Movie News

‘The Wolverine’ Review : A Return to form for the Hairball

Movie News
Caffeinated Clint
@http://www.twitter.com/clintmoviehole

Clint is the creator, editor and maintainer of Moviehole.

James Mangold’s “X-Men” spin-off, with its Japan-doused libretto and tales of multi-generational family war, could easily have been “Karate Kid II” but thanks to a swift crane kick that emerges near as soon as the Fox logo dissolves, the filmmaker gives us comic book cinema’s “Karate Kid”.

With it’s amazing production design, slick direction, and a return to form hairball front-and-center, the filmmaker sweeps the legs off any preconceived notion that we’ve enough ”X-Men Origins : Wolverine” (2009) on our hands, and fairly quickly.

Almost a do-over of the Wolverine solo story – brushing over much of the events in the snail-snow and atrociously hackneyed prequel – the tight, fun and tonally-rich actioner takes everyone’s favourite X-Man (Hugh Jackman, in what’s unarguably his most enthused and entertaining turn as Wolverine since the second ”X-Men” movie about a decade ago) to Tokyo, where he’s summoned to say ‘goodbye’ to an old friend he met in his War days.

Logan aka The Wolverine is in the harsh John Rambo-ready wilderness – teaching hunters a lesson – when the long-suffering muscular mutant is greeted by a funky-haired foreigner named Yukio (Rila Fukushima), who wants him to return to Japan with her so he can say goodbye to Yashida (Hal Yamanouchi), the dying billionaire whose life Wolverine saved years before in the War.
When Wolverine arrives in Tokyo he’s confronted with a strange request from Yashida – he take Wolverine’s immortality and ‘curse’ off his hands – which sets a twisty, tense and sometimes affecting journey into motion that encompasses everything from multi-generational family clashes to a ‘Bodyguard’-esque subplot involving Yashida’s acquiescent granddaughter Mariko (Tao Okamoto).

Based on a celebrated comic book arc, this chapter of Wolverine’s story combines the world of the superhero avenger with a complex, fish-out-of-water yarn that results in a movie that’s much easier to compare to something like Ridley Scott’s “Black Rain” (with Wolverine the brooding, bad-ass Michael Douglas character who takes on the Yakuza solo) than it is fellow Summer superhero jaunt “Man of Steel”. But for the sake of answering what’s sure to be an often-asked question, yep, Wolverine’s second solo film is indeed better than the Superman comeback. But yes, it’s also “Black Rain”.

And look, it’s nowhere near as dark, nor is it as as good a film as any of the chapters in Christopher Nolan’s “Dark Knight” trilogy, but “The Wolverine” strives to be the deepest, most faithful interpretation of the Marvel comics character to date. And with it’s very engaging storyline, Jackman’s immersive, fun turn as the character (some of his line delivery here is just gold!), and some amazingly choreographed stunt sequences (the ‘bullet train’ fight sequence is a sight to behold!) it near succeeds in its plight to be Logan’s finest, most captivating moment on film, too. While that honour might still belong to “X-Men” and its sequel “X2″, there’s more good than bad here – the finale, which resorts to something not only a bit silly but feels a little ‘seen it before… last Summer’, could’ve been better – and through their enthused efforts, Mangold (”3:10 to Yuma”, ”Copland”) and his team have breathed new life into the cinematic journals of a character some were ready to give up on after his last shitsnooze of a solo film.

ShareShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someoneShare on Google+Pin on Pinterest

About Caffeinated Clint

Clint is the creator, editor and maintainer of Moviehole.

View All Posts

Your Name (required)

Your Email (required)

Subject

Your Message

captcha

Against the Current - the band, not adventures in dangerous swimming 101
Zedd - If our love is tragedy, why are you my remedy? (Well, answer my question!)
Arrow (Okay, Felicity from Arrow!)
Chrissy Costanza (cat eyes and buttery lyrics!)
Girls (TV) (Okay, Allison Williams!)
Movies - especially when they play in the dark.
Twin Peaks (TV)
Friends (TV) (It had me at "No way are you cool enough to pull Clint"; damn straight, Chandler!)
Traveling - preferably where water is, so I can splash someone!
Star Wars trilogy - no, the other one, fella!
Alex G - far more talented than her younger brother Alex H
Cameron Crowe movies - Say Anything..., Jerry Maguire, Almost Famous
The sign 'Free Wi-Fi'.
Reenacting dance/song scenes from "Grease" with my little girl (hey! Wait till you see my 'Summer Lovin'! - don't judge)
Die Hard - 40 stories of Sheer Adventure!
Alex Goot & Friends (his enemies aren't half as talented!)
Cooking up a nice dish and sitting in the entertainment area, on a cool night, basking in it's greatness.
Inflatable kids pools full of Vodka Lime Crush.
Acidic Email from angry, over passionate teenagers after I trash something "Twilight"-related on the site. Sparkle elsewhere.
My baby girl's big, caring heart.

More in Movie News

vodlogo

VOD Views – December 20, 2014

Drew TurneyDecember 20, 2014
itfollows

Trailer : It Follows

Caffeinated ClintDecember 20, 2014
killmethreetimes

Trailer : Kill Me Three Times

Caffeinated ClintDecember 20, 2014
theinterviewposter

The Interview sh*storm still spins

Caffeinated ClintDecember 20, 2014
chewbacca

First look at Chewbacca from Star Wars : The Force Awakens

Brooke CampbellDecember 19, 2014
fireandice

Sony, Rodriguez team for Fire and Ice franchise

Brooke CampbellDecember 19, 2014
davodficher

David Fincher has two TV gigs in the works

Brooke CampbellDecember 19, 2014
theinterview

Interview promo suggests Christmas day release still on!?

Caffeinated ClintDecember 19, 2014
truestory

Trailer : True Story

Caffeinated ClintDecember 19, 2014

Login

Lost your password?