“Fast Action And Some Fun Is ‘The Wolverine’, However There Is Little Else”
Written by Lorenzo Marchessi
Directed by James Mangold (Night and Day, 3:10 To Yuma), “The Wolverine” is the 6th installment in the Marvel X-Men series of motion pictures. From the beginning it was marvelously cast with the talents of Hugh Jackman (Les Miserable, The Prestige) who forever launched the Iconic Comic Book Super Hero who is the mutant known as The Wolverine! He always does an intense superb job in this role in every film so far.
Written by Mark Bombeck (Unstoppable, Live Free Die Hard) and Scott Frank (Marley and Me, Out of Sight) the story continues from his origin film in the last movie and takes a hard look at how solitude and being anti-social has become a way of life for Logan (The Wolverine). Although not thick in depth of characters, it makes an honest attempt to appeal to the female audience with a hap-hazard love storyish thing. (Not quite as good as in the last film.)
Tao Okomoto is introduced in this film as Mariko a woman who was sent on a mission to find the man who saved a Japanese military soldier during the Hiroshima attacks of WWII. Hal Yamanouchi (Push, The Wayback) plays the soldier who Logan saved over 60 years earlier by throwing him into a shelter seconds before the atomic bomb goes off. Logan only finds out the way he wants to ‘thank’ Logan is to take away his powers of superheating and regeneration abilities in order to free him from his supposed ‘agony’ of never dying.
Now you have to have your villains, with a fairly good cast of international Japanese actors like Rila Fukushima (Karma) playing Hal’s daughter, the new head of state for a multi-billion dollar company that her father ran, Hiroyuki Sanada (Sunshine, Rush Hour 3), the wannabe billionaire and forced husband of Rila and Brian Tee (Goldmember, When We Were Soldiers) as the head of the empire security who is motivated by nothing more than money and ego. Surprise!
Now throw in another mutant, Viper, played masterfully wicked by Russian actress Svetlana Khodchenkova (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy) and you have a sci-fi, action adventure with some very good fighting sequences. It reminded me of the old Bruce Lee films or more modern Jackie Chan films were there are several large fight scenes with one man defeating dozens and very cleverly too! Viper is fun to watch once she gets into her ‘grove’.
Of course there is a love story that actually slows the movie down a little and overall it does give the film a more dramatic feel to it. Too much however. I think the director was trying to make it more of a drama than an action adventure film. That’s why it kind of doesn’t work in parts.
However if you are an X-Man movie fan, Wolverine fan or a Hugh Jackman fan, you will not be disappointed. I think it will hold the interest of the action fans but not so appealing to everyone else for its lack of story and sappy love chimes. The finale fight sequence, although visually stunning, left me with a lot of questions however.
SPOILERs: Do not leave at the credit role at the end of the film…..really. There is a short scene that was, quite honestly, better than the film itself – and it had the audience lightly applauding when one face appeared and then roaring with cheers and applause when another cameo occurred in the same scene. I’ll just say if you are a fan of Magneto and Professor X….you are going to love the credits! That’s all I’m saying……