Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego–i mean…Logan. Check the spoiler-free review of The Wolverine movie after the jump and find out if Wolverine’s claws still look like they came out of Roger Rabbit cartoon.
The Wolverine movie in 2013 is so much better than that Wolverine Origins stinker that was released back in 2009. But is that enough to make it a good movie? Ehhh, I’m on the fence.
First, Wolverine didn’t look like this which is great (or sad, depending on your level of humor):
Jackman is absolutely ripped for this role (thanks to The Rock) and, from an optics standpoint, he looks awesome. They fixed the CG and most of the logic so I guess that’s a win. Some of the action sequences, especially the one on the train was enjoyable. I thought his bodyguard/partner Yukio was adorably dangerous and I enjoyed her on-screen time (she has such a uniquely shaped face).
However the movie has it’s hangups. The Wolverine was an action movie first, and a super-hero movie last. I am well aware that sometimes movies are made purely for the art. And most times movies are made because it’s a business and studios need that skrill. Sometimes movies fall somewhere in between and make most everyone happy *cough*Avengers*cough*. This movie doesn’t toe the line enough for me.
While there is actually a good cluster of canon in The Wolverine, albeit expressed in a different way, certain elements felt forced and out of place. I didn’t care for some of the characters (again). The mutant Viper was a no-go for me. I just didn’t like her whatsoever. And not in the “well you shouldn’t like her, she’s a villain way”. It was more in the “I don’t like your face” type of way; that inconsequential “I don’t like you” that’s usually saved for people that just rub you the wrong way, even if they’re doing nothing but breathing. There’s also the few times where I questioned Wolverine’s reactions to situations where he was cornered. I even used the usual fanboy argument: “the real five foot three Logan wouldn’t do that…”. Also, the ending was pretty flat and generic. I got up like “oh it’s over?”
Besides the small tie-ins with particular X-Men characters, there is pretty much is no mention that Wolverine is an X-Men (X-Man?) at all. Again, this is not a comic book movie. It’s a movie about a dude with claws that goes to Japan and hangs with ninjas and a mutant or two show up. I’d also have to agree with Prodigy of Mobb Deep who most recently on our Fan Bros podcast, said he was tired of seeing Wolverine all the time. I get Ol’ Bub is flagship and all, but these Wolverine movies are essentially being written in a vacuum.
Nevertheless I am (and was) still very pleased with Hugh Jackman’s interpretation of Wolverine and I’m happy that he’s still excited about the character. Especially the way he wistfully whines for Jean Grey–which makes me do a nostalgic giggle because its so much like how it’ was done in X-Men: The Animated Series (the one that aired on FOX in the 90s on Saturday mornings).
The biggest point of contention is that I judged the movie almost exclusively on the basis of “…but is it better than Origins?” I think that’s what everyone is doing, but does that let the director and writers off the hook too much? The direction of the film is really more popcorn action flick, than a compelling story where I’m supposed to care. To me that aspect was obvious so I didn’t hold it against them. Still, I’m not sure if I’m being too nice.
Is The Wolverine worth watching? Yeah sure why not. Would you miss anything important in either story or experience if you don’t see the movie? Besides a small surprise that you can find on YouTube–no.
What did you think about it? Tell us in the comments below!