The Wolverine (2013)

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Hugh Jackman in The Wolverine

With another chapter coming this year and this movie from 2013 to help “bridge” that upcoming installment with ‘The Last Stand,’ the popular X-Men don’t seem to be losing momentum in the hearts of fans – or the box office. 

Drifting and being a loner is what Logan (Hugh Jackman) seems to do best. His life has become a shamble of what it once was and he’s now living a nomadic life in the mountains. No matter how far he runs he can’t shake the memories of Jean Grey nor can he escape Yukio (Rila Fukushima), a young woman who has sought him out at the request of her boss, a man Logan once saved during World War II. Dying, Yashida wishes to thank Logan but once he arrives to speak with this long-ago acquaintance, Logan realizes the man has ulterior motives. Shortly after arriving, Yashida dies and Logan prepares to return home only tying into Yashida’s scheme is the kidnapping plot of his granddaughter Mariko (Tao Okamoto), a woman, Logan takes upon himself to protect all while trying to stay one step ahead of the people on their trail. 

No matter what else happens or what may go “boom!” with the X-Men and their adventures, it seems fated for Logan to always be painted as a kind of tragic figure. The first time I met him, his tranquil life was disrupted and he was soon grieving the loss of the woman he loved. In The Wolverine he’s again still not over the loss of another woman he fell for and eventually, he seeks comfort in the arms of yet another woman who he winds up kissing good-bye. Oh, dear! It would appear, Logan is not a man who will get his happy ending. If a viewer can move beyond that, I didn’t dislike this edition to the X-Men trilogy. It’s a film that probably could stand on its own considering with exception to the epilogue scene that sets up the next movie, none of the characters from prior movies appear – there are no mutants for all intents and purposes, and in its place is a script that simply chronicles Logan rediscovering his purpose.

FILM REVIEW | X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009)

Moving the story to a location or situation that we’ve not seen Logan – or any of his fellow mutants, conquer was interesting. I didn’t love nor hate it and was a bit disappointed at the start of the movie to find Logan moping… again. Once I adjusted my expectations, I enjoyed this installment. As usual, the stunts are a-m-a-z-i-n-g and probably in some respect “bigger” than its predecessors (not just by literal reasons). The climax is not only big in its scope but also manages to weave an emotional connotation into its reveal. Save for the beginning, the movie jumps right into the pulse-pounding action, and barely stops. Again, the acting is wonderful; it’s been ideal to watch a series keep the same person as a central character rather than a hero who comes in for one or two movies only to bow out eventually. Writers seem conflicted over whom they want Logan to be… and that is growing demeaning. Every cloud does have a silver lining and we accept the good with the bad; I like Logan being still at the forefront of this series but am beginning to feel like his story should be devoid of romantic entanglements. For me, just admitting this is unusual because I usually like the hero to find happiness, yet with the way things are going, Logan seems to always be saying good-bye.

Famke Janssen and Hugh Jackman

If you’re an avid fan of this series, then The Wolverine is a must-see. It’s got a decent script although I cannot pretend that I didn’t miss seeing some fan favorites return. Because of the general mood of the script, I will say, this film doesn’t retain the same light-heartedness as before though taking a more serious approach to the material works – plus Logan’s limits are tested beyond any of his other dutiful rescue missions or promise to protect and as a result of that, I’m particularly interested to see where ‘Days of Future Past’ is going to take this character. Though as with the entire series, who knows in what timeline order the upcoming movie will fall... that's the question to be asked. 

(Parental review: it’s implied Logan sleeps with a woman [there’s a shot of them lying together] and there are dream sequences while he’s in bed involving Logan remembering Jean [kissing]. There’s a scene of a man dancing with/caressing three women in a hotel room. There are a few other suggestive scenes as well as lots of curve-hugging, inappropriate clothing on various female characters. The body count piles up throughout the entire movie and some of it is a bit “graphic” or bloody – Logan rips an implement out of his chest, opponents clash with swords and end up bleeding out or a massive machine tears apart anything in its path. Logan’s person is brutally attacked in the climax. Bullets fly and there is a bar scuffle in the opening of the film. There’s also some drinking. Profanity includes an f-word, multiple uses of lesser profanities including sh*t, b*tch, etc. as well as abuse of God’s name. The film rates PG13.)


  1. I liked this movie and especially its butt-kicking Asian heroine but I do think movies that feature all of the X-Men have more clout. When I got to the end and everyone "froze" -- I started squealing in the theater, since I knew Magneto and Xavier were about to show up. Logan is indeed a tragic figure -- his life stinks.

    1. I agree. I enjoyed this installment but honestly, I felt like something was "missing." Maybe it was Logan's more familiar pals being absent... I don't know. Or perhaps I just wasn't in the right "mood" for an X-Men adventure. ;) Either way, I still liked The Wolverine and suspect that a second viewing will endear it more.

      LOVED that end scene; it was fabulous to see those two friends turned foes show up.

    2. Wolverine is a "beloved" character, but he's not strong enough to carry his own film. The heart and soul of the X-Men franchise is the friendship between Eric and Charles. I like many of the mutants, but I always watch it for them! (Looking forward to the new one this spring!)

    3. I know you didn't like it any but I liked Logan's 'Origins' movie and see, in that one, he was surrounded by fellow mutants too. Beyond that, Logan is just one tragic life after the next. It's sad, really.

      I'm just as excited for the upcoming movie! It looks smashing plus getting the "old" faces with the newbies...? Brilliant. ;)

  2. I knew as soon as I saw the previews that I would like this movie and I wasn't disappointed. I especially liked Mariko. She was an excellent female character.

    1. By the way, I just realized I haven't commented here for a while. I've kept up on some of the posts but I've been busy with other things. :)

    2. Glad you enjoyed the movie, Lauren! I think a second viewing will endear the movie to me more also. :)

      It's great to "see" you here, Lauren! Glad you were able to stop by - you're always welcome. :)


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