What’s up everyone! Back with the next installment in our Review Rewinds. This time around, we’re going to be talking about The Wolverine, which served as the second solo outing for the iconic X-Man.
The Wolverine was released in 2013 and was directed by James Mangold, and it shows us the story of Logan aka Wolverine after he travels to the country of Japan and gets caught in the middle of an internal conflict.
Right off the bat, I’ve got to say that this film was waaaaay better than X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Yet both of these films somehow have the same rating on IMDB. Why? Lord knows.
One thing that really stood out about this film was that the story was actually somewhat emotional. In the first act, we’re introduced to a Wolverine that’s just a beat up, sad, and lonely shell of his former self, and it actually makes you feel for the guy. We all know he’s so far off the deep end because he’s still suffering from all the emotions that came with killing Jean Grey in X-Men: The Last Stand.
But then he gets invited to Japan to visit a man named Yashida, who’s life he saved all the way back in WWII, although he’s completely unaware that the guy only seeked him out in hopes of Logan agreeing to “pass on” his healing factor, so that Yashida can regain his youth. It all sounds good, right? WRONG.
Besides having a mostly compelling and intriguing story, the supporting cast was pretty impressive. Tao Okamoto played Mariko, and she served as the love interest in this film. In some comics, Mariko is actually Wolverine’s wife. However they didn’t follow that exact route (and good thing they didn’t because it wouldn’t exactly make sense. Okamoto played something of a damsel-in-distress, even though she didn’t want to receive help from anyone. Rila Fukushima, Hiroyuki Sanada, and every other main supporting cast member actually felt important to the story, except for one: Viper. Svetlana Khodchenkova played Viper in this film, and her character just felt so..unnecessary. Kind of like how Zemo felt in Captain America: Civil War. Everything in the movie would’ve still gotten to where it needed to be without the inclusion of her character.
Another great thing about this film was the action sequences. Wow. What a step up from Origins. I’d like to think a major factor in that was the lack of wire-work and CGI. Everything had a sense of authenticity. And of course there were still some special effects, but overall it looked good, and it was nice to see that Hugh Jackman was willing to do a lot of the training himself to enhance the experience.
Another noticeable thing that made this film better than most that Wolverine has been in is they upped the violence a little. No, we don’t get to see Logan stick his claws straight through anyone’s head (praying we see that in Logan), but this is the first time that we see Wolverine have bloody claws after being in battle for a while. Something as little as that may seem really insignificant for some, but for people who really pay attention to those things and care about tat kind of stuff, it means a lot, and we appreciate that Mangold went out of his way to make that happen.
I have a very small amount of complaints for this film, bit sadly those complaints kind of take away from all the good. First, the pacing really slowed down in the 2nd act of the film. That’s usually where movies feature the most exposition, and this one was no exception Second…the finale.
Okay look, the tone of this film was good. They were at a good place. And then it turns really “comic book-y” with the giant Silver Samurai robot – that’s actually made of adamantium, not even silver – that Wolverine has to fight at the end. The movie would had been better received had they not chosen that cheesy cop-out.
In the end, The Wolverine is definitely the better solo outing of the first two. James Mangold was able to give us amazing action sequences, a decent story, and some mostly interesting characters. And yes, the finale kind of sucked, and the pacing suffered a bit, but overall it was an enjoyable entry in Wolverine’s story.
Final Score: 6.5 Out of 10
Thanks once again for checking out this review. We hope you liked reading it. Logan is out tonight, so make sure to check it out! Our review for that one will be up within the next few days, so keep a look out. Until then, catch you guys next time.