I’ve always been a fan of Wolverine. Always one of my favorite X-Men characters (me and most other people) … after Phoenix and before Rogue/Shadowcat … and probably Psyche… I liked her a lot for a while. Not entirely sure why. Like so many folks, I collected trading cards when I was younger. My area was female Marvel characters. Of the 50+ cards I had, THIS was the only card I had with a male character.
I’ve always been a fan of the Wolverine/Mariko storyline.
General and Epilepsy
Epilepsy has no issues here. Somewhat surprising given that it’s an action film, but as it’s an action film with few gunfights … well I suppose it’s not so surprising.
This movie continues from the third (and AWFUL) X3. Jean is dead by Logan’s hands (claws), and he’s suffering from extreme guilt. Completely understandable. What I like is this one movie sort of bookends the previous four X-Men movies. It comes before X-Men Origins (thus before the fantastic “fuck you” scene) and after (as already mentioned) X3.
The movie is based on the Wolverine comic series (shocking, I know) and sets up his engagement to Mariko. (Uh, spoiler? I maybe shouldn’t have mentioned how the lead male and lead female have a romantic involvement? Don’t worry, I knew before hand and it was fine.)
It’s also features Viper, that snake-tongued, poisonous, blond lady from the trailers, and a few other notable Marvel characters.
Technical and Actors
I would like to applaud some of the cinematography in this film. A few scenes (the one from the trailers where Logan is pin cushioned with arrows connected to ropes, set during a snowy night) felt very much like vintage Japanese samurai movies. I don’t think this was coincidental. Don’t get me wrong, the whole thing wasn’t like this, the bullet train section, for example, was standard modern-action-scene fare.
As far as the acting goes, everyone was pretty on point. No one felt particuarly outstanding, and I wasn’t annoyed by any bad acting. I didn’t really care to see Jean, Famke Janssen, again, but the flashbacks made sense.
Tao Okamoto, who plays Mariko, needs to eat a few donuts. That girl is way skinny. Rila Fukushima, who plays Yukio, is super badass.
Technically he’s Korean-American and not Japanese, but this is completely forgivable as at least he’s not white. Or Keanu Reeves. I’m looking at you 47 Ronin.
As I said, this sort of follows the old Wolverine comic, but whatever. Not perfectly.
Back in 1945, Logan was in Japan right as the US dropped The Bomb. He was a prisoner of some sort, and as he’s pre-adamantium, his claws are pure bone, not adamantium coated. Not really story important at this point, but I like that they made a point to use this. As the bomb falls, he manages to save a Japanese soldier, revealing himself and his mutation in the process.
Jump to the “present”, or post-X3. Logan is back in Northern Canada, running away from the world. Except this time he’s gone full woodsman, not just hanging out in crappy bars. He’s pretty much isolated himself while having nightmares and flashbacks nightly.
He’s contacted by Yukio, an employee of the man he’d once saved, and he follows her to Tokyo. As the trailers show, the man is dying, wants Logan’s immortality, Logan says “You don’t want what I’ve got” with a “bub” in there somewhere. Viper takes it anyway. Logan realizes this when he gets shot and doesn’t heal.
Mariko, the man’s granddaughter, is targeted so Logan takes her and they flee Tokyo.
There are ninjas.
Parts of this story seem fairly slow. The train-fighting scene for example felt extremely forced. An action scene for the point of just adding a big action scene.
Interesting to Note
Stupid. Stupid. Stupid.
WHY do some people leave Marvel movies when the movie “ends”. By this point doesn’t everyone know that there’s going to be an end scene?
Loved it. Will watch it again. Why would I not? Samurais, ninjas, ladies kicking ass, Wolverine. Wolverine. Will Yun Lee. Japan. Ninjas. Wolverine. Really, really liked it.