The Wolverine (2013)
Released: March 4th, 2013
Genre: Action, Adventure, Science Fiction
Director: James Mangold
Writers: Mark Bomback (Screenplay) Scott Frank (Screenplay)
Cast: Hugh Jackman
Even in my youth, I had a connection with Logan aka The Wolverine I was always of average height, facial hair came early, and I lived a more rugged life than many of my counterparts. I liked his gritty nature, always ready for a fight, and extremely defensive of his loved ones. (A protector of children and animals.) As I grew older, it was Wolverine’s heart and compassion that drew me to him. That and the fact we both experienced pain, death, suffering, and a great loss of valued people in our lives. So he was a fictional character that I could connect with. So whenever I’ve seen him portrayed in a movie, I’ve had a stronger emotional connection to that experience. Still, even by loving a character, it has to be done right and when it’s not, I can’t embrace it. (Origins: Wolverine was a complete disaster). Thank goodness James Mangold eventually wound up in control of this project as he delivered the best Wolverine movie to date (2013) although we know he was setting up for his greatest work yet!
The villain(s) are underdeveloped. I mean there is one person in this movie that we understand his motive albeit sort of generic. The others are poorly used, abhorrent in regards the source material, or just plain average.
The changes made to the Silver Samurai aren’t as egregious to me as they are to others, but I understand their issue with these moves. They butcher the source material and that is problematic.
While Logan aka The Wolverine may be able to endure an atomic bomb, his shielding another person from a direct hit is very improbable. I understand that we are talking about a comic film, but sometimes what they ask us to suspend is too much. I can’t overlook that.
The Wolverine tells the story of Logan after the events of the X-Men trilogy but before the retcon of X-Men: Days of Future’s Past (I think, it’s a little confusing.) He struggles with the loss of the things he valued in life. Looking to fade into obscurity the best he possibly can, but somehow he is called back to pay respects to a dying acquaintance.
The film is all about Logan finding peace after the countless years of suffering and loss he has endured. It’s a very human idea that when we feel loss or failure, we sometimes wish to recede and isolate ourselves from the world. However, these actions often don’t lead to cures, but rather amplify our despair. This is the case with Logan in this movie and only through being called back into the action does he find value once again.
Wolverine stories are meant to be gritty and this movie leans in this direction. Even in the first ten minutes. We see his connection to animals and natural surroundings, but also how he refuses to remain on the sidelines when injustice is occurring. That he is compelled to fight!
The entire cast in this film has the quality to it. Everyone delivers their performances with professionalism and I don’t see anyone who was terrible. Of course, this is still very much a Wolverine movie and Hugh Jackman thrives as the character.
While the film never loses its comic book feel, it delivers several heartstopping action sequences (including an impressive fight on a train). There are enough sequences throughout to keep you entertained. It feels like after waiting so long for a good Wolverine movie, we came very close. We see the potential of what James Mangold directing could deliver.
Now whenever you go to a different country and explore a different culture, you need to take extra precautions not to portray derogatory stereotypes (I mean it would be nice to avoid all stereotypes, but the negative ones are certainly the worst.) This film is able to capture some authentic Japanese culture and show how out of place Logan is there. Not easy to do, but they deliver.
This film is a vast improvement over the mess that is Origins: Wolverine. While the movie could have served well with a better villain, and less butchering of the comic book lore, we get a Wolverine in story Tokyo (Fish out of Water tale) which analyzes the psyche of this incredibly popular X-Men characters. (For just as the Greeks, we like to see our heroes suffer and fail before achieving their goals.) This is the best Wolverine actions scenes I’ve seen (to this point), It keeps you engaged from start to finish.
The Superhero Ladder
The Dark Knight (2008) https://andrewthemovieguy714.wordpress.com/2019/05/29/the-dark-knight-2008/
X-Men: First Class (2011) https://andrewthemovieguy714.wordpress.com/2019/07/01/x-men-first-class-2011/
The Wolverine (2013)
Captain America: The First Avenger (2011) https://andrewthemovieguy714.wordpress.com/2019/07/05/chris-evans-redemption-captain-america-the-first-avenger-2011/
Superman 2 (1980) https://andrewthemovieguy714.wordpress.com/2018/10/11/little-to-no-sequelitis-here-superman-2-1980/https://andrewthemovieguy714.wordpress.com/2018/10/11/little-to-no-sequelitis-here-superman-2-1980/
Batman Returns (1992) https://andrewthemovieguy714.wordpress.com/2019/04/08/dc-gold-or-perhaps-silver-batman-returns-1992/https://andrewthemovieguy714.wordpress.com/2019/04/08/dc-gold-or-perhaps-silver-batman-returns-1992/
Placeholder-TBD Venom (2018) https://andrewthemovieguy714.wordpress.com/2018/10/05/venom2018-movie-review-spoiler-free/
The Amazing Spider-Man (2012) https://andrewthemovieguy714.wordpress.com/2019/07/20/the-not-so-amazing-the-amazing-spider-man-2012/
The Incredible Hulk (2008) https://andrewthemovieguy714.wordpress.com/2019/05/31/bigger-badder-better-the-incredible-hulk-2008
Thor: The Dark World (2013) https://andrewthemovieguy714.wordpress.com/2019/08/13/marvels-low-bar-thor-the-dark-world-2013/
Superman Returns (2006) https://andrewthemovieguy714.wordpress.com/2019/04/16/dc-debacle/
Superman and the Mole Men (1951)
Spider-Man 3 (2007) https://andrewthemovieguy714.wordpress.com/2019/05/06/down-goes-spider-man-spider-man-3-2007/https://andrewthemovieguy714.wordpress.com/2019/05/06/down-goes-spider-man-spider-man-3-2007/
X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009) https://andrewthemovieguy714.wordpress.com/2019/06/02/his-claws-what-have-you-done-to-his-claws-x-men-origins-wolverine2009/
Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer (2007)
Flash Gordon (1980)
Superman 3 (1983)
Blade Trinity (2004)
Green Lantern (2011)
Punisher War Zone (2008)
Swamp Thing (1982)
Fantastic Four (2005)
The Punisher (1989)
Jonah Hex (2010)- yeah, this movie sucks. Not wasting time discussing how awful it is. Don’t believe me? Watch it and find out how much it sucks.
Batman and Robin (1997)
The Punisher (1989)
Ghost Rider (2007)
The Return of Swamp Thing (1989)
Superman 4: The Quest For Peace (1987)