I’m back after a four month hiatus. So now, I’ll start my comeback with a movie review of The Wolverine. I’ve reviewed the anime back in 2011 which is part of the Marvel anime project created by Madhouse. So, to be fair, I’ve decided to review the movie as well. The anime’s and the movie’s plot is based from the 4 part comic mini series written by Chris Claremont where Wolverine goes to Japan and meets Mariko. While the anime is decent, the movie really made it more entertaining as it connects the story with the X-Men 3: The Last Stand. Oh, and this movie seemed to throw out anything related to X-Men: Origins as if it never happened XD. Note: This movie is NOT an X-Men movie. Sure, Wolverine is a member of the X-Men but remember, he appeared before the debut of the X-Men.
So, as I said, this is the story where Logan goes to Japan while he copes the loss of his love, Jean Grey. Here, he meets Ichiro Yashida, a former Japanese soldier whom he saved back when Nagasaki got nuked, who offers him that he can remove his “immortality” and to protect his granddaughter, Mariko, from his enemies. Of course, lots of things happen where he got chased by the yakuza and black ninjas. There’s also a female mutant named Viper who I found her very annoying.
The movie indeed made connections to the 3 X-Men movies though there’s some plot holes which can be bothersome. For example, Wolverine’s memory loss prior to 1979 in the first X-Men movie. Logan doesn’t remember his past life and yet, he knows who Ichiro Yashida is. So, since Origins is somehow non-canon, is Logan suffering from selective amnesia or what? But of course, the memory loss dilemma that Logan is searching for wasn’t anymore a big deal since the X-Men 2. But still, it bugs me.
As for the characters, Mariko is more badass and involved in the story. She doesn’t always rely on Logan’s help and was expecting it. The most awesome part about her is that she even saved Logan from the Silver Samurai after she found out his true identity. The romance between her and Logan is typically like a one night stand granted that Logan still loves Jean and that he needed someone to comfort him. Oh, I like that fact that she didn’t died in the end unlike in the comics and the anime.
Yukio is still badass as her counterpart in the anime and comics plus, she’s more caring. The only thing that I didn’t like is her Gothic appearance. I didn’t like how the director mentioned that he changed Yukio’s hair color just to evoke the image of an anime heroine. It sounds stereotype to me.
For the bad guys, I think the yakuza are more badass than the main antagonists themselves. Srsly, they can even fight Logan one-on-one on a fast moving bullet train. There’s also a lot of changes in the main antagonists most especially on Shingen and the Silver Samurai. These changes are okay but I really don’t like that the Silver Samurai looked like a gigantic mech straight out from Tony Stark’s armory. It’s a bit ridiculous actually.
Acting-wise, Hugh Jackman is still the best along with Rila Fukishima (Mariko) and Tao Okamoto (Yukio), who made their film debut here. Hiroyuki Sanada (Shingen) and Wil Yun Lee (Harada) are good here but I really dislike Viper’s actress.
The Wolverine seem to be better critically-wise while the audience tried to figure if this is better than Origins. The fight scenes were really entertaining plus the scenery is beautiful though some of the scenes were filmed in Sydney. The twists in the story weren’t really surprising. It somehow remind me of the The Dark Knight Rises and Iron Man 3. I wasn’t a bit of a shock but more of a “meh”. The Japanese dialogue is….uhm, idk. As someone who watches anime and a bunch of J-dramas for the past years, it’s very cheesy. Oh, there’s also a stinger in the mid-credits which connects to X-Men: The Days of the Future Past. That’s one of the best parts of this movie.
So, I think The Wolverine managed to overcome the criticism from Origins and The Last Stand. Though not on the same level as X-Men: First Class which was well received. It’s more of a film noir than a superhero movie but still, you can enjoy if you’re a Wolverine fan.