Review - The Wolverine

Thirteen years ago, Hugh Jackman got his claws out as Wolverine for the first time in X-Men. Skip forward to present day and we see Jackman making his sixth appearance as the mutton-chopped hero in James Mangold's The Wolverine. It is clearly a role he loves playing.

Shame I can't share his enthusiasm about this particular effort. I was always concerned for this film after the shambles that was X-Men Origins: Wolverine however, I felt I should give it a chance. 

In a way I'm glad I did as it was an improvement on Origins, but not as much as I had hoped. 

The Wolverine starts with a flashback of Logan saving Ichirō Yashida from the nuclear blast at Nagasaki in 1945. Years later, Yashida (Haruhiko Yamanouchi) has Logan tracked down so he can say goodbye to the man who saved his life. 

Logan, now sporting a hairstyle similar to Jackman's in Van Helsing and a raggedy beard, is found by Yukio (Rila Fukushima), an assassin working as part of Yashida's house and before he can say "Bub" he is whisked off to Tokyo.

It is when he gets to Tokyo that Logan realises Yashida wants to do more than just say goodbye. With an offer on the table to have his healing powers taken from him, Logan starts to find out there is more to the Yashida family then he first thought.

Yashida's son Shingen (Hiroyuki Sanada), granddaughter Mariko (Tao Okamoto) and the doctor trying to keep him alive Viper (Svetlana Khodchenkova), all start to raise Logan's suspicions and it's not long before the home truths start to unravel in front of him.

The story-arc of the comics that this story is taken from is adored by the fans and it was always going to be interesting to see the character go down a different path. However, it all gets a bit boring, very quickly.

Origins all-round was a dull film. The acting, the story and the action scenes all felt very tired. The Wolverine improves in terms of acting and story but the action leaves a lot to be desired. Apart from an impressive fight on top of a 300mph bullet train, the action just wasn't entertaining enough. 

The main focus in The Wolverine is clearly the narrative, focusing on the tortured soul of Logan, but fans of Wolverine will also be expecting some kick-ass action scenes. These fans will be disappointed. 

Disappointing does not even begin to cover the way I felt about the final act of the film. Logan comes face-to-face with the Silver Samurai. Now this should have been an epic fight between the two that the fans would have loved but it just ended up being lazy. 

The exploration of Logan's mentality allows Famke Janssen to return as Jean Grey. He is racked with guilt for killing her and wants to join her so she spends the scenes she is in telling him how he can do so. The trouble is that by about the third or fourth time she appears each of these scenes just feel like they are dragging on. 

I used The Wolverine as a test to see if Wolverine is able to have stand alone films but after both this and Origins I just think it doesn't work. I would prefer to just see Wolverine in films if the rest of the X-Men are in them too. 

Wolverine is a good character but unlike Iron Man, Spider-Man or Batman, his solo-outings are drab affairs.

Hugh Jackman manages to hold the film together and gives it his all for his sixth outing but I feel another solo Wolverine film would be the wrong move. Only in X-Men films or no film at all please.

Much has been made about the post-credits scene in The Wolverine and I will happily say this is one that is worth staying for. In fact, I would go as far as to say the post credits scene was better than any other scene in The Wolverine

It is awesome and if, like me, you are a fan of the previous X-Men films then the excitement will start to majorly kick in for X-Men: Days of Future Past.

Verdict: 2/5


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