I went to see “The Wolverine.” Not because I thought it would be a particularly good movie, but because I knew there would be a teaser for next year’s “X-men: Days of Future Past.” (Which I’m sorta, just a little, really REALLY excited for!)
And I got exactly what I expected.
This review may come off as a bit of a rant. I won’t apologize for that. I will apologize on behalf of James Mangold and the team behind “The Wolverine” because they’re the one who should really be sorry. Also, fair warning, this will have spoilers.
“The Wolverine” takes place some amount of time after “X-Men: The Last Stand.” Logan/ Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) has left the mutant mansion and is living alone in the Canadian Wilderness tortured by dreams of his lost love Jean Grey/ Phoenix (Famke Janssen). A badass ginger Asian (Yukio, Rila Fukushima) comes with a message for him. He’s summoned to Japan by some rich old dude (Yashida, Hal Yamanouchi) he saved in WWII who’s dying.
Old dude tells Logan he’s got some fancy technology that can make him mortal. He thinks Logan is misusing his “gift” and wants it for himself so he can live longer. Logan says no and old dude dies that night. At the funeral there is an attack and attempted kidnapping plot of old dude’s granddaughter, Marigold. (Actually I think it was really Mariko (Tao Okamoto) but I prefer Marigold.)
Naturally, Logan steps in and saves her. Marigold shows her gratitude by acting like a petulant teenager and spoiled princess and trying to ditch Logan as quickly as possible. Our Logan won’t let that happen though, but something’s not right. Oh yea, old dude doesn’t hear “No” too often and his “doctor” lady blocked Wolverine’s healing ability so can get hurt now.
There’s some running and hiding and fighting and flashbacks to Logan in the war (which doesn’t make sense, but we’ll get to that later) and people come and take Marigold back. Now, who was behind the kidnapping attempts?
Good question. I honestly don’t know. It was either her father. Or her fiancee. Or poison dr. lady. Or a group of high skilled ninjas led by Marigold’s old boyfriend that’s sworn his loyalty to the old dude. None of them seem to like her, but it’s never very clear why. Although, based on her personality, I wouldn’t have been that upset if they’d killed her.
Somewhere in the middle of this Logan ends up falling in love with her. Not sure when, or why, but it happens. I asked my friend about it and his response was basically because she’s his great love interest in the comics. If they’d shown any development of their relationship, or you know, made her a little bit likeable, it’d be easier to forgive.
Final showdown is at a factory where dr. lady, aka Viper (Svetlana Khodchenkova), has built a giant silver samurai robot. Forgot to mention, Viper is a mutant also with a viper-like tongue and can spit poison. She’s the big villain of this movie and wants to destroy Wolverine for no other reason than it says so in the script.
(I’m pretty sure that was every character’s motivation, cause their actions make no sense otherwise.)
Logan is fighting the robot. Robot cuts off Wolverine’s claws. Badass ginger Asian is fighting Viper. Viper is shedding her skin and hair. Lots of loud noises and swords clinging and original bone claws coming out and the robot’s head comes off to reveal the old dude, alive-ish and still really wanting that immortality and healing factor.
Too bad. Wolverine kills him. Also finds his will to live again. Yay!?
So many things wrong with this movie. And I don’t mean for a comic fan standpoint, I mean from a film fan standpoint. I’ve never read the comics so I can’t speak to that. I really liked the first three “X-Men” movies. Logan was definitely the central character of those films so when they went to make a single mutant movie it makes sense they’d start with him.
But they already tried that with “X-Men: Origins” and it didn’t work. There are hundreds of mutants to choose from. Each with their own backstory and character arcs just as interesting as Wolverine’s. Why go back to him when you have so many others to choose from?
Why focus on just one anyway?
The X-Men are a team. It makes sense that they’re movies would work better when they’re about that team. There’s no “i” in mutant!
Logan and the badass ginger are the ONLY good things about this movie. No one else is likable. They aren’t even good villains. We don’t find out anything about them or why they’re doing what they’re doing. Nothing makes any sense.
Also, from a timeline point of view, even if you’ve never read the comics and only seen the movies there’s a big problem. Around the same time Logan’s skeleton was turned into adamantium he lost his memory. He shouldn’t remember the old dude or WWII or the fact that he use to have bone claws. He thought the claws were something Striker did to him. When they pop out at the end he should be freaking out! But he’s not. WTF?!?
Another problem I had with this film is more of a personal one. I have a small problem watching flesh get ripped open, especially when metal is involved. There were substantial chunks of this movie I didn’t watch. One in particular where he finds out there’s a thing in his body blocking his healing factor so he has to go in to his own body and dig it out and I can’t go on … use your imagination.
I can’t say I was at all disappointed because it’s what I expected. A shitty movie that was better than “Origins” but no where near as good as “First Class.”
Speaking of “X-Men: First Class,” let’s talk about the teaser scene mid-credits – OH MY FUCKING GOD !!! SO GREAT !! I CAN NOT WAIT FOR MAY 23 WHEN THIS THING FINALLY COMES OUT !!!
It opens with Logan going through airport security, on the TV is a commercial for Trask Industries, suddenly he notices coins floating out of the x-ray trays and that the people have stopped moving. He turns around quickly, bone claws extended, and who does he see?
That’s right, Magneto.
He then turns back around to see his old friend Prof. X wheeling around the frozen humans.
“I thought you died?” Wolverine asks.
“You’re not the only one with gifts,” the professor simply responds.