The Wolverine (2013)
In modern day Japan, Wolverine is out of his depth in an unknown world as he faces his ultimate nemesis in a life-or-death battle that will leave him forever changed. Vulnerable for the first time and pushed to his physical and emotional limits, he confronts not only lethal samurai steel but also his inner struggle against his own immortality, emerging more powerful than we have ever seen him before.
Hugh Jackman : Logan
Tao Okamoto : Mariko
Will Yun Lee : Harada
“What they did to me, what I am, can’t be undone.”
Despite the fact that “The X-Men” were never my favorite superheroes, this film could still fascinate me. The script wasn’t entirely accurate and you ended up with a huge number of questions in some situations. It’s a long time ago I’ve watched the original X-Men movie. And “The Wolverine” is the most imaginative character off course. It’s therefore normal there are apparently a number of spin-offs about him. By choosing Japan as the location, the interference by the Yakuza was a logical consequence. The positive result is that you sometimes get flashy and highly entertaining action moments, with a mix of “Martial Art” and the cutting and slicing actions of “The Wolverine” as an excellent combination, presenting exciting movie moments. Unfortunately, these moments are extremely scarce. What a shame !
Hugh Jackman is magnificent as “The Wolverine“. A legendary role that fits him like a glove. Since there are no other fellow mutants, he has the difficult task to carry the whole film. He does, but unfortunately it’s not enough to make it a real epic super-hero story. There’s also the fact that the movie focuses on the personal emotional state of Wolverine and the process of dealing with the death of Jean Grey, his beloved. Apparently he is guilty for her death. Cause of the lack of any prior knowledge of the entire X -Men saga, those flashbacks were completely useless to me. Further, the role played by Rila Fukushima (Never heard of her before) as Yokio was a sublime addition to the main character. Her oddly shaped face made her look like a bizarre partner. But it’s the action she shows, with her flashy moves, which made it a pleasant movie to watch. Tao Okamoto as Mariko was necessary for the overall picture, but otherwise I thought it was a kind of a pathetic performance. Especially the amorous part I didn’t like although it probably was mandatory to use.
The story on its own wasn’t very original, and as mentioned earlier, at some times it didn’t make much sense to me. In a nutshell, you can summarize it as follows: Yashida, a Japanese industrial magnate is being rescued by Logan during the bombing of Nagasaki. Yashida is eternally grateful for that and invites him to japan. He wants to thank him just one more time before he pasts away. To redeem Logan from his eternal suffering and life, Yashida suggests to give that gift to himself so he can enjoy eternal life. Logan refuses and the assistant of Yashida (who is also a mutant apparently) implants a type of pacemaker in his heart. His self-healing powers gradually disappear and he becomes vulnerable.
Eventually there remain a few unexplained questions . Wasn’t it the case that those claws of Logan couldn’t be destroyed ? After drilling in the knuckles of Logan the self-healing forces seep into Yashida , who also looks visibly younger after that. Yet only moments later he dies from a simple stab wound. Weird ! From where did Viper come? What purpose did she have in mind ? She is a kind of mutant that knows a lot about different poison and shows a snake tongue as it suits her. Wouldn’t it make more sense that she reduces Logan’s powers, by implanting poison in his heart, instead of a futuristic type of parasite. And how the hell did she get that thing in there ? Did that intense french kiss help her getting it in there ? What was the skin replacement all about ? The do-it-yourself heart surgery Logan did, was a bit excessive ! How the hell did he get through his ribs? The high-speed chase on the train, even though you’re a superhero, breaks with all the laws of physics. And my biggest question was : If Yashida really wanted to take over those powers, why take the risk to reduce Logan’s powers so there could be a possibility he died ? He could forget about that eternal life if that happened !
In the end it’s just another superhero movie in which the superhero rather looks like a sad, isolated individual whose superpowers slowly diminish. You have to be patient to see some action until the funeral of Yashida. But when that moment arrives, you’re glued to your screen. Unfortunately that feeling doesn’t really come back and you can only look at a kind of tourist guide of Japan in which all aspects of the country are reviewed. The end is unbelievable and sometimes downright ridiculous.
It’s entertainment but not at an exceptional level. Not quite so super !
My rating 5/10
Links : IMDB