I love the X-men series. At their best, the films are deep allegories for life. At the worst, they are fun action flicks that bring a childhood story to life. The Wolverine falls somewhere in the middle. Luckily, it’s not Last Stand but it’s not First Class either.
The Wolverine is Hugh Jackman’s character second stand-alone story. This particular tale spans his time in Japan, both during World War II and present day. Wolverine is summoned to Japan by the man he saved when the nuclear bomb exploded. The old man is looking for everlasting life and offers wolverine a chance to become mortal. Though Wolverine declines, he finds himself unable to heal and stuck in the middle of a corporate conspiracy.
The Wolverine takes the basis of its story from the comic book arc of 1982 but really branches away from the original story. While that is par for the course for many of the X-Men movies, it’s still an issue with comic fans. As a fan of the movies, it does not bother me though I can see their perspective.
For an action film, The Wolverine is visually pleasing and viewers are treated to unique settings with humorous twists. There is a beautiful sequence on top of a train that uses Wolverine’s unique ability to his advantage and gives a new perspective on the train top genre. Blending Wolverine and the Japanese’s fighting techniques leads to exciting hand to hand scene as well as swords to claws scenes. The action is fierce and keeps the plot going.
As an X-Men film, it lacks a certain hear that was feature in the original movie as well as First Class. These stories were clearly allegories for minorities and outcasts. By bringing bringing them together for a certain cause, the films remind us that we don’t have to be alone. The Wolverine was ripe for this, letting Wolverine truly ponder the idea of immortality. Instead, viewers were treated to scenes of Famke Jensen in a night gown calling Wolverine to the grave. There is no emotional epiphany regarding Wolverine’s decision to stay alive.
The best part of the entire movie is the teaser of Days of Future past. This short sequence brings viewers back into the X-Men world and reconnects with fan favorites. The teaser’ could have only been better if they had brought in the kiddos (the First Class). I am truly excited for the next installment in the franchise.
The Wolverine looks good and packs a punch. While it lacks emotional depth, Jackman’s Wolverine is still commanding and provides a good time.