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Movie Review - The Wolverine with Hugh Jackman

Updated on May 18, 2018
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L. Cargill, Medical Laboratory Scientist, ASCP. Retired blood banker and laboratorian. Loves to write about a wide range of subjects. Enjoy!

Wolverines in the wild

An actual wolverine
An actual wolverine | Source

The Wolverine 2013

Taking cues from Dwayne Johnson (The Rock), Hugh Jackman works out and eats until he is wonderfully fit. According to his interview on Dave Letterman, he has his eating and work outs down to a science, even going so far as to plan what his body will look like on 'shirts off' days on the set.

However he is doing it, it is truly working because his body is awesome to behold in this new movie. Every woman watching will want a piece of that beef cake!

Whichever cinematic genius picked Hugh Jackman to portray the X-Man known as the Wolverine, is a casting phenomenon. Jackman has played the Wolverine six times as of 2013, and all of the X-Men movies have done well.

The Wolverine Movie Plot

In the timeline of the X-Men, this particular movie plot follows X-Men, The Last Stand.

We find Logan (the Wolverine), alone and living in the frozen north woods of Canada somewhere. His appearance has degenerated to that of a caveman. Apparently he has not shaved nor bathed for quite some time. Indeed, the bath scene in which two Japanese women scrub the caveman down is one of the most interesting near nude scenes.

During a flashback scene, we see that Logan once saved the life of a currently very rich Japanese man named Yashida. Logan saved the young Yashida during the atom bomb drop over Nagasaki in WWII. The Wolverine is immortal. Yashida has summoned him to Japan to repay Logan for saving his life.

Things get complicated very quickly as Logan has many ghosts in his past, present and future what with being an X-Man and all. Yashida is betting that Logan will want to keep saving him by giving him the Wolverine's secret of immortality. The catch is that Logan will become mortal if he does so. Yashida tries to make Logan believe that giving up his immortality will be a gift from an old friend.

Logan struggles with strange and dark emotions regarding his mutant status, his love for another mutant (that he accidentally killed), his new feelings for Yashida's grand-daughter and his abilities as a warrior. Will he give up everything just to help a man he has already saved once?

Does this look like a cartoon to you? Why would the Wolverine give up immortality?


The Cast of the Wolverine 2013

The last name of an Asian person may hold clues as to whether they are Japanese or Chinese. Chinese names have single syllables such as Lee, Wong and Tee. Japanese surnames generally have multi-syllables such as Kawasaki, Yashida and Okamoto. Although most of the cast of The Wolverine were Japanese, a few Chinese actors portrayed various parts. The movie was filmed extensively in Japan. Some scenes were filmed in Australia.

Tao Okamoto played the lovely and delicate Mariko. Mariko is Yashida's grand-daughter, the heir apparent to the Yashida empire. Mariko is pledged to marry some political Japanese playboy wannabe (Brian Tee). One of the funniest scenes in the movie is when Logan tosses the guy out of a window.

Rila Fukushima plays Yukio, Mariko best friend for life. Surprisingly, Yukio nearly steals the movie with her action scenes and her exotic face. She can also predict when someone will die which amuses Logan as he believes he will never die. Yukio predicts that Logan will cut out his own heart and hold it in his hand.

Hal Yamanouchi brings life to Yashida's character as the most powerful and rich Japanese mogul ever. He is both the hero and the protagonist of the movie. Yashida wants to control his family, his empire and his mortality. He will stop at nothing to achieve his goals.

Hiroyuki Sanada is Shingen, Mariko's childhood playmate and protector. He is a black samurai who is pledged to the house of Yashida. He will do what he can to protect Yashida and Mariko.

What do you think? Rate this movie:

5 out of 5 stars from 1 rating of The Wolverine 2013

How does The Wolverine rate as a movie?

New Japanese word to learn: Gaijin, which means American or Foreigner or Non-Japanese.

The movie is rated as PG-13 for violence, sexuality and language.

  • Violence - No joke! The Wolverine's adamantine indestructible claws rip through flesh and bone like butter. Then there are the katanas, Japanese steel swords of doom. If you have a phobia to slashing and even more slashing, avoid this movie.
  • Sexuality - No kidding! Any partially clothed scene with Jackman is sexual. The soft lit 'sex' scenes with Logan's previous mutant lover and the new scenes with the beautiful Mariko are hot, hot, hot.
  • Language - No shit! There are a few curse words, some of which are in Japanese, so who knows if they are curse words anyway?
  • Alcohol and other drugs - But of course! Alcohol is always present these days. Other drug use in this movie was relegated to poison darts and tongues. (oops! spoiler alert).

My personal opinion is that this movie is one of the best of the X-Men type movies. Hugh Jackman is a serious actor and plays this encounter with emotion and introspect. It's not gratuitously violent. The warrior world is violent.

The soundtrack was particular pleasing. It fit.

The background scenes shot in Japan are stunning and alive. The shot of the atom bomb exploding over Nagasaki brought actual tears to my eyes. It was difficult to watch.

The action scenes were amazing to watch. However, the scenes on top of the bullet train were unbelievable. By that I mean, the laws of physics were broken all to hell and back.

While the ending did not catch anyone by surprise, there was a moment or two that the audience clapped for. Strange how people will applaud scenes at a movie theater.

If you are a fan of the X-Men, I highly recommend seeing this movie. If you are not a fan, it will have less meaning, but the scenes of Japan are worth it anyway.

The Wolverine 2013

The Wolverine and the Black Samurai
The Wolverine and the Black Samurai | Source

Movie Poll: The Wolverine 2013

Will you be going to see The Wolverine 2013 opening (in the U.S.A.) July 25, 2013?

See results

© 2013 Lela


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