Today I have the pleasure of Joseph (who blogs over at JVT Workshop) guesting for me! Joseph is reviewing the 2013 Wolverine; "When Wolverine is summoned to Japan by an old acquaintance, he is embroiled in a conflict that forces him to confront his own demons." (IMDb)
"I feel violated," says Logan at one point in the film. That accurately describes it.
Wolverine (portrayed nicely again by Hugh Jackman) is a mutant who has superhuman regenerative powers and bone blades that like to come out of his knuckles. Living a solitary life for something he did in his past he is tracked down and invited by a now elderly and dying Japanese man he saved from a nuke during WWII. As a reward for saving his skin back then the man offers to kill Wolverine. Obviously he doesn't enjoy that notion but the dying old dude won't take no for an answer.
Since when does Wolverine need a Katana?
So... Wolverine vs dying old man. Whaaa? To make it interesting, Wolverine has his powers almost nullified early on so that normal folk can now hurt him. I have to ask why he wasn't just immediately subdued at that point but the plot meanders along through what seem to be unnecessary hoops just to lengthen the movie and add a love interest. At least she speaks clear english. The other female japanese lead, not so much. I suppose I should mention that being set in Japan, there is a lot of japanese spoken. Not all of it is subtitled. I hate it when they do that.
After a lot of fighting yakuza and ninjas (because Japan!) whose quality ranges from "pretty damn good" thanks to Hiroyuki Sanada's sword mastery, to a "ridiculous bullet train sequence", it finally returns to Wolverine getting "violated" and eventually earning a body guard. Because apparently he needs one. The film ends with one character asking "Where to?" and the other character has no reply. Probably a good mirror of the higher ups asking how to continue the Wolverine franchise after this movie.
The obvious answer was to do a "go back in time and change these f*ing mistakes" which happens in X-Men: Days of Future Past that released the following year.
I give The Wolverine two claws out of five and don't really have a desire to see it again. After all, even the actual franchise tried to erase all the events that happened in it! :P
- Joseph from JVT Workshop