EDITOR’S NOTE: Film Fans features local residents reviewing the movie of the week: “The Wolverine.” Want to be a film fan? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
3 out of 4 stars
This was the sixth part of the X-Men series, yet this time the Wolverine (aka Logan) really has his own story. The movie shows a past story of Logan saving a Japanese soldier (Yashida) during the Holocaust, in a Japanese Camp during WWII, where he was a prisoner. Logan ended up saving the soldier just as a bomb had exploded.
Decades later Yashida hunts Logan down to request that he come visit him. Logan is told Yashida is on his death bed, so respects his honor and goes to visit. Logan finds out more than what he is expecting from the dying man. Yashida wants to offer him the chance to be mortal. “The Wolverine” ends up tangled with ninjas and samurais, and the confusion of who to trust and not to trust. I will not go any further, so that I do not ruin the story line for you. I would say, if you like the X-Men series and/or Wolverine, definitely go to this movie, for it is well worth seeing. I also recommend that you stay after the ending credits too, for you will receive a nice bonus.
— Kelly Cain,
2 1/2 out of 4 stars
I love that Hugh Jackman can go from Broadway to the comics without losing credibility in either world. He may never be Oscar-nominated for his role as Canadian mutant and X-Men extraordinaire Wolverine, but that is certainly his defining role to this point in his career, and “The Wolverine” further cements his hirsute legacy as Logan.
The film runs mostly familiar ground for comic fans. Logan heads to Japan to visit the deathbed of the man Yashida, whose life he saved from the nuclear attack on Nagasaki in 1945, where Logan was a POW. The man offers Logan a unique opportunity in the form of mortality. This is appealing to Wolverine because he is still mourning the loss of his beloved Jean Grey, whom he was forced to kill in “X-Men: The Last Stand.” While in Japan, Logan falls for Yashida’s granddaughter Mariko.
This creates a bit of an existential crisis for Logan; he has had little to live for since Jean’s death, but Mariko offers a glimmer of meaning. It would have been interesting to see where original director Darren Aronofsky would have gone with all this. His replacement, James Mangold (“3:10 to Yuma”), does an admirable job with the action, but the internal crisis is forced to the background.
The highlight of the movie comes about a third of the way through the film in the form of an eye candy action sequence on top of a bullet train. It takes liberties with physics, but it is one awesome ride. This brief scene, not to mention Jackman, makes “The Wolverine” a worthwhile ticket.
— Jeremy Beauchamp, Lawrenceville
4 out of 4 stars
The movie picks up right after “X-Men: The Last Stand” when Wolverine killed Jean Grey (Famke Janssen). Logan, aka Wolverine (Hugh Jackman), is living in the Yukon woods feeling lost, remorseful, lonely, sad and wanting to die. He visits the town nearby when he needs to replenish his supplies. It is a hunting town and the hunters hunt in the same woods where he lives. To avenge a bear that was hunted and shot with an illegal arrow he goes to a bar in the town and attacks the hunter. It’s like déjà vu of when he first met Rogue. He encounters Yukio (Rila Fukushima), who was hired to give him something and take him to Japan to be reunited with Yashida.
The rest of the movie takes place in Japan and we see flashbacks of when Logan was a Japanese POW moments before the Atom bomb was dropped on Nagasaki. Wolverine saves a Japanese soldier Yashida (Hal Yamanouchi), in present day he is a very rich and powerful man in Japan who is old and dying. Yashida wants to thank Logan for saving his life, or does he?
In this installment we see Wolverine fighting an inner turmoil to decide if he wants to be mortal and die so he can be reunited with Jean, the love of his life, or remain an immortal and continue to be one of the X-Men, protecting and serving his kind or anyone in need. The movie does introduce Yukio who can see some of the future and Viper (Svetlana Khodchenkova) who spits deadly venom. There is also a surprise ending that you have to stay until all of the credits are rolled to see, so don’t be in a hurry to leave your seat. You won’t want to miss this.
A very enjoyable movie. As an X-Men fan, I truly enjoyed seeing Wolverine at his best.
— Gail Nunez-