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Movie Review: The Wolverine

the-wolverine-posterBy JANEY MONTEBON-DUTERTE

What it is: The 6th installment in the X-Men movie series. It follows the events after X-Men: The Last Stand where Wolverine ended up killing Jean Grey, the love of his life.

In a nutshell: A conflicted and aimless Logan travels to Japan at the request of a dying man whose life he once saved.

The result: It’s round after round of battling bad guys, and it went like this:

Round 1: Logan versus tattooed Yakuza thugs.

Round 2: Logan versus deranged samurai.

Round 3: Logan versus ninjas!

..and Final Round: Logan versus evil giant robot samurai.

And no, I’m not kidding.

There’s also an anime-looking, katana-weilding warrior girl with fiery red hair, a Japanese version of Hawk Eye with wicked ninja parkour skills, a stereotypical sleazy high-ranking official with a douche-stache, an evil Caucasian blonde villain woman, and a demure kimono-clad princess that needs saving. And oh, the first scene is about the bombing of Nagasaki.

It’s like they’ve crammed everything interesting about Japan in a single movie. And Wolverine happened to be right smack in the middle of it all, fielding ninja arrows and samurai swords left and right while struggling with his newfound mortality.

Don’t get me wrong, it was immensely fun to watch. The movie alternates between intense fighting and inner conflicts, and how Logan embraces his Wolverine self and just rises above it all.

The verdict:

So okay, first you need to understand that I love the X-Men. I mean, come on, I grew up humming the opening theme of the X-Men cartoon show and spent Friday nights glued to the TV, eagerly awaiting each episode. Not to mention the trading cards that I secretly stashed and neatly arranged in a photo album, hidden somewhere safe inside my room.

Second, I love popcorn flicks just as much as the next guy, and I always line up for superhero movies.

Third, I’m a big fan of Hugh Jackman. That guy is not just an actor, he’s the real deal: a true artist.

So having said all that, when I tell you that I wasn’t too thrilled with the movie, you’ll probably understand that I really wanted to like it and I really did try my best. Unfortunately, somewhere along the middle of the movie, in between samurai fights and all the ninja stunts, my mind began wandering elsewhere. For such an action-packed movie, it was a bit dragging and I actually found myself hoping we’d get to the end quickly.

Maybe I was expecting too much? Is it because I had marked my calendar with this movie’s opening date and waited for more than a month to watch it on opening day?

On the upside though, Hugh Jackman is absolutely fantastic. He just shines in every scene and has this commanding presence that dominates the entire movie. He makes Wolverine very believable, claws and all. No doubt about it, this is a Hugh Jackman-fest.

Rating: 6 out of 10. And make sure to watch the extra scenes after the credits.

If you haven’t seen the movie yet, stop reading here. But if you’ve seen it already, feel free to proceed.

* * * * * S P O I L E R A L E R T* * * * * * * * S P O I L E R A L E R T* * * * * *

Some stuff about the movie my husband and I discussed as we left the movie house:

1. It would have been great (and a bit relevant to the comics) if Mariko’s character turned out to be Lady Deathstrike. The similarities are there: her being Japanese, a daughter (or in this case, grand daughter) of a crime lord, and Logan’s love interest. Mariko, just like Yuriko (Lady Deathstrike’s real name), also has a boyfriend who is the top henchman of his grand-dad. So it’s not far-fetched at all to think that Mariko’s character might be based on Lady Deathstrike.

Unfortunately, Lady Deathstrike has already appeared in a previous X-Men movie, as Col. Stryker’s henchwoman, so it would be absurd to resurrect the character. Quite a shame, really, since that character wasn’t based on any backstory and just seemed to run along with Col. Stryker for no reason at all.

2. During that part when Logan’s adamantium claws were cut off and this new boney claws came out, it got a bit weird. It looked like bone, but it was supposed to be adamantium, right? I mean, his skeletal structure is made of adamantium so it is only logical that if he pushes out a new set of claws, it would still look like adamantium. Only it didn’t; it looked like regular bone, which made it sort of difficult for me to reconcile.

But in the bonus scene with Magneto and Professor X, Magneto was able to control Logan’s hand, so I’m concluding that it’s still adamantium. The film makers should’ve just made it metallic-looking in the first place, to avoid a similar confusion like mine.

Feel free to let me know what you think. 🙂