The Wolverine (2013)
Director: James Mangold
Cast: Hugh Jackman, Tao Okamoto, Rila Fukushima
Plot: Summoned to Japan by an old acquaintance, Wolverine becomes embroiled in a conflict that forces him to confront his own demons.
Genre: Action / Fantasy
Rating: PG13 for sequences of intense sci-fi action and violence, some sexuality and language/
IN RETROSPECT (Guest Review by Yue Jie)
This film was reviewed in the 3D format
It all boils down to one line. It is this line that will determine his objective to complete a task given to fulfill the greed of a mortal. With sharp claws and healing powers that make him who he is, Wolverine needs no introduction. Not at least to fans of X-Men and the Marvel Comics. After five installments of the X-Men movies where Hugh Jackman plays the iconic superhero, Jackman stars as Logan once again in none other than The Wolverine.
Directed by James Mangold, who last collaborated with Jackman in Kate & Leopold (2001), The Wolverine is based on and loosely adapted from the 1982 ‘Wolverine’ Japanese comic book. The Wolverine takes place several years after the events of X-Men: The Last Stand and sees Logan on his own. When a messenger comes to seek him and brings him to Japan, Logan finds himself at his wit’s end and trapped in a land foreign to him.
The Wolverine comprises of an international cast from Russia and of course, Japan. Rila Fukushima plays Yukio, the messenger tasked to bring Logan to Japan and bid farewell to a dying Yashida, the head of a Japanese company whom has always wanted to meet him. Fashion model and first-time actress Tao Okamoto plays Mariko Yashida, Yashida’s granddaughter that Logan tries to protect and becomes his eventual love interest. Russian actress Svetlana Khodchenkova plays Viper, a fellow mutant with immunity to toxins and works alone.
This film is perhaps the most intimate and deepest look at Wolverine thus far, and examines the possibility of Wolverine not only being mortal, but also vulnerable to death, with his special abilities being nearly stripped off of him. For the first time, Logan actually feels pain and suffers from fatigue, and this is shown when he decides to take a seat on a bench midway while walking.
With a formidable foe designed specially to take Wolverine down and a love interest to care for, Logan faces with the ultimate struggle of fending for himself and saving his loved ones. The powers of his abilities are put to the test and Logan has to use sheer strength to survive the onslaught of attacks.
Given the predictability of the storyline, Mangold thrills with scenic views of Japan, its cities and its culture, with instances such as placing chopsticks down on the table and not in a bowl of rice as dinner etiquette. As would be expected, samurais, ninjas and Japanese thugs are involved in most of the fight scenes where Logan usually finds himself outnumbered.
The Wolverine is more of a thriller than a blockbuster and gives a more in-depth perspective of Logan’s character and the humane side of him. Being released in 3D marks the first for Fox’s Marvel films, though the extra dimension does not add much effect in particular. Nevertheless, it remains a joy to watch Wolverine claw his way through enemies in succession. Do remember to stay after the end for an extra scene midway through the credits!
Rating: 4 stars
Click here to go back to Central Station.