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The Wolverine– Movie Review

Submitted by on August 3, 2013 – 8:50 am2 Comments

The Wolverine was shaping up to be a surprisingly complex and beautiful Marvel superhero movie. We had a philosophical examination of a worthwhile life, inter-generation conflict, some truly layered characters who try to do the best with what they’ve been given, and healthy doses of humor. But then, Marvel seemed to decide that they should just do a regular superhero movie instead.

The Wolverine takes place in the Marvel universe after the events of X-Men III: The Last Stand. Logan/Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) is tortured by nightly dreams of Jean Grey, and hiding out in the Alaskan wilderness. He is found by Yukio, a young Japanese woman sent by a man whom Logan saved during World War II. They go to Tokyo, where the now-incredibly-wealthy Master Yoshita is dying and offers to thank Logan by making him mortal. But when Logan’s healing powers suddenly disappear, he gets caught up in protecting Yoshita’s beautiful granddaughter Miko, while figuring out just what happened to himself.

All of the development is thrown out the window as The Wolverine becomes another movie about a tortured hero protecting a beautiful woman. Instead of compelling personal drama, nearly-inexplicable madness and megalomania are thrown in.

The so-called “love story” at the center of The Wolverine is paper thin, and even creepy, even by superhero movie standards. But without it, Logan’s determination to stay in Japan would feel even more forced. As is, the relationship is completely obligatory, although it is dealt with the gravitas of real love, instead of two very shaken people hooking up with each other. (And I think we can all agree Logan should have been with Yukio anyway.)

Still, the foundations of the movie offer enough momentum to keep it going. And while some of the supporting performances are weak, Jackman certainly knows what he’s doing in this role and has fun with it. The shifting alliances and motives keep the big fight scenes unpredictable and exciting, and we get both samurais and ninjas.

Did you see The Wolverine? What did you think?

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