This stand-alone epic-action adventure set in modern day Japan reveals the untold story of Wolverine (Hugh Jackman), the most iconic character from the X-Men universe, and evolves the character saga to new levels of depth, intensity and visceral action.
Out of his depth in an unknown world he will face a host of unexpected and deadly opponents in a life-or-death battle than will leave him forever changed. Vulnerable for the first time and pushed to his physical and emotional limits, he confronts not only lethal samurai steel but also his inner struggle against his own immortality, emerging more powerful than ever before.
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Wolverine is an excellent movie
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With the recent superhero movie releases such as the vastly disappointing Iron Man 3 and the less than cerebral Man of Steel, I feared The Wolverine would follow the trend. Thankfully I was not disappointed for a third time. This review is fairly lengthy so if you don't have the time to waste on an in-depth review than skip to the Good vs Bad section at the bottom for my opinion in a nutshell: The Wolverine has very few minuses and a lot of pluses for me. Logan's healing factor played a crucial role in the storyline and was artfully done. We're given a taste of how powerful his healing factor is in the first scene and then it's shortly all but taken away leaving Logan uncharacteristically vulnerable but more courageous and resilient because of it. Logan takes bullets and knives and fights on in spite of his dulled healing factor, showing just how awesome he is. The love story didn't disappoint either. This is not your generic Hollywood token romance inserted into an action movie either. I won't go too much into it but the 'girl' was in fact the prize like most films of this nature but it's not all what it seems and I think it was done well. The nuances were there for the viewer to interpret them as much as they cared without boring some audience members that could care less. I think it was just enough to add dimension and subtlety to the story while staying consistent with previous films and close enough to comic 'lore' for the aficionados out there. I really loved how well Jackman and the writers portrayed the Wolverine's toughness while never making him feel like a phony He-Man. When he was weakened he was still the deadliest man alive and when his healing factor was 100% he was unstoppable, rage personified. These two 'gears' as I'll call them were well balanced and timed throughout the movie and you'll just have to go see it to find out which order they occur. One slight misrepresentation of Logan's powers was his strength or should I call it super strength? Logan has three powers: 1. Super dooper healing factor 2. Heightened senses 3. It's artificial and made possible by his healing factor but he also has an Adamantium laced skeleton. Notice that super strength does not appear on that list. I counted at least four separate occasions when Logan performs feats of strength that can only be referred to as super. Some were subtler than others but they were all unnecessary and added very little. The worst part of this otherwise very good but not GREAT movie was the weak villain/antagonist factor. It's a problem that plagues the vast majority of movies and in this case The Wolverine is no exception. What makes The Wolverine stand somewhat apart in its inferiority is that the villain was not only uninteresting and lacked presence but that throughout the movie I wasn't even sure who the bad guy was. I mean, I knew who they were, there were at least three defined villains but none of them really stood out. Their villainy was diffused and diluted among them and you can bet that none of them came close to great villains such as The Joker, Bane or even the T1000. That The Wolverine thrived in spite of these handicaps shows how far Jackman's Wolverine has come since the first X-men. That a movie can stand strong on the basis of a great protagonist and little else speaks volumes for Jackman's performance and dedication to the character. Oh, and do yourself a favour X-men fans and don't miss the after credits epilogue. It's the best one since X-men 3. Back when Marvel epilogues meant something. The Good: - Way better than Wolverine: X-men Origins (which I liked at the time). - Best portrayal of Wolverine yet. Jackman looks great and is as gritty as hell. - First truly solo Wolverine movie. - Nuanced and subtle romantic thread that is neither in your face nor the two dimensional "hero gets the girl" type affair. The Bad: - Weak antagonists. Too many and none fully present or adequately realized. - Minor inconsistencies with Wolverine's mutant abilities. Will only bother super nerds like myself. 3.5 stars. P.S. Did I mention that Hugh Jackman looks incredible in this episode? Here's hoping he can keep it up for another decade.
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