THE WOLVERINE

BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELL
JULY 28, 2013

Expertly displayed as almost a stand-alone Wolverine film, I compare “The Wolverine” to a franchise film like “Skyfall” that gives us a more in-depth, emotional perspective on a character that we think we know inside and out. Bringing Logan (Hugh Jackman) to the Yakuza and ninjas world in Japan, not only does the story feel different from any X-Men outing, it solidifies itself as separate from any comic book adaptation to date. Taking an unstoppable force like Wolverine, with his adamantium infused bones and healing skin, and making him vulnerable for the first time in his long life is genius. As you watch his struggle with his new mortality, yet still doesn’t learn fast enough to not step out of the way of a bullet.

“The Wolverine” builds a strong, slow beginning where we see Logan pining over the loss of Jean (Famke Janssen), who appears in his dreams, following the conclusion of “X-Men: The Last Stand.” Wolverine hides in the woods with only a bear to keep him company. Yukio (Rila Fukushima), a young, sword-wielding Japanese girl, is sent to find him by her employer, Yashida (Hal Yamanouchi), a man saved from the Nagasaki bombing by Wolverine. On his death bed, he has a proposition for Logan that could make him mortal. Here is where I appreciate the marketing for this film, as it never once gave way to the real deal made between the two and which I will not explore as to keep it a secret for those going to see it.

Once the action of the film begins, it never stops. Logan protects Mariko (Tao Okamoto), Yashida’s granddaughter and future heir to the Yashida company and fortune, as her father’s men and Yashida’s doctor, the Viper (Svetlana Khodchenkova), hunt them. Despite suffering from some over-stylization and tone changes from the dark thriller that engulfs most of the film, “The Wolverine” is a breath of fresh air in the X-Men world. It builds a rock-solid foundation for the future sequels, including one of the most exciting after credits sequences that delivers just enough oomph to get anyone excited for the next installment.

RELEASE DATE
July 26, 2013

DIRECTOR
James Mangold

WRITTEN BY
Mark Bomback
Scott Frank

BASED ON
“Wolverine”
by Chris Claremont and Frank Miller

STUDIO
20th Century Fox

PG-13
(for sequences of intense sci-fi action and violence, some sexuality and language)

ACTION
ADVENTURE
SCI-FI

126 minutes

CINEMATOGRAPHER
Ross Emery

COMPOSER
Marco Beltrami

EDITOR
Michael McCusker

CAST
Hugh Jackman
Hiroyuki Sanada
Tao Okamoto
Rila Fukushima
Famke Janssen
Will Yun Lee
Svetlana Khodchenkova

PRODUCED BY
Lauren Shuler Donner
Hutch Parker

BUDGET
$132 million

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