Movie Review: The Wolverine

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(PCM) Hugh Jackman is back for the sixth time as our fan favorite anti-hero  in The Wolverine.
But can the 44 year old actor still maintain the love for the character while bringing something fresh to the table? Going up against a summer full of Super-hero films, and and the epic announcement of Batman/Superman, many feared The Wolverine might not make a splash in the summer blockbuster pond. I’m happy to say that this is not the case.

The Wolverine moves the X-Men cinematic timeline forward, taking place after the events of X-Men 3: The Last Stand. The film picks up with with a grizzled Logan, living in solitude somewhere in Canada. Haunted by the memory of Jean Grey (Famke Janssen) and with riddled with survivors guilt, we know the immortal mutant has given up on his days of saving the world, and has abandoned his “wolverine” alter-ego.

But Everything changes when Yukio (Rila Fukushima), a mysterious red haired woman, manages to locate Logan (which is no easy task). Yukio comes to convince Logan he must fly out to Japan upon request of her employer Yashida, an incredibly wealthy and ambitious man, and old friend of Logan’s. Although hesitant, Logan agrees to a one day trip, pay his respects and leave. But after being offered the impossible, things get a bit more complicated…

The Wolverine is a thematically-rich addition to the X-men franchise. Under the direction James Mangold (Knight and Day, 3:10 to Yuma) has managed to merge genres such as action and noir, with a strong east meets west subtext. Mangold creates the character piece that many fanboys having been have been craving, delving into the psychology of the wolverine and focusing on the big question; Is immortality truly a blessing?

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After a lackluster origin story, and a decent but rushed prequel, it’s refreshing to see Fox/Marvel studios back on track, making a film that stands out against the plethora of super hero movies. The film acknowledges the events of previous X-Men movies, but The Wolverine truly is a stand alone story, committed to exploring the depths of Logan’s emotional baggage, with enough awesome action to keep the viewer engaged.

Fair warning for movie goers looking for an over the top action film, this one might not be for you. The action sequences in the film are beautifully choreographed, even the CGI bullet train was awesome. But I will say the action scenes are few and far between. I’m not discouraging anyone from seeing the film, including those looking for action. Just keep in mind Logan is the focus of this story, which is exactly what I was hoping for.

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My Score for The Wolverine 7.5/10

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