Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Moonlight Movie Reviews - The Wolverine

He's baaaaaack!!!

Can you imagine anyone else in this role? Yet, I have to admit that, after everyone seemed to hate the first Wolverine solo film, I wondered if we'd see more of Jackman in the part. It would have been disappointing, because he owns that role like Downey owns Stark, let's be honest here. I'll also throw in that, honestly, I really liked "X-Men Origins: Wolverine". Seriously, I don't get why people consider it a bad movie. The main two complaints I've heard about it are this: The CGI effects suck and they totally ruined Deadpool. More honesty here, I always point out that while I love superheroes and I do read comic books, I never have read many superhero comic books. I want to remedy that someday, but honestly, my superhero fandom comes from movies, cartoons, TV shows... and I was always more familiar with DC Comics characters, besides Spidey, Cap, and Hulk. Though I was aware of the X-Men, I barely knew anything about them before the movies, because I didn't watch that cartoon show. So, yeah, I know, I know that I know nothing and that fanboys have a right to be pissed if Deadpool, a very popular character, was trashed in Wolverine's first movie. However, I've since come to know a little about the character, and I've heard a lot of the complaints about the movie, and it seems their big issue was how he was depicted in the end. Bottom line, he is known for his smartass remarks and being generally talkative, yet in his first movie appearance, they sealed his mouth shut while experimenting on him, so during his role in the final battle he was silent. I am a bit puzzled that this made folks hate the movie and its portrayal of Deadpool. It was obvious at the end of the film that his character was not killed, and one can assume that, in the future film appearances they hinted at with the post credits bit, that he'd have his mouth unsealed... So, it seemed to me there was a big stink about nothing in that regard, unless the origin story was just sooo extremely off that it was anger inducing. Then, the CGI thing? Honestly, I didn't think it was so bad, I guess, since it didn't leave much of an impression on my as such. Maybe I've been desensitized to bad CGI by now, I don't know. But, enough about that, let's talk about the new Wolverine movie, which most people seem to really like. And well they should!

This movie kind of snuck up on me. I had no idea it was even being made, then I heard about it and saw some early teaser online, and it wasn't much later that it was out. It really surprised me, and I was even more surprised that the next X-Men film is already in the works, which was teased extremely well at the end of THIS film. But, I'm getting ahead of myself. Let me give a brief synopsis, as usual.

Wolverine, as you should know by now, is a mutant and one of the X-Men. He's been around since, like, pre-Civil War times, and because of his amazing healing abilities and that a military guy tricked him into being the subject of an experiment covering his entire skeleton with an indestructible metal, he is basically indestructible himself. He also has these awesome claws that come out from between his knuckles when he wants them to. That's Wolverine. He's a major tough guy, but a really good guy who is just annoyed at the world all the time. He chomps cigars and he'll tell you to fuck off before you say one word to him, but he'll save your ass too. Anyway, this film is actually set AFTER the X-Men films that have been made so far. As a result, Wolvy is always having nightmares about Jean Grey, a mutant woman he was in love with and had to kill before she destroyed everybody during the big battle in X-Men 3 that everyone seemed to hate (I liked that movie too; sorry, I liked all the X-Men movies, I wonder if most of the dislike is just from comic fans; that's understandable though, I can get peeved when I know they got something wrong that is important to me). Anyway, so Wolverine ends up meeting this Japanese girl named Yukio, a psychic mutant, while he is living in the Yukon and trying to keep to himself, and she takes him back with her to Japan to see her boss, a man named Yashida whom Wolverine had saved from the bombing of Nagasaki in 1945. Yashida is now a dying old man, and he wants to offer Wolverine a chance to be mortal so he can grow old and die. Though, Yashida wants more of a trade, really. He has a way to take Wolverine's mutant powers. In giving Wolverine immortality, he will be gaining it himself, as well as regaining his youth.

Now, it turns out Yashida is this extremely rich CEO these days, and he has a beautiful granddaughter who is soon to takeover when Yashida dies. Which is what happens shortly after Wolverine turns down his offer. But, this is not a good thing for the granddaughter, Mariko, who immediately becomes the target of the Yakuza, which is basically the Japanese mob. And that's worse than the real mob, because they have ninjas. Wolverine of course steps in to save her life and keep her safe as he tries to figure out why she is being targeted. But, things get very difficult for Wolverine after he is infected by a villainess called Viper and finds himself becoming all too human. The arrows, sword slashes and gun shot wounds begin to take their toll, and there is still a certain Silver Samurai to worry about.

"The Wolverine" is a classic adventure that many are relating to oldschool samurai movies. I have only seen a couple of those, and it's been a while. I'm sure it is very much like those, but I also find it very accidental-secret agent-ish, with a touch of Indiana Jones. Wolverine spends a lot of time traveling and hiding out in an effort to protect this girl while he tries to figure out what the heck is going on, why she's in danger. And, of course, it's still a superhero story with awesome fights and sci-fi powers, but there's less of the fantasy elements than you might expect during a lot of it, since the other X-Men are not involved and Wolverine is without his healing abilities during a good portion of the movie. The bottom line is that it relies a lot more on the story, characters and exotic setting than on the flashy superhero powers, which makes for a better film overall, even though it doesn't betray the character at all and the powers are still a huge part of the story. Aside from the lead character himself, the only thing that really reminds you that this is an X-Men movie is the Viper character. She's a little hokey in the way a lot of those X-Men villains are, while the rest of the film is just a really great action/adventure movie with a lot of exotic style. My dad would have really loved this one, I believe. I don't know how much appeal this film would have for the female crowd unless they're drawn in for Hugh Jackman's sake, but I think this one is tailor made for the majority of the male audience, as I think it can appeal greatly to not only comic fans, but non-fans as well. Jackman is still in top form in the lead role, you've got lovely Japanese women and settings, and a lot of awesome action and intrigue too. Admittedly, I'm not a huge fan of Famke Janssen's Jean Grey, and I could have done with less of her here, but it's worth dealing with for eveything else.  I'm gonna recommend this one pretty highly, gang. If you haven't caught it already, hurry out while it's still in theaters. There's a great bit during the credits with a couple of AWESOME cameos, so don't miss that. It is during the credits. I hear there is nothing after the credits, so I didn't wait for that. Seems like they are starting to move that stuff into the credits more often these days. Then again, Iron Man 3 still had a bit at the end that was well worth waiting for. Anyway, that's it for now! Get your butt to the movies!


  1. Had a nice time with this one. Not just because the action was exciting, but because the story actually had a heart to it surprisingly. Nice review.