The Wolverine is an important movie for the popular character. After the critical failure that is X-Men Origins: Wolverine this is the movie that will decide if the character can carry movies on his own, or will be reduced back to being just a part of the X-Men movies. The good news is the The Wolverine is better than its predecessor, the bad news is it’s still not the movie I was hoping for.
The movie starts off with Wolverine/Logan living in the wilderness of Northern America. When getting into a bar fight a young Asian girl comes to his aid and reveals she was tracking him down for some time now. Her surrogate father is an old acquaintance of Logan from World War II. Logan saved his life once and now that he’s on his death bed the old man wants to thank him in person. Reluctantly Wolverine accepts and heads off to Tokyo where he will encounter the Yakuza, a mutant named Venom and his own mortality.
Though The Wolverine begins pretty good it quickly becomes an overlong story which is even boring at certain points. Now I must add that I watched the Extended version but I can’t hardly imagine trimming the movie 10 minutes will create a much more fluid movie. Another problem I had was the setting. Aside from the opening 10 minutes the movie is set in Tokyo and features a largely Japanese cast. I’ve never found Tokyo, or Japan for that matter, to be very interesting and/or engaging in movies. It’s partly due to the cultural differences but also the cliches that are always here: the honor element for one, but also the Yakuza. Every time a movie made by Americans is set in Japan the bad guys are members of the Yakuza. They had Yakuza in 1989’s Punisher movie, here they use the Yakuza… The next Wolverine movie should feature Nazi’s for a change!
It’s all not as bad as the Origins movie, but still, somewhere out there must be a good standalone story for our favorite mutant. The movie does have some cool action scenes, most notably one on top of a high speed train. Wolverine becomes mortal which finally puts him in real jeopardy and the Silver Samurai is a cool nemesis. But the movie could have had a better pacing and could have even done without all the Jean Grey ghost scenes and even with the now obligatory Wolverine tied to a table scene. That guy gets tied up in every movie I think. He should try to get tied up in a really good movie.