The Wolverine (2013)
Dir: James Mangold
Forget his origins, this is much more like how to do a Wolverine movie!
Logan (Hugh Jackman) has turned his back on his ways as the Wolverine, and is living a secluded life in the Yukon, regularly having nightmares and visions of his old love Jean Grey whom he was forced to kill. When he is tracked down by a young woman called Yukio (the striking Rila Fukushima), he goes with her to Japan to say goodbye to an old acquaintance who well knows of his abilities and wants to ask one last favour of him. However this powerful family is under threat, and Logan is forced to once again make use of the other side of himself to protect them and his own life, which for once looks like it could actually end.
I wasnt really expecting much after having my expectations lowered back in 2009 by the first Wolverine film ‘X-Men Origins: Wolverine’ which was a huge disappointment. That film tried to shoehorn Logan into the X-Men far too early and linked him with those characters in ways that weren’t natural and felt stupid. This one avoids that, instead picking up after the events of ‘The Last Stand’.
For me this story worked well. It made plenty of sense, well, as much as any comic book adaptation ever will, and though it doesn’t delve into Logan’s thoughts quite as much as might be expected, there’s a lot more of an insight here than there really has been before, and yet there’s still some good action too.
Cleverly the director, James Mangold, uses the setting and its distinctive look to add something extra to the film, and really set it apart from the other X-Men films. I liked how for part of it, the storyline takes characters out of urban Tokyo, and into the more rural and very beautiful parts of Japan, which helps with the change in pace and tone, but is also just refreshing to see.
The mid-credits sequence is truly superb. It isn’t just a little nod towards next years ‘Days of Future Past, but almost a teaser for it, a short scene that could almost be the start of that film, popping in quite a few elements of the story, and a number of surprising visuals that are incredibly exciting for anyone anticipating that film.