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The Wolverine: A Review

Updated on December 10, 2013

Info

Director:James Mangold

Writer: Mark Bomback, Scott Frank

Starring: Hugh Jackman, Will Yun Lee, Tao Okamato, more.

This is a Marvel movie review, obviously. But it's also a review of a movie for one of the few Marvels I actively dislike. So I'm of mixed feelings on writing a review for it. To clarify, I do not feel that Wolverine is a bad or useless character. He definitely has his moments. But he wouldn't even make into my personal list of top 50 Marvels of all time. The reason I actively dislike him is because he steals screen and print time so much, from people who are far better characters. The movie universe is all Wolverine. all the time. And so are the comics, for the most part. There are around 8 ongoing X-Men titles, and only two aren't primarily featuring Wolverine. He's also in half the Avengers titles, and his own ongoing title. Spider-man is the only other Marvel who maybe ties him for print space, but I can sort of forgive Spider-man's, as he is actually one of the best Marvels of all time. I can't fully understand why Wolverine is so popular. But then I remember that the vast majority of his fans are people who know very little about any other Marvel characters: kids and casual fan-boys, who only know the movie and cartoon Marvel, and maybe follow a few Wolverine comic titles. I'm not saying that to be mean..it's personal experience for me. The only people I personally know who think Wolverine is the greatest Marvel, are in middle school, or don't really read many comics that don't involve Wolverine, and don't get into the history of Marvel at all.

But I digress. On to the review. This movie is good. It's far better than the previous Wolverine solo movie. It's still not as good as any of the X-Men team films, but that doesn't make it any less fun to watch. The story is a bit confusing at times, but it is interesting and doesn't fall apart any. The action is great. That part is actually better than the core X-Men movies, but then those movies aren't actually meant to be action movies. The acting is all top notch, with Jackman giving a solid performance of a character he has come to define for a generation. The only sub-par performance of the movie is Svetlanta Khodchenkova as Viper. It's not even that she does a terrible acting job, but just that she never really felt like her character to me, as all the others did. Might have been as much the way she was written as the actress who portrayed her. Tao Okmato's portrayal of Mariko was very enjoyable. She did an excellent job of being vulnerable and strong at the same time. Her beauty and presence lit up every scene she was in.I was very happy to see Famke Janssen back as Jean, even if it was in a dream. She filled that role just as well as the X-Men movies.I wasn't too thrilled with the content of those dreams, though. After all the people who died in X3, Jean is the only one who even crosses Logan's mind? A bit selfish. And he's kissing her and having sex and stuff, while dealing with the guilt of having to kill her? What about the guilt of spending all his time fantasizing about his teammate's girl? His teammate who died horribly not too long ago, killed in fact my the girlfriend. He doesn't really seem too broken up about that part of it. Or Scott and Charles being dead. Never even mentions them. But dream after dream of Jean... It makes for poignant feel to the dream sequences, but just feels wrong mostly.

The main bad guy is interesting, if sad. I love the mecha Silver Samurai, though I find it funny that they make that character who was a mutant, into one that's not, while most of the bad guys in the series have had the opposite done to them (Juggernaut, Deathstrike, Deadpool, etc.) Oh, and by the way, I love swords. So I naturally enjoyed all the sword fighting in this film. The best action sequence to me was fight between Logan, Yuriko, and Noburo. This movie is loosely based on the first Wolverine comic mini-series, written by Chris Claremont, and drawn by Frank Miller. It's considered a classic Marvel story. It is indeed good. This movie doesn't capture the tragic action story of the comic, but it comes fairly close. The ending of the movie is a surprising optimistic feeling. Much better than Origins' plot holes and sad stick. There is an after credit scene, that alone makes the movie worth seeing, but I won't spoil it for you if you have yet to see this movie.

Without any relation to Marvel, this movie would be a slightly above average sci-fi action film, that captures some of the spirit of Japanese action films. But, it being a solid Marvel movie for me gives it a few more points, despite my feeling towards the lead character.

Action: 9 Acting: 8 Plot: 7 Dialog: 7 Romance: 7 Drama: 7 Special Effects: 8 Overall: 7

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