Before I get into the movie, let’s get something out of the way first. Why — WHY — do the majority of you guys leave the minute the movie ends? It’s a Marvel movie. They always, always have a post-credit scene (The Avengers had two!). C’mon, by staying for another minute or two, you get a glimpse of what happens to the character or characters after the big action, and most often, you also get a hint about the sequel or in some cases, like with X-Men: The Last Stand, it shows the possibility of another series all-together.
And this isn’t a random example; it ties in with The Wolverine.
Claws versus Katana Blades
I give The Wolverine an A- because I am perfectly happy with everything, except that the romance between Wolverine and Mariko Yashida was maybe a tad forced. I can see them liking each other and being fascinated by one another, because they come from two different worlds. Falling in love, though? I understand that their emotions might run high during this adventure, but for anyone who’s started rooting for them, give it up, baby. It won’t last.
I was also going to use their age as an argument (“she is much too young for him!”) but then again, everyone on the planet is too young for him, so never mind. The good thing about their relationship, however, was that Logan finally got some help in getting over Jean.
There was plenty of suspenseful action throughout the story, three instances of which made me extra anxious, because Wolverine does become lethally vulnerable. The train sequence is by far the best one due to the amazing effects of speed and the great choreography.
I admire how they skillfully brought in history and Japanese culture and its colors and traditions without making it obnoxious. Additionally, for those who are unfamiliar with life in Japan, I think it’s safe to say they could live through Wolverine in those instances of wonder and misunderstanding. The two chopsticks standing vertically in the noodle bowl being a bad omen was fitting as it once again emphasized the drastic differences between Wolverine and Mariko; she regards these beliefs with high respect while he, mere practical, oversees and forgets about them.
The people in the story escaped Japanese stereotypes and presented themselves as round characters. Especially Mariko, though already skilled with knives and her intelligence, evolved into a strong woman after starting out as naive and seemingly clueless. It became more apparent with time that she knew more than what she let on and it’s impressive how she remained a true believer in old Japanese traditions. Yukio, despite being technically a minor character, also grew when she found her self-worth in a world that sees her as a beggar and a toy. The only character that was two-dimensional was Viper, the poison mutant. Her motives behind the cruel deeds she carried out in the name of her mysterious employer never became clear. She was nothing but an evil, sexy embodiment.
Almost needless to say, Hugh Jackman performed an exceptional, moving portrait of the man we know as the Wolverine, fighting like a soldier and with a purpose as well as showing his inner personal struggles.
One critic from Rotten Tomatoes gave the movie a C only because — ready for this? — there were only two mutants. First of all, this isn’t an X-Men movie so I don’t know why he/she expected seeing a bunch of mutants running around. If it was an X-Men movie, it would have had X-Men in the title. Second of all, if this idiot was paying attention, in total there was five mutants and the fact this person doesn’t know this proves that they didn’t stay for the post-credit scene. Way to be unprofessional and sloppy. You had Wolverine, Viper and Yukio; yes, she is a mutant, but I won’t say what power she has for those who are reading this review and haven’t seen the movie yet. Then there’s the two mutants in the extra scene, but again, I will hold my silence.
My grading for The Wolverine stands and I cannot wait to see what comes next. Another movie focused around him or perhaps another X-Men movie series…?