Today, I saw The Wolverine. It was okay. It didn’t really have a hook though. It was just sort of like “Oh, hey, Logan…this guy hurt a bear. Wanna go beat him up and go to Japan to visit this Yoshida guy you saved in WWII?” And Wolverine thinks a bit…and he’s gruff, but then he says “One day…” and then flies to Japan with this girl Yuriko. While he’s there, he uncovers that Yoshida’s granddaughter Mariko is next in line to inherit the Yoshida Corporation which is actually the Black Ninja Clan. Yeah, I didn’t really follow either, but I think I got it.
What the movie lacked in hooks they made up for in cool fight scenes. See Wolverine fight: At a wedding, on a train, in laboratory rafters, in a Japanese love hotel. There are two in this movie. Overall, my sense of the movie is that in parts it tried to be Kill Bill. Weak story, good action scenes. Some funny moments. In short, a Marvel movie, but the acting is still better than The Dark Knight Rises. (Zing!)
One of the most frustrating things about this movie was (I felt.) the forced bonding moments between Mariko and Wolverine. They’re already being chased by a rival ninja clan…and those are good scenes! We don’t need to see Mariko and Wolverine having tea together or revisiting the place where Wolverine met Mariko’s grandfather that the beginning of the movie already told us about. Being chased by ninjas is enough reason to get along and make out if you want. So, that was a huge break in the action, and a huge distraction.
Another thing…you would expect this movie’s main villain to be Silver Samurai! No! He’s in there, but the main villainess you see throughout the movie is Viper. She can poison people. She’s basically a more hardcore version of Batman’s Poison Ivy with a snake theme instead of a floral theme. But anyway, although Silver Samurai is involved, I expected to see more of him. We are in Japan after all. Also, Viper steals Wolverine’s healing factor for a bit. (Yes, it’s one of those movies…)
Honestly, I don’t know why it’s so hard for Hollywood to make a good Wolverine movie. He’s one of the most powerful mutants there is. We don’t need to see him go through a personal crisis and wondering if he’s killing for the right reasons. Not only is that boring, but he’s BEING CHASED BY NINJAS. We know he’s killing to survive and protect Mariko! With Wolverine, I think not wanting to be chased by ninjas is a good enough motivation. Let him claw his way out!
Overall, the movie had great action! I just think the story was a little weak, and the character transformation was a little forced. Wolverine goes from being a bum with no powers, back to the way he was, and then back again. Nothing really changes or is particularly unexpected. If they would’ve played out the BEING CHASED BY NINJAS part a little more instead of turning into a character study, it could’ve been a great over the top action movie, instead of an average Marvel movie. Some characters are simple: Wolverine has claws and one-liners. That’s how I like him. He’s Wolverine!
That being said, I’m looking forward to Days of Future’s Past. But, was the Japan story really the setup you want for that huge of a sequel, based on a great comic, that unites two different X-men? I guess we’ll never know otherwise now, but I’m hoping Wolverine has no trouble killing in his next movie. Leave the ethics to the two Professor Xs! By the way, I rate this one 2.5/4 stars or a B-, but I’m biased and being lenient: I’m a Marvel guy.