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Hugh Jackman returns as The Wolverine and faces his ultimate nemesis in an action packed life-or-death battle that takes him to modern day Japan. Vulnerable for the first time and pushed to his physical and emotional limits, Logan confronts not only lethal samurai steel but also his inner struggle against his own immortality; an epic fight that will leave him forever changed.
Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews
- Reviews Counted: 217
- Fresh: 150
- Rotten: 67
- Average Rating: 6.3/10
Top Critics' Reviews
Fresh: Instead of expounding a tedious origin story or staging an epic battle for apocalyptic stakes, "The Wolverine" focuses on a specific and self-contained adventure in a richly imagined place.
Rotten: "The Wolverine" is an erratic affair, more lumbering than compelling, an ambitious film with its share of effective moments that stubbornly refuses to catch fire.
Fresh: It's a relief to come across a blockbuster that finds a location and stays there, rather than hopping desperately from one place to the next ...
Fresh: A refreshing summer cocktail of action-movie staples, The Wolverine combines the bracingly adult flavor of everyone's favorite mutant antihero with the fizzy effervescence of several mixers from the cabinet of Japanese genre cinema.
A SLICK SUPERHERO FLICK FULL OF STYLE AND SUSPENSE!
Of all the superheroes in the "X-Men" universe, there's no doubt that Wolverine (a.k.a. Logan) is the one who's managed to stand out the most. He's become such a popular character over the years, even his brief appearance in 2011's "First Class" was one of the most memorable moments in the entire flick. For over a decade now, Hugh Jackman has been playing the clawed Canadian with a fierce energy that simply can't be duplicated, and despite a couple of unfortunate cinematic slip-ups (2006's "The Last Stand" and 2009's "X-Men Origins: Wolverine"), he's still pretty much remained one of the most consistently entertaining Marvel heroes ever portrayed on film. And with "The Wolverine," the X-Man's long-anticipated return to the big screen, he embarks on his most thrilling solo adventure to date, one that takes him all the way to the Land of the Rising Sun: Japan. And while I must admit that the film doesn't take quite as many chances as its unique premise would suggest, it's still a fun and breathless ride nonetheless.
The story begins in Alaska, where Logan (Jackman) is still struggling to cope with the loss of his lover Jean Grey (Famke Janssen), who appears to him regularly in strange, soft-focus dreams. Then a young woman named Yukio (Rila Fukushima) shows up, insisting that he return to Japan to see Yashida (Hal Yamanouchi), a former WWII soldier whose life Logan saved in the A-bombing of Nagasaki. But in Tokyo, our hero soon finds that the near-death Yashida wants to relieve him of his healing immortality with the help of a sinister blonde doctor named Viper (Svetlana Khodchenkova). Meanwhile, Yashida's son Shingen (Hiroyuki Sanada) is angry that his daughter Mariko (Tao Okamoto) is now the heir to his father's fortune. As for Logan, he's constantly being hunted by endless, massive armies of tattooed Yakuza goons and arrow-shooting ninjas wherever he goes. Is there a chance he'll ever make it out alive? Eh, probably.
Throughout most of its run time, the flick has a consistently brisk pace, barely pausing its breath before plunging into another terrific, larger-than-life set piece. Sure, none of them follow even the most basic laws of logic and physics, but when you're watching Wolverine fight some tenacious thugs on top of a speeding bullet train, there's just no room for actual reasoning. Director James Mangold (whose previous works include "Walk the Line," "3:10 to Yuma," and "Knight and Day") puts the gorgeous, exotic settings of Japan to very efficient use, and seeing as how the central story takes its inspiration from Chris Claremont/Frank Miller miniseries from the 1980s, he also stays pretty faithful to the comic books as well. For most fans of the clawed superhero, getting to see him fight a lot of bad guys in a new world in which he's entirely out of his element is quality entertainment enough, but Mangold turns up the notch a little more than that, combining the bracing, blood-pumping action of past "X-Men" adventures with the stylish and swift choreography of Japanese genre cinema. It's this unique twist to the story that makes it all the more gripping to watch, not to mention Jackman is in full-character mode as Wolverine, delivering a solidly energetic performance that improves upon his previous portrayals of the mutant antihero in quite a few ways. Even his female co-stars, Fukushima and Okamoto, manage to be constantly engaging as the movie's leading ladies, although their characters could've certainly benefited from more depth and personal development. Speaking of which, that happens to be the problem with a lot of the characters here, especially the villains. We're never really given any detailed insight into their true intentions and motives, and thus, it gets to a point where we're just waiting these bland antagonists to be defeated already. The big climax alone contrasts hugely to the rest of the film, as it just feels too convoluted and bloated with constant CGI to complement the previous half's much more serious, gracefully chaotic tone. But I digress. At least the flick makes up for that one slight misstep with plenty of suspense and action-filled tension, keeping us glued to our seats even when we know what'll happen in the very next scene.
At the end of the day, this film is Wolverine's show to steal. And boy, does he steal it. As the brooding, immortal X-Man, Jackman proves once again his prowess as the character, giving a largely impressive performance that's as emotionally raw as it is brutally physical. And with a supporting cast of talented actors to back him up, he delivers all the goods you'd expect (and then some) in this dark, character-driven adventure. From the brilliant, breathtaking action sequences that showcase some incredible martial arts action to the exquisite production design that nicely captures the vibrant beauty of Japan, nearly every scene in the movie is simply eye-popping. But even with all its style, "The Wolverine" still lacks a bit of substance and focus due to the uneven screenplay and its unfortunate letdown of a final act. Even so, this is still one of the most entertaining blockbusters of 2013, plus a solid lead-up to next year's "Days of Futures Past." So whether you're a huge "X-Men" fan or just wanna see Wolverine battle ninjas, Yakuza, and every other manner of Japanese assassin, this adrenaline-pumped movie is not to be missed.
I love X-Men, and Wolverine is my absolute favorite character, but I hated this movie. There wasn't anything particularly gripping about the plot, which actually seemed to be pretty muddled most of the time. Sure, there's a few great action scenes, but not enough to save the movie. I don't get the interest between Logan and Mariko, and while it was interesting to see how Logan deals with the aftermath of Jean's death, the new relationship seemed superficial and forced, and definitely took away from Logan's struggle over Jean. Furthermore, the description and trailers were nothing like the movie at all, not to mention the fact that Logan spends half the movie without his abilities, and then they take away his metal claws. Sorry, but Logan without his metal claws means Logan isn't really Wolverine anymore. This is the worst X-Men movie they have ever made, and I'm going to do my best to forget I ever saw it. I hope they can redeem it in the next movie, but if not, this one can definitely destroy the X-Men series.
The Immortal X-Man's Most Exciting Adventure Yet!
It's been four years since the disappointing "X-Men Origins: Wolverine" was released in theaters. And let's be honest, that entire movie was a mess, so making a better, more improved follow-up film would definitely prove to be an easy feat. And of course, it was. The superhero mutant's latest big-budget blockbuster, "The Wolverine," is truly unlike any other film in the "X-Men" saga, despite the fact that it still exists in the same universe. In fact, director James Mangold basically abandons the central theme of all those films (the clash between humans and mutants) entirely, instead focusing solely on this titular character as he travels to Japan in an exciting and imaginative fish-out-of-water adventure. The stakes are high, the villains are endless in size, and the white-knuckle thrills are literally around every corner. Seriously, the action sequences in this flick are truly some of the best I've seen all year (some are even better than the ones in "Iron Man 3" and "Man of Steel"). The most thrilling scene, in which Wolverine battles a ton of thugs on top of a speeding bullet train, left me in complete awe from start to finish. Even the stylishly choreographed ninja battles pack a massive punch. Of course, Hugh Jackman delivers a terrific, knockout performance once again as the aggressive X-Man, adding some unexpected emotion to the character while putting his claws to consistent use. This time, though, he's backed up by a solid supporting cast that manages to help provide just enough tension and suspense to keep things interesting the whole way through (although the characterizations for the bad guys could've been handled in a much better way). And that leads to my biggest issue with this film: the script. For the most part, it actually holds up pretty well. The plot moves at a swift pace, and the action sequences never get in the way of letting us soak in the incredible atmosphere of rural and urban Japan. Still, what ends up bringing the movie down in the long run is the total lack of depth and development in these new characters. Sure, they're intriguing to watch, but we're never given any grounded reason as to why we should care about or root against them. Even Viper, a terrific villain from the comic books, is wasted in a nearly thankless role. And then there's the film's big climax, which, I must say, felt like somewhat of a letdown, mostly because it relied on jarring, over-the-top cartoon violence and a surprise twist that didn't gel with the rest of the movie as well as it easily could have. Despite those considerable problems, however, I still can't deny that I had a fun time watching "The Wolverine." With its breathtaking cinematography, great use of atmosphere, rapidly edited action scenes, brilliant Japanese-inspired score, and enthusiastic performances, this superhero movie ultimately makes up in gritty, adrenaline-fueled style what it oftentimes lacks in cohesive narrative substance, making it a mostly satisfying adventure for huge fans of the popular "X-Men" character like myself. So if you love Wolverine, Japanese culture, and emotionally charged, high-speed action, this big, epic blockbuster is just for you. Oh, and don't forget to stick around during the credits. There's a great scene you don't wanna miss!
- Genre: Action & Adventure
- Released: 2013
- © 2013 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. All rights reserved. X-Men, all character names and their distinctive likenesses: TM & 2013 Marvel Entertainment, LLC and its subsidiaries. All Rights Reserved.