When a cure is found to treat mutations, lines are drawn amongst the X-Men, led by Professor Charles Xavier, and the Brotherhood, a band of powerful mutants organized under Xavier's former ally, Magneto.
In modern day Japan, Wolverine is out of his depth in an unknown world as he faces his ultimate nemesis in a life-or-death battle that will leave him forever changed. Vulnerable for the first time and pushed to his physical and emotional limits, he confronts not only lethal samurai steel but also his inner struggle against his own immortality, emerging more powerful than we have ever seen him before. Written by
Twentieth Century Fox
(at around 1h 30 mins) When Viper sheds her skin, her hair comes away with the old skin, leaving her bald. But her eyebrows and eyelashes seem to have grown under the old skin - they're still there on the fresh, new skin. See more »
[an air raid begins on Nagasaki. At a prison camp, a young lieutenant sets all the prisoners free]
You! Go! Go!
[in a pit]
That was a B-29, bub. There's no outrunning what's coming. You're better off down here. I'd hurry if I were you.
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In the closing credits, the names of all the Japanese crew members who worked on the film are given almost exclusively in Japanese characters. See more »
I didn't much care for X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Hugh Jackman still was, and always will be, a brilliant Wolverine, but the other characters felt lackluster, the villain was weak and the storyline didn't fit well with the other X-Men movies. It didn't have the same feel.
For some time it seemed that the poor critical performances of both that and X-Men 3 would mean there would be no more movies with Wolverine in them, at least in a leading role. Luckily, the film makers decided to do one more and if this particular movie is going to be the last one, I for one can move on happy with what I got.
The Wolverine is a movie that works both as a continuation of the X-Men storyline, as well as a standalone movie. The focus is kept heavily on Hugh Jackman, which works for the movie's advantage. There are some callbacks to the events of the trilogy, but as a whole I think this film could have worked just as well without them, if not better, as they are a bit distracting from time to time. But most of the time the focus is on where it should be. In this movie Logan travels to Japan in order to meet an old acquaintance, who wants to settle old scores before his demise. In Japan we get some gorgeous scenery, nice atmosphere, intriguing settings, believable characters, all that good stuff.
I especially liked Tao Okamoto's character Mariko, the granddaughter of Wolverine's old friend. Jackman and Okamoto have brilliant chemistry together and when the movie slows down during the second act to give them time to simply interact with one another, it feels justified. Usually that kind of slowing down in an action movie feels boring and unneeded, even sappy, but here it works because the actors have the skills to pull it off. Which is a great thing, because it gives the movie more depth and we get a chance to know Wolverine in a new way that the Origins movie tried to reach, but never could because of its lack of emotional maturity.
Unfortunately this film has one major flaw and that is the unbelievably weak villain, known as Viper. Her actress, Svetlana Khodchenkova, just doesn't have the screen presence or acting skills to give the character any memorable attributes. She merely stands there, struts around in her skintight suit and spouts the dialogue. That's it. Sure part of that is poor writing, but it's still rather jarring because the two main protagonists are so damn good. If only the villain had been as good, this could easily have been one of the best Marvel movies yet made.
As it is, it's still fine. The two main characters are very good, most of the side characters do a good job as well, the action works wonderfully, the Japanese setting gives the film a nice coating of majesty and even the story, while nothing that extraordinary, functions well enough for us to enjoy it. The villain is weak, very weak in fact, which keeps the film from being great, but you can overlook it and focus on the good stuff.
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