Friday, 24 January 2014

The Wolverine Review: Mutant's Should Stick Together

Director: James Mangold
UK Release Date: 25th July 2013
Running Time: 126 minutes
Starring: Hugh Jackman, Will Yun Lee, Tao Okamoto

First of all, it is important to note for this film to make any real sense it would be worth watching the X-Men films (yes, we do recommend all of them - come on, we do love films!). However if you are not keen on watching all of them, you should at least view X-Men: The Last Stand (2006) as this film picks up where it left off. 
Hugh Jackman returns as our favourite angry motorbike rider, Logan in this action packed movie.  In case you need another introduction for who Jackman plays, here is one of our favourite quotes of the film:
"What kind of monster are you...?
The Wolverine!!" 

That's right Logan is The Wolverine and faces a nemesis in the form of Viper, a skin shredding, venom spitting, snake like female mutant.  But that's not all - he is also up against a very large adamantium (for those who are not X-men fans, adamantium is the metal that Wolverine's claws and skeleton are made out of) built robot, manned by none other than the character he saves at the start of the film.  In true X-men and Wolverine style the film features lots of action, and in this case it happens to take the form of martial arts fighting.  This is down to where the majority of the story takes place - in Japan. 
If you are a Jackman fan then you will certainly want to watch this film.  The actor is pumped up for the majority of the film and this is a testament to how hard he would have had to work to get in to shape for this film. What is disappointing is that the rest of the cast and storyline fail to live up to the standards we should expect from a Marvel X-men related film.  Having said that, the film did rate better in a critical sense compared to its predecessor X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009).  For a film of this billing it was disappointing not to see any other large named actors on the screen. This is not to take away from the rest of the cast - it just felt like the film lacked the usual punch compared to other X-Men films. 
The storyline was somewhat disappointing for us at M+F Reviews but we do think it could have been a hell of a lot worse.  If it was not for Jackman or the typical comic one-liners that often creep into films of similar genre (or other Marvel films) this film would have been a huge let down.  It was quite easy to predict what was going to happen throughout with no real effort and you could quite easily have watched this film without paying too much attention to detail.
We did have very high hopes for The Wolverine and maybe that's why we feel it was not as good because we expected too much - something that any film fanatic would have experienced sometime or another.  The film was not all bad though and had good action scenes and a few graphical scenes that we liked and you should look out for:
  • Wolverine cutting into his own chest with his claws.
  • Viper shredding her skin and hair.
  • Wolverine being brought down by countless (no exaggeration) arrows.
We really enjoyed these scenes and felt they gave the film a bit more kick - which it did generally lack with The Wolverine being the only big name mutant on the screen.  It would have been great to see The Wolverine along side other well known mutants and exploring there relationships - something that could have been done while still diving into the troubled life and mind of the Wolverine himself. We do understand this is a Wolverine spin off and not a full X-Men film but one or two extra mutants would not have gone a miss.
The Wolverine is a film that you should watch as part of the X-Men film series but it is not one of the better movies.  However, it can still be enjoyed especially if you like martial arts and lots of action.  Jackman shows his raw strength as an actor (and his physical fitness) by holding this movie together. With news of a third film in the X-Men: Wolverine franchise it will certainly be interesting to see what direction they take it in and whether they add any other big name mutants to the cast (our recommendation). Do watch The Wolverine if you have not already and make up your own mind up it is still an enjoyable and easy film to watch.
M+F Rating: 5/10 

Reviewed by M+F Reviews.

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