The Wolverine review – Hey, it’s better than X-Men Origins: Wolverine


The Wolverine is a tough movie to review simply because I have a lot of mixed feelings. On the one hand, it does a good job of adapting from the Wolverine mini-series by Chris Claremont and Frank Miller. On the other hand, there are some changes to certain events and characters (major changes if you’re a big fan of that certain character). If you don’t follow the comic book, it shouldn’t be a big problem.

Hugh Jackman returns as The Wolverine. Suffering from nightmares after the events of X-Men: The Last Stand (you’re not the only one, bub), Wolverine breaks away from the X-Men to get some alone time. He’s found by Yukio, who works for Yashida, a former WWII Japanese soldier who was saved by Wolverine during the Nagasaki nuclear bombing. She brings Wolverine to Japan to meet Yashida, who’s now one of the wealthiest people in the world, so that he can thank him for saving his life. Now a really old man, he offers Wolverine a chance at mortality in exchange for his immortality.

Hugh Jackman does a fine job as Wolverine. He’s aggressive and will not hesitate to kill anyone who stands in his way. The CGI for his claws has improved a lot (no more of that weird CGI claw in the bathroom scene in X-Men Origins: Wolverine). He also gets a new love interest and has plenty of moments to use his claws for slicing and dicing.

As for the supporting cast:

  • Mariko is a beauty to behold and plays the love interest for Wolverine. I think the love story didn’t have a lot of time to grow and felt forced. Did I mention she was beautiful?
  • Harada (Tao Okamoto) is the protector of Mariko and is an expert in bow and arrows. He’s got some scenes showing off his cool moves, but ultimately, wasn’t a necessary character.
  • Rila Fukushima as Yukio is a lot of fun. She’s like the fun sidekick who kicks a lot of ass.
  • Viper (Svetlana Khodchenkova) is now a mutant who works for Yashida. She is one of the main villains in the movie, and her motives keeps the audience guessing as to what she’s planning.
  • Brian Tee as corrupt politician, Noboru, was very underused. He does have a funny scene with Wolverine, but his character in the comics had a larger role.
  • Famke Janssen returns as Jean Grey. If you’ve watched X-Men 3, then you should know that she gets killed by Wolverine. She haunts Wolverine’s mind throughout the whole movie and it came to the point that I was glad she died.

If you’re here for the action, there are some great fights to be had (the highlight being the train scene). The ending action sequences felt very lackluster, even more so if you wanted to see Wolverine go berserk on everybody. Most of the time he’s weak and doesn’t get to fully rage.

One of the things that dragged on was the appearance of Jean Grey. The other was him losing his healing powers, resulting to just limited healing. Even with all that, I felt no sense of danger that he was going to die. In a movie where the strongest villain can spit acid, Wolverine really doesn’t have any formidable enemies. Even the best human fighter is no match for him, since he just can’t die!

Despite these negatives, The Wolverine was an entertaining movie that had some cool action scenes and an interesting tale of a man trying to move on. It’s definitely not the best comic book movie out there, but it’s serviceable. And yeah, it’s a lot better than X-Men Origins: Wolverine.

Also, there’s a mid-credit scene at the end of the movie that you guys will definitely get a kick out of.

Grade: B-

Major Spoilers Ahead

With Will Yun Lee cast as Harada, fans assumed that he was also portraying the Silver Samurai. That’s not the case. Although he is still an expert fighter and works for Viper, he doesn’t don the Silver Samurai outfit. That honor goes to grandfather Yashida. Plus, he’s no longer a mutant.

As for Viper…at least she’s still a villain who can command a large group, even though they aren’t Hydra soldiers.

The absolute best part of the movie has to be the mid-end credit scene. Wolverine travels back to America, and the TVs inside the airport hints that Trask is going to be a major player in X-Men: Days of Future Past. Can you say sentinels? Wolverine is suddenly immobile. You can thank Magneto for that. He wants Wolverine to join his cause, but Wolverine isn’t having any of it. Magneto then says that perhaps another person can help persuade him to help. That is when you see the entire people inside the airport freezing. You guessed it, it’s Professor X, alive and kicking (well, in his wheelchair at least). This scene sets up X-Men: Days of Future Past quite nicely.

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