Film Review: Audacious ‘The Wolverine’ Also a Bit Excessive

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Average: 4 (2 votes)

CHICAGO – Following the release of “Iron Man 3” and “Man of Steel,” “The Wolverine” is the best of the bunch, simply by following “The Dark Knight” and the Marvel Comics formula, creating a conflicted superhero who cannot conform to any conventional definition of heroism. Oscarman rating: 3.5/5.0
Rating: 3.5/5.0

But also like those aforementioned Summer of 2013 films, “The Wolverine” suffers from an overblown conclusion that based on other points of the narrative could have been avoided. It’s the story in this Wolverine saga that is the most intriguing of the super movies, not having to explain any origin of the man, yet still giving him enough angst to anticipate a savory redemption. The Asian angle was also a brilliant stroke – the film takes place in Japan – and includes an amazing flashback to the atomic bomb hit of Nagasaki during World War 2. This is grand entertainment in this genre, and almost – almost! – got through the whole story without resorting to special effect pyrotechnics. That is saved for the end, and although it’s intense, the massive size and excessive length wasn’t in proportion to the rest of the film.

Set after the events in the film “X-Men: The Last Stand,” Logan (Hugh Jackman) – also known as the sharp-clawed immortal mutant Wolverine – is having a life crisis. His lover Jean (Famke Janssen, in flashbacks) is dead, and he has taken himself out of circulation by living in the woods. An errant hunting incident forces him into the nearby town, and he is confronted with his past in the form of a visitor from Japan named Yukio (Rila Fukushima), an adopted granddaughter of Logan’s old World War 2 companion, Yashida (Haruhiko Yamanouchi).

Yukio is assigned with bringing Logan to Yashida’s deathbed in Japan, to say his goodbyes. This starts a chain of events that involves the dreaded Yakuza crime syndicate, who has price on the dying man’s family. The natural granddaughter of the clan, Mariko (Tao Okamoto) is primed to take over the vast industrial empire of Yashida, in conflict with her father (Hiroyuki Sanada). The Wolverine is pulled into the ever escalating circumstance, while the crime syndicate has their own mutant power in pursuit, the Viper (Svetlana Khodchenkova).

“The Wolverine” opens everywhere on July 26th in 3D and regular screenings. See local listings for 3D theaters and show times. Featuring Hugh Jackman, Famke Janssen, Rila Fukushima, Tao Okamoto and Svetlana Khodchenkova. Screenplay by Mike Bombeck and Scott Frank. Directed by James Mangold. Rated “PG-13”

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “The Wolverine”

Hugh Jackman
Logan (Hugh Jackman) Goes to Japan in ‘The Wolverine’
Photo credit: 20th Century Fox

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “The Wolverine”

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