Thursday, July 25, 2013
The Wolverine or The Let Down?
Hugh Jackman is back in his sixth outing as every one's favorite Canadian X-Man. Wolverine's first solo adventure on the big screen left much to be desired. If you think about it, all of Fox's X-Men projects are filled with flaws. The Wolverine is no exception, but it is much easier to overlook the flaws in this film than in any previous one. Is it the Wolverine that we all want? NO. It is however a good take on the character and an all around decent film.
After surviving Hiroshima, we fast forward to a mentally broken Logan living alone in the Canadian wilderness. He is scarred by the events of X-Men:The Last Stand. He is sought our by Yukio and brought to the orient to say good by to a dying man whom he saved many years prior.
In modern day Japan, Wolverine is out of his depth in an unknown world as he faces ninja, samurai, and yakuza all while feeling a little more mortal than he's used to.Vulnerable for the first time and pushed to his physical and emotional limits, he confronts not only lethal samurai steel but also his inner demons all while finding love along the way.
Anyone familiar with Logan's story knows that one of the great loves of his life is Mariko Yashida. In the movie she is played very well by Tao Oakomoto. Mariko is tough yet vulnerable and the movie does a good job of showing Logan's human side when he's around her. They don't stray too far from the source material where she is concerned and the film is better for it.
Yuiko (Rila Fukoshima) might have been my favorite character in the film. She is hinted at being a mutant, but in the comic she isn't. They give her this kind of premonition power, but never come right out and say she is a mutant. She does have the same epic martial arts skill as her comic counterpart and again they keep the basic essence of the character intact.
The character that they truly screw up royally is the Silver Samurai. Screwed up, but not nearly as bad as you might think. The Samurai is NOT a robot. This was the big fear seeing the trailer. This films version of the Samurai works, but they totally ruin the character of Harada. While he is school to watch, he is little more than the token best ninja of the group. The charged swords are there, but not via mutant ability. I am not sure if the general population will mind this version of the samurai and I looked at it is a way to possibly start the character and fix him later. He is wrong, but not even close to how wrong Deadpool was in the first Wolverine.
Spoilers begin here so skip ahead if you want to remain in the dark. OK. I am lost and irritated over his loss of adamantium claws. I feel like Fox wanted to show his bone claws, which I can understand in a movie about Logan's vulnerability. I get it, but I don't like it. My biggest flaw with Fox controlling the mutant franchise is the way the mess with all of the characters. Silver Samurai does not have a sword that can cut Wolverine's claws. One of the most epic moments in Wolverine lore is when Magneto gets pissed at Logan and rips his adamantium through his pores. The movie only has him lose his claws, but if I were to call shenanigans during the film it would be here. Spoiler over.
The Jean Grey stuff was good and more than originally thought. The Viper was done well and for the most part they stick to what was loved about the comics Japanese arc. Hugh Jackman still is Wolverine. He might be a little tall, but he gets the character and still looks great as Logan. The movie has flaws, but not enough to ruin it. The story doesn't pace as fast as origins, but it is far more serious in tones. The romance isn't forced and the stunts and C.G.I. are on par. There is an EPIC after credit scene that sets up Days of Future Past! I wish personally that the wouldn't have even referenced the horrific third X-Men, but what's done is done. It's not perfect, but it is a step in the right direction. Jackman is great and Wolverine is still the best at what he does.