I just had to give my two cents worth on this weekend’s big hit “The Wolverine” since I totally trashed, heavily here, many times, the god damn awful X-men Origins: Wolverine any chance I could get in the past! So “The Wolverine” was something I was completely ready to hate, however before the movie started I decided I would forget that last venture as hard as it could be. I’ve got to say though, once The Wolverine started rolling I couldn’t take my eyes off the screen. It was clear from the first five minutes we were getting a completely different type of film. One that was ready to let Jackman finally shine as everybody’s favorite feral mutant. This was NOT a hokey dumbed down cartoon Wolverine movie, like it’s predecessor. Nope, this one was straight up Wolverine from the comic books!
Here Wolverine is done far better that any of his previous onscreen appearances. Jackman proves and practically erases those past movies except for the referencing of the third and worst X-men film of the franchise. Still though I give it props for sticking with the continuity- So no problems there. Wolverine in this one is a mean bastard, ready to kill, drink, swear and thoroughly fuck up anyone who pisses him off-FINALLY!
Jackman not only proves he loves Wolverine, but actually makes you feel something real for the character. It makes you root for the poor soul, hoping that maybe he’ll get some peace of mind for once in his life and maybe, just maybe find real love, if anything so he can stop having weird ass fantasies about a kinda creepy looking Famke Janssen every ten minutes. However weird these dream sequences were with her popping up all over the film, it still made sense as we all know Wolverine’s past obsession with Jean Grey, that made for a great love triangle in the comic books. Yet I couldn’t help but want to yell out at the screen to Logan to “get the fuck over it already dude!!!” But in a way I felt strangely sorry for the guy.
So this movie finally gets it right, almost and I’ll get to that. The movie was beautifully filmed, Jackman acts his ass off and the character’s fully believable this time. You could tell he was determined NOT to let die hard Wolverine fans down again. This one has some great action scenes and some really brutal violence. At least as heavy as you could possibly get with a PG-13 rating. I am hoping there’s an unrated directors cut-PLEASE! It also features a great supporting cast of almost entirely foreign actors. I especially loved his new movie sidekick or should I say “bodyguard” Yukio, played by Rila Fukushima.
It’s a movie that from the preview, seemed pretty mediocre at best but somehow rose above to levels I wasn’t expecting. Even the initially hokey looking train fight sequence in the preview somehow worked in it’s entirety by looking, feeling and sounding somehow realistic. What I really loved about the movie was the small compact story. It was a story that didn’t need two dozen different mutants-it for the most part pitted Wolverine against ordinary, yet skilled Yakuza and ninjas. Some of the best fights were Logan facing off against normal human villains, who were though highly skilled martial artists.
The movie felt like a real man’s journey, one that wasn’t an overblown cartoony CGI summer blockbuster. The movie was damn near perfect, that is until it’s final act. Really the last fifteen minutes kept this one from being a full on home run. I had lost myself in the action, drama and heart of this flick until strangely the movie shifts into a slick summer blockbuster fare with barely any warning. That’s when the movie’s seemingly main villain, Viper (who quite honestly I could have done without all together) takes center stage. She sports her silly costume, her even sillier CG snake tongue and her shedding skin. The movie shifts even further into something almost entirely out of place with the rest of the film with the giant CG “Silver Samurai” robot. Inside I was screaming “please no….please just have a final battle with Lord Shingen Yashida, at least donning the original comic armor, or just give us the man to man battle of the original limited series, please no, no god damn giant CG robot!!!! Please no!!!” Suddenly then I remembered, this was a Hollywood blockbuster I was watching and of course there’s gotta be some ridiculous giant robot that Wolverine has to fight!! DUH!!!
So there you have it. They almost did it. Almost made a GREAT Wolverine movie. Instead they made a decent one and for that I’ll say I’m satisfied. They exceeded my expectations, the only problem was the first 3/4 of the film not only exceeded them it went above and beyond and then gave us a clunky uneven and out of place finale. With that all said, the mid credits teaser almost made up for my gripes. It at least has me pumped for the next on screen Wolverine appearance in the next X-men movie! I say put Jackman in the X-Force movie too and give that motherfucker an R rating and base it on the recent darker series- and most important Hollywood, stay away from the Liefeld 90’s piece of shit please!!! Let’s use Jackman as Wolverine as much as we can before he gets too old for the role, because the guy finally proved he’s the best he is at what he does….
P.s. This is really what the ending should have looked like….one can only dream I guess…