By: John ’Doc’ Strange
Directed by: James Mangold
Starring: Hugh Jackman, Rila Fukushima, Hiroyuki Sanada, Svetlana Khodchenkova, Brian Tee, Hal Yamanouchi, Will Yun Lee, Ken Yamamura, Famke Janssen, Nobutaka Aoyagi, Seiji Funamoto, Nobuaki Kakuda
MPAA Rating: PG-13 (for sequences of intense sci-fi action and violence, some sexuality and language)
Selig Rating: FULL PRICE
Runtime: 126 Min.
The Marvel franchise is a strong one containing in its membership Thor, Iron Man, Captain America making up The Mighty Avengers and then there is The X-Men and their rebellious team member, The Wolverine. This installment of the franchise delves into another side of this nearly immortal troubled soul. It begins during World War II in a prison camp across the bay from the Japanese city of Nagasaki on that fateful day that the United States dropped the atomic bomb on the city.
As the B-29 circles the city, one of the Japanese officers takes his sword and begins to cut the chains on the barracks doors. Then, spying our good friend Logan in the hole/solitary confinement he rushes over to free him. As he is telling Logan to flee, we see the plane drop a huge cylinder which slowly drops down on the city. Logan and the officer, Shingen Yashida, seek refuge in the pit with Logan protecting the officer with a steel plate and his own body as the fireball from the explosion rolled over them. Yashiro sees Logan heal miraculously.
Jump ahead to present day. Logan is living deep in the woods, coming into town only to buy essentials like batteries for his clock radio. On one such trip he encounters a bunch of “hunters”, men who find drinking a big part of killing animals. Later that night he hears screams and discovers the men’s camp destroyed and a magnificent grizzly bear dying slowly from an arrow. He is forced to end the bear’s life to put it out of its misery.
Following the lone survivor into town he confronts the man about not following up and ensuring the bear was dead thus being the cause of the bear going berserk and killing all of his friends. Surprise, there is a fight. And it’s a pretty good fight made even better by the arrival of a petite young Japanese girl named Yukio (Rila Fukushima) with a wonderful skill with the samurai sword.
Okay, from this point you can guess that there are a lot of great fight scenes, a bit of romance, and Jean Gray. Everyone keeps harping about Jean Gray and the dream sequences. These sequences are Logan trying to come to grips with killing the woman he loved and his immortality. He is the only person I know that can be sleeping with a hot woman and still dream of Jean.
The action is good, the story is decent and the special effects are great, and for once the 3-D is pretty good (especially the bomb scene). I had a good time watching all of the sword action. In the end, Logan’s epiphany is good news for all of us. It bode well to seeing the Wolverine in many X-Men movies in the future. And hopefully they will all star Hugh Jackman. His portrayal of this character has become perfect.
A word to the wise; stick around for all of the credits. The scene buried there is worth the wait.
Movie Site: http://www.thewolverinemovie.com/
The Selig Rating Scale:
FULL PRICE – Excellent movie, well worth the price
MATINEE – Good movie
DOLLAR – OK movie
CABLE – No need to rush. Save it for a rainy day.
FREEBIE – Good that I saw it on the big screen but wish I hadn't paid for it.
COMMERCIAL TV – Commercials and cutting to the allotted time will not hurt this one.
FORGET IT! – Bad. If you see this one, do yourself a favor and keep it to yourself.
GET YOUR TORCHES – BAD! – Burn the script, the writer, the director and maybe even the actors!