean Gray’s spirit to Yashida, we are not truly shown the emotional hardships from Wolverine towards his feeling of his immortality being a curse. That’s the problem, we are told but not shown. 

The first two fighting scenes were on point because not only do we still get that angry Wolverine rage that all fan-boys love but Mangold adds another element by taking away Wolverine’s healing ability. There was even one point where he faints because he lost too much blood from battle. But the finale to me could of been improved, the choreography was beautifully done but the set up and finale of the fight (won’t ruin it for readers with details) could of been set up differently and kept the serious tone that movie had throughout the film.

Another thing I felt negatively upon was the love connection between Wolverine and Mariko, prior to meeting her we are shown that Logan still has strong feelings for Jean but yet as soon as Mariko comes into the picture, Logan’s loves for Jean disappears and love for Mariko grows exponentially. Which, in my opinion, wasn’t developed correctly for the viewers to understand why he is so head over heels for her.

This is Hugh Jackman sixth time playing the role of Wolverine and his passion is the same as it was when he first took on the role in which film you prefer the most. This is not the best X-Men film we have been given but this is an improvement from the first solo Wolverine movie we were given in X-Men Origins: Wolverine. If you are crazed about superhero films like the next person is (myself included), I suggest going to the theaters to see the film before others ruin it for you, but I will hold off from the extra expenses that 3D comes with and seeing a regular screening. Make sure you stay after the credits to see a scene which will set up the next X-Men movie that comes out next year,  X-Men: Days of Future Past.

What The Delio?: 7.5/10