The Wolverine

Two Reviews for you today… James liked it more than Chris did but you can see both reviews below.

In 2009, we were treated to the origin story for one of Marvel’s most beloved characters: The Wolverine. Enthusiasm for the story turned to discord and malcontent for most, but if you had the ability to look past the inadequacies found in most Marvel silver-screen adaptations (as I did), then at least you would have enjoyed seeing the comic come to life.

Here in 2013, Hugh Jackman reprises his role for the 6th time, making his way to Japan to bring about one of the community’s favorite portions of the mythos: the way of the samurai, Muriko, and the Silver Samurai.

The story opens with the bombing of Nagasaki, and Logan’s survival of the atrocity. He saves a Japanese soldier from suicide, and then from the Atomic Bomb.

Fast forward to the present and we have a broken mountain man that was once Logan (Jackman). He lives in the hills, away from people, because he no longer wants to be a soldier. His immortality has become a curse.

After a rousing row with some local hunters, a representative for Yashida (the aforementioned Japanese soldier) talks Logan into going back to Japan to pay his respects to a dying man.

The story spins away from there on a turbulent ride that is equal parts drama and action.

Let’s get to my thoughts.

—————The good ———————-

The cinematography, script, acting, and editing was top-notch. The sets, costumes, effects, stunts and fight scenes were all pleasurably executed. This was a very well-made movie.

—————-The bad ————————

The plot holes were too numerous to be anything but amazingly distracting. Without giving too much away, here are just a few:

During a ceremony, in broad day light, on a huge roof, one of the main secondary characters is lurking. With as many people and security, this was HIGHLY implausible. Laughable, at best.

Ninjas are not a real thing, and they never were. They were a fable; a story told without any factual, historical basis, and their presence cheapened the film.

When the A-bomb was dropped, those who survived the actual explosion still died to the radiation within a certain range. There is no way Yashida would have survived Nagasaki the way the event was portrayed in the film.

At some point, Wolverine loses his ability to heal. It’s never clear if his regenerative powers are fully gone or just suppressed, but he can’t heal well enough to stop bleeding. With this in mind, his survival of so many shots to the body is extremely questionable.

On that same note: if he can’t heal, how did the holes made by the blades extruding from his hands heal up? After every scene in which the blades come out, his hands remain free of blood or marks.

Wolverine was clearly killing people with his claws, which I liked, but there should have been far more limb and torso severing, given how sharp his adamantium blades are and how overwhelmingly strong he is supposed to be.

The Wolverine character has an unmatched sense of smell, but it was never used in the movie, not even once. The opportunity presented itself multiple times.

These are just a few examples, and there were many more jarring discrepancies. There were so many that it detracted from the movie in an unforgivable way. Even this was totally separate from the comic-to-silver-screen transition, for which those remarks are better left to someone more learned in the comic realm.

The part I enjoyed the most came during the last 30 seconds of the film, as part of the credits. It sets up a future film. Enjoy.

All in all, The Wolverine was great. That said, if you have a critical eye, like myself, you will find many faults.

3 out of 5 stars.

Edited By: Jeff Boehm.


Second Review by James Sabata


For the sixth time, Hugh Jackman takes on the role of Wolverine, attempting to regenerate from the wounds that X-Men Origins: Wolverine inflicted. We find Logan living alone in an isolated forest, haunted by the memory the death of Jean Grey and his time as a prisoner of war in Nagasaki Japan the day the atomic bomb was dropped. Aware of what was happening to Nagasaki, he saved the life of a young prison guard, Yashida. Now an old man, who has amassed a fortune, Yashida sends for Logan to say goodbye and thank him for saving his life. After a lot of convincing, Logan makes the trip to Japan, where a bedridden Yashida offers Logan a deal – Yashida and his oncologist have found a way to strip Wolverine of his regenerative powers and give them to Yashida, allowing Logan to become mortal and one day put an end to his suffering. After being stripped of his power to heal, Wolverine becomes more dangerous than ever as he attempts to figure out what’s really going on around him.

This movie started out with a bang, literally. The action scenes were fun and well-thought out, showing more as a regular action movie than the comic book style movies we’ve become used to seeing. The action scenes feature more martial arts, as it is set almost exclusively in Japan. While there are several subplots going on, this movie doesn’t branch terribly far from its overall plot at any time, allowing for a the feeling of a straight forward standalone movie, even with the occasional flashback to the other X-Men movies before it. Gone are the majority of Wolverine’s one-liners, which in itself feeds into how different he is as a character. This Wolverine is darker, angrier, and sick of his life. He’s run out of things to laugh about.

From the dropping of the atomic bomb to a fight on top of a bullet train, to an epic battle with the Silver Samurai, The Wolverine doesn’t disappoint in the action department. Occasionally, the action slows, but for the most part, even the slow scenes are engaging. There are odd moments of flashbacks, featuring Jean Grey (Famke Jansen) in a negligee, but I doubt too many people would complain about that. If you’re going to see a movie with Wolverine in it, this is The Wolverine to see.


4 out of 5.