The Wolverine (2013)
James Mangold directs the latest installment in the X-Men series. Hugh Jackman reprises the role of the “immortal” mutant, Wolverine. The movie takes place sometime in the future after the events of X-Men: The Last Stand (2006). Wolverine isn’t coping well with the death of his love, Jean Grey. Every night he has visions of lying in bed with her. What he most desires is to die. An interesting thought since most people want to live longer.
Wolverine is eventually escorted to Japan. There he meets Yashida, a soldier he saved during WWII in Nagasaki. Yashida is now a very wealthy man and is dying from cancer. He would like to pay back his “debt.” He offers to take away Wolverine’s healing powers and essentially make him mortal. Therefore, he can grow old and die as he so desperately yearns. Wolverine rebuffs the offer. That night the snake-like mutant, Viper, poisons and suppresses his healing power. Now he can die from a mortal wound.
I want to state that I am a big fan of the X-Men series. In fact, I am a fan of the entire genre. Wolverine is one of my favorite X-Men characters and I was pretty excited to watch this film. The character’s first stand-alone film, X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009), failed to garner critical acclaim. Most thought it was just okay. This film however has received many great reviews from critics.
It’s unfortunate that I am not one of those people. I really wanted to like this movie. Unfortunately this film is the definition of mediocrity; and I think I would call it mediocre simply because I like the character. Last month I saw, Man of Steel. I think this film suffers from the opposite problem found in that film. As much as Man of Steel was jam-packed with endless action sequences, The Wolverine was jam-packed with scenes that didn’t really add anything to the film. There are so many sequences of scenes without any fighting. I yearned for Wolverine to get into a fight.
The concept of making Wolverine vulnerable is certainly interesting. When I saw the trailer for the film I thought it would be just okay. I decided to trust many established critics and saw it opening night. I should have trusted my instinct. Most of the time a trailer is a good indicator if a movie will be good. Viper, the villain for most of the movie, is a weak adversary. She is pretty much all talk. When it comes time to for the climatic fight scene the end result is a disappointment.
Hugh Jackman is great in this role. He has successfully embodied the character. Expect many humorous one-liners from the maverick mutant. The script simply fails the actor. There were some people who left the theater before the movie ended. I heard many people say the movie was boring as I walked out the theater. The best part of the movie is the extra scene after the credits. I won’t spoil what happens in the scene. Overall I think this movie could have been a lot better. I feel the concept of Wolverine’s newfound mortality remains undeveloped and unrealized in this plot. The ending was sub par and predictable. If you are a fan of the movies I say you rent this film. Otherwise, save your money.
My Grade: C
Are you planning on watching the film?
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