23 November 2013

On DVD: The Wolverine

Hola!

Sorry this is late, I had severe technical difficulties. Okay, I had one technical difficulty in that my iPad deleted my bloody blog post, and I've been huffing with technology since. Every time I sat down to write this, I got cross again and had to take a break.

ANYWAY. I'm back now and acting like a grown-up and have a review for you! Wonderful. 
The Wolverine is out now on DVD, so if you want to know if it's any good before renting, just keep reading!

Starring the lovely Hugh Jackman and directed by James Mangold (Girl Interrupted, Walk the Line) this is the follow-up to 2009's X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Now, the 2009 effort was largely seen as a misstep, the storyline in general leaving a lot to be desired, so this film was an attempt to remedy any fan complaints. Of which there were A LOT. Does it succeed? Weeeelllll, sort of. 

Wolverine (Jackman) saves Yashida (Haruhiko Yamanochi) from the Hiroshima blast in Japan, 1945. Moving to the present day and a haunted Wolverine is found by a messenger, Yukio (Rilo Fukushima) who summons him so Yashida can repay the debt. On arriving, Yashida offers him the potential answer to his pain--a cure for his immortality. All is not as it seems though and everybody seems to be hiding a secret. A kidnap plot for Yashida's granddaughter, Mariko (Tao Okamoto) is soon discovered and Wolverine is forced to help save her.

I feel like to give an in-depth criticism of any of the X-Men films it might be necessary to have more knowledge of the comic universe, so this is very much a casual viewers opinion of the film. Just a little disclaimer!

So the the best thing about the film, as with a lot of the X-Men films, is Hugh
Most handsome man ever?
Jackman. He is so brilliant as Wolverine and is obviously dedicated to the character. Wolverine in this film is haunted by the events of
X-Men: The Last Stand, where he was forced to (SPOILERS!!) kill the love of his life, Jean Grey. When I say haunted, I do mean quite literally. Jean Grey pops up alllll over the show. Which does get a little annoying because Jackman is a talented enough actor to show us his grief and guilt, we don't need time wasted on him talking to Jean about his guilt. And this is quite a long film, clocking in at over 2 hours so it isn't entirely necessary. It also makes the love story that they shoehorn in all the more difficult to take. 


The Japanese setting of the film is beautiful and is used quite wonderfully throughout. The culture is embedded in the film, through the idea of honour, how Mariko is treated by the male figures, the samurai swords (awesome) and the ninjas that rock up. It really is very well done. And the ninjas and samurai swords are really, very cool. The fight scenes are really pretty phenomenal.

Speaking of samurai's, Yukio (Fukushima) is amazing. I came away from the
It's probably love.
film with a little bit of a girl-crush on her. She is so interesting and so capable and my only problem is that they don't use enough of her. Her chemistry with Jackman is so natural and obvious so it's a shame we don't see more of it.

On the other end of the spectrum, I wasn't as fussed on Mariko (Tao Okamoto). Despite apparently being excellent at karate and having great knife skills, I think she uses them once. She is effectively thrown about by the men in her life and then has to be saved. If she has the skills, why can't she use them?! I also had problems with her forced relationship with Wolverine, they don't share the chemistry that he has with Yukio so I found it hard to believe that this was the love to cure his broken heart. 

Then comes the ending. The ending is SUCH a letdown. We're given a fairly fascinating villain in Dr.Green/Viper (Svetlanda Khodchenkova) and then she is given barely any screentime to develop and THEN someone else pops up to change the story all together. It is so disappointing, and the final fight-even for a comic book adaptation-is ridiculous. It takes away from any of the good stuff that came before and is very annoying. 

I did quite like the film, and I think Hugh Jackman is regularly the best thing in a lot of films, but the ending is a total letdown.
If you've seen the film, let me know your thoughts! Agree? Disagree? I am open for discussion!

Peace Out.

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