innovativecommunications.tv The Wolverine is Hugh Jackman’s best turn as the dark superhero yet. But does that mean it’s a great movie? I’m Keith Kelly and my review is coming up right now.
Hugh Jackman seems unstoppable in his portrayal of The Wolverine. He’s donned the claws six times over the last 13 years, including the three original X-Men films, his first solo outing-“X-Men Origins: Wolverine” and his cameo in “X-Men: First Class”. That’s a lot of screen time for the man with the mutton chop side burns.
You’d think by this time they’d be able to put together the perfect Wolverine movie. Unfortunately, this one isn’t it.
Overall there is a lot to enjoy in “The Wolverine”. The 44 year-old Jackman is more ripped than ever and totally believable as the mutant also known as Logan. He’s more vulnerable than we’ve ever seen him before and we’re also given more insight into his troubled soul.
The Japanese setting adds an exotic flavor to the franchise while also exploring some interesting historical moments. The supporting cast overall turn in solid performances and they all look the parts. Forgive me for not mentioning them by their real names as I would probably screw up most of their pronunciations and I don’t want to do them a disservice.
Some of the action sequences are first rate-especially the thrilling fight on top of a Bullet Train.
But I’ve got plenty of issues with the plot structure and one of the villains.
“The Wolverine” has probably the most intricate plotline of any of the films in this franchise. Complexity is usually a great thing, at least in my book, but in this film it almost derails the story.
Without giving anything away-most things are not what they seem to be at first glance and many mysteries are set-up early on. Again-that can add to a films’ deepness. But here, it mostly diffuses the tension and doesn’t give the viewer a clear reason to invest in the storyline.
My biggest gripe has to do with Logan’s love interest-Mariko. She’s very easy on the eyes, not too bad in the action sequences, but viewers are given very little justification for Logan continuously risking his life and then falling in love-other than the fact that she’s gorgeous. Sorry-I need a little more than that. Yea, I know, he’s a Hero with a capital H, and there’s a little Duty and Honor involved, but since this relationship is the cornerstone upon which the film revolves around, I think the audience deserves a little better motivation. Combine that with the vague mysteries behind the main plot points and the film becomes mostly a long chase scene with Logan continuously protecting Mariko against any or all threats. Even with many inventive action scenes, it starts to get a bit monotonous.
The payoff for all the mysteries is pretty convoluted and seemed a bit too little too late. The actress who plays the villain known as Viper-who also shares the distinction of having a very tough to pronounce last name-is pretty horrible. No nuances, nothing real-just a standard evil mutant. And since she’s the most visible bad guy-that really hurts the film.
Don’t get me wrong. There is a lot to admire here. I was just hoping that this would be the Wolverine adventure that finally got it perfect.
I give “The Wolverine”, directed by James Mangold, a grade of “B-“. I’m Keith Kelly.
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