The X-Men have returned to theaters…. well just one.
Though Origins was a flop, that did not stop Fox from making another film on Wolverine. The character has been in all the X-Men films (in some way or another). But now it’s time for everyone’s favorite mutant to take center stage again in The Wolverine. Can the second time around be the charm?
In this new film, Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) has left the X-Men to live a solitary life.
But things change when Logan is sought out to go to Japan to meet a dying man by the name of Ichiro Yashida (Haruhiko Yamanouchi).
For saving his life in WWII, Yashida offers to remove Wolverine’s healing factor so that he can live a normal life. Despite Logan’s disapproval, he gets dragged into a conflict – but this time, he can’t rely on his healing abilities.
The plot works perfectly for the character of Wolverine. It is both a story of redemption as well as tale of a rōnin. The set up for the plot gives moviegoers enough time to understand the conflict of Wolverine, as well as capturing the themes to the movie. The plot is so subtle, you might forget that it is a X-Men film; and that is not a bad thing.
Hugh Jackman once again does justice to the character of Wolverine. Though he has donned the claws for 13 years, Jackman shows that there is plenty that he can do with the character.
While other characters could have been more fleshed out, everyone had a purpose in being in this film, it was a relief to not have unnecessary mutant characters.
Aside from Jackman, the two performances that stood out were Tao Okamoto and Rila Fukushima. Finally, rounding out the cast is Famke Janssen, who returns as a ghostly Jean Grey. While her presence was questionable, seeing Famke again gave the cast definition.
Another surprise came from the action. The X-Men franchise has been known for being a blockbuster and Wolverine is the definition of action.
However, there was very little action in this film. It is for these reason that the movie worked. Rather then loading action scene after action scene, the filmmakers decided to blend the intense moments with style. This was indeed a good move because it gives every action enough time to stand out; particularly the bullet train sequence.
The Wolverine is a different kind of comic-book film. While watching the film, you might scratch your head saying “this is X-Men?
However, in the long run, the direction of the movie was a good thing. The film shows that the studio is willing to tell a story more than just throwing bunch of action scenes together.
While the film may not be the most defining movie for X-Men, The Wolverine has earned its place in the franchise; as well as healing old wounds.