Rating: 4/5 stars (Four Stars)
Star cast: Hugh Jackman, Rila Fukushima, Will Yun Lee, Svetlana Khodchenkova, Famke Janssen.
Director: James Mangold
What’s Good: An energetic and persuasive narrative that keeps the Wolverine frenzy alive and bubbling!
What’s Bad: Perhaps with a base little too existential, the film might turn out to be a washout for people who will go looking for graze-to-the-ground destruction ala other superhero releases this Summer.
Loo break: None
Watch or Not?: James Mangold’s The Wolverine is surprising, engaging and fascinating to the hilt. With delectable dosage of energetic and thrilling action, this edition of Wolverine is way beyond mere superhero mediocrity. Whether you are a Wolverine fan or not, don’t miss Hugh Jackman’s top notch performance in a film whose soul is well-spirited.
Living in despair, a detached Logan has enveloped himself in an exile of sorts until a young woman Yukio comes looking for him with a message from her Master Yashida, a soldier Logan had saved during the 2nd World War in Nagasaki. Travelling all the way to Tokyo, Yashida makes an offer that gets Logan thinking. Offering to relieve him of his prolonged and tiresome immortality that is wearing him out, Logan is entrapped by his soldier vein in trying to save Yashida’s heir, his granddaughter. So does Logan give up his mutant superpowers and submits to an ordinary life of familial bliss is what The Wolverine will answer for its audiences!
The Wolverine Review: Script Analysis
There is no shying from the audience’s pre-existing penchant for Wolverine. Coming back on celluloid after a hiatus, The Wolverine is a semi delicious story garnished with noir-ish beauty. This time the backstory is traced all the way to the nuclear mishap in Nagasaki where Logan had saved a Japanese Soldier. Logan haunted by the fractures of his guilt of slaying Jean, his self imposed exile ends when a mysterious woman Yukio takes him back to Tokyo to bid farewell to the soldier he had saved all those years back.
There is an overwhelming sense of Logan’s exasperation with his immortality in the film’s first half. The writers were careful in mentioning his sympathetic tug right at the outset by showing his warmth for a grizzly bear. Shown to have mostly lost the living zeal, Logan is faced with an appealing and hard to refuse offer – to be able to become a mortal. I do have my share of disappointments, especially with the overdoing of its romantic angle, but it all knots up exquisitely. With a ninja dimension to our superhero, this film stands out for a few stellar scenes minus the bone breaking and acrobatics.
There are a few distinguishable scenes which invariably stand as the series’ highlight points. Be it the swanky ninja scuffle on top of a bullet train or the scene where Logan quivers after being hit by arrows (a Kurusawa scene done famously) depicting the fall of a raging beast, the film is incredible for splendidly delivering thrill without compromising on the story’s integrity.
The Wolverine Review: Star Performances
Hugh Jackman is once again top notch as Logan. He is impressive in the role whose skin he seems to identify as intensely as his own. Rendering both steel like grit and infallible emotional vulnerability, he never loses sight of the plot or the grip on his character. I am still finding it hard to erode from my head the scene where he has to cut through himself and pull out a virus weapon from his heart. There is intricacy in his portrayal with both power and torment in Logan’s act.
Tao Okamoto as Mariko is earnest and believable but it is Famke Janssen who is more impactful as a mere shadow of the woman Logan loved.
The camaraderie between Jackman and Rila Fukushima is more involving, especially with her pleasant screen presence.
Svetlana Khodchenkova as Viper has the right measure of the air of menace which indisputably is brilliant.
But overall, Jackman with his edgy physicality and brave performance pulls this film through with such grandeur.
The Wolverine Review: Direction, Screenplay and Music
James Mangold’s brilliance lies in shelling out the bromidic with solemn conviction. Giving the indestructible Adamantium hero, mortal hints, and this edition has Logan feeling shaky about his mutant powers and how he must surpass his inner demons as well as enemies to reign triumphant. The screenplay writers follow Frank Miller but still manage to infuse realism in well sculptured action voyages of our hero. The cinematography is lucid especially in the Saumrai-fight scenes. The climactic fight between two Adamantium heroes, one of flesh and blood and other of metal is what was enforcing fun. The narrative is provoking and this one is perhaps the most satiating and unmatchable work from the Wolverine repertoire. You might find the angst of the film overblown and miss the regular Jackman style one-liners, but the overall product is bravura!
The Wolverine Review: The Last Word
Mangold’s ‘The Wolverine’ lives up to its hype as it emerges as an enormously compelling film which transposes the Marvel series with sheer cinematic delight. Hugh Jackman in his hulking presence is crackling and remits a riveting performance. As a fan of this series and Jackman, I cannot settle for anything less than 4/5 for this indulgent film. Go catch this one, and I assure you it’ll be rewarding!
The Wolverine Trailer
The Wolverine releases on 26h July, 2013.
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