The Wolverine (2013)
Running Time: 126 minutes
Directed by: James Mangold
Starring: Hugh Jackman, Tao Okamoto, Rila Fukushima, Hiroyuki Sanada
The Wolverine is set as sort of a sequel to X-Men: Last Stand. In this film, Wolverine (Jackman) is sent to Tokyo, Japan to bid farewell to an old acquaintance, Yashida whom he saved during the 2nd World War. Reluctantly, Wolverine followed Yukio (Fukushima) to Japan. Unfortunately, after the death of Yashida, Wolverine is thrown into the world of Yakuzas who are after Mariko (Okamoto), Yashida’s granddaughter. Unexpectedly, Wolverine finds himself against his ultimate nemesis in a battle that could leave him forever changed.
Basically, this supposed sequel to The Last Stand was… frankly quite difficult to watch. It’s not that it’s a terrible movie, but it’s just one of those not so great superhero films. It reminded me of Batman & Robin or Batman Forever. It’s just a hero and a few dumb nemesis who always seem to have cheesy and/or cliché lines. I think the main thing about the movie that really made me dislike it is the writing. The dialogues are just too corny and cliché. I think after superhero movies like Dark Knight Trilogy, The Avengers and X-Men: First Class, the bar has been raised higher when it comes to storyline and dialogues in superhero films, and Wolverine did not meet the expectations. One of the only things I did like about the film is the action sequences. You can tell that they did put in quite a lot of effort into them, but at times the cinematography was a bit off for the audience to fully appreciate the choreographs of the sequence. And, the only other part that did get adrenaline going was the final scene, after the first part of the credits, where there’s a teaser for X-Men: Days of Future Past (so watch out for that X-Men fans).
In terms of the acting, Hugh Jackman delivered his usual performance as the hero who always seems to be suffering. It is noticeable that his build as Wolverine in this film is much suited for the character than the previous films, so all the hard work and sacrifice made to achieve it is definitely recognized by the audience (and this is not only coming from me, but it was also based on the reaction of the audience in the cinema when the first shirtless scene came on screen). However, Svetlana Khodchenkova who played the Viper in the film was entertaining, but because of the lines she got and the costume and makeup department, it just reminded me too much of Uma Thurman’s Poison Ivy, which just made me want to laugh instead of taking her seriously as a villain. Okamoto as a newcomer did an alright job as the damsel in distress, but at times you could tell she may have overdid the scene, while Fukushima was rather captivating on screen throughout the movie which was a treat to watch.
Overall, the film is pretty disappointing. It did not entertain the way other X-Men films did. The lines were too clichéd which was at times a nuisance to watch. Although Hugh Jackman did a fine job as Wolverine, but I really hope he’ll move on from the Wolverine movies and just focus on the X-Men franchise, and take on more roles on drama films which he excels in. Same goes with the studio, I hope they aren’t planning to proceed with the Wolverine films the way The Avengers series have taken shape whereby the series intertwines with individual superhero films. It’s pointless for Wolverine, and frankly unless the up their bar on the script and how to make the movie entertaining, it’ll just be another superhero film.
Rating: 5.5 out of 10