Movie Watching – The Wolverine



Yes, I’ve seen the movie.  Yes I liked it very much.  Yes, I thought it was better than his Origins movie though I never thought that was as bad as some made it out to be.  For me the stinker was X-Men III.    I regretted that this movie had to pull from that one but Logan’s pining for Jean Grey is legendary.  So it’s an important character element.   I still have issues of casting Famke Janssen in the role.

The movie takes a classic and beloved story line of Logan meeting one of the major loves of his life Mariko  and tells it in the film universe.  Sure some changes are made in the telling but the heart of the story is there, and the story is about the heart of a warrior falling in love with a quiet powerful woman  and having that love returned.   Some of the changes I like – I like Logan having to face his healing power being diminished.  He deals with fatigue, blood loss, medical care, and stuff all of us would have to deal with being a hero.  I also like that he gets it back in time to be what many come to see in a Wolverine movie – kick ass.  I fear the comic’s attempt at copying this idea of losing healing will not be executed so well and will fall into the category of the 1992 nose-less feral Wolverine no one at Marvel ever acknowledges much to the relief of fans (may the whole Romulus crapfest, Native’s frozen wolverpups, and Agent of SHIELD all fall into this category).

I liked the movie and found it a stronger better story than his Origins one.  It didn’t feel rushed nor that it was an attempt to shove in as many mutants as possible into one movie.  The characters served purpose to build and move the story along.  I think the action scenes were well done (but really for all fanboys goggling over the train scene I preferred the funeral one hands down for action).  I did feel that the climatic scene between the Silver Samauri and Logan was a bit over the top for this movie’s style.  I also wasn’t a fan of the Silver Samurai being a giant.  That said I like how Logan recovered from the attack of the admantium cutting sword.  That was awesome!

Viper was interesting but I missed her trademark green hair.  (Also don’t forget she has a thing for Logan, even blackmails him into marrying her but even then he’d sleep with just about ANYONE but her).   She had the right level of self-centeredness to make the character recognizable but would like more of a hint of her lust for Logan’s body in her reaction to seeing him shirtless & cleaned up.

Mariko was Logan’s first wife for a long time but then he got his memories back and remembered Itsu (Dakan’s mom).  Now Mariko isn’t even considered his wife but instead one great love that took him years to get over losing.  For those who don’t know she’s poisoned and dying, she begs him to kill her so she won’t have to suffer the agonizing death for which there is no cure.  He does then revenges her death on those who killed her to get her conglomerate.

Yurkio being psychic about deaths only was a nice touch.  I don’t consider this a mutate so much since it happens among normal people.  It’s just a fun element to give a ninja woman.  I like how her friendship developed with Logan.  Eventually after Mariko’s death she’ll help Logan raise his foster daughter Amiko.  Sure at times they are friends with benefits but when one or the other is in a relationship they support that.  It’s a complicated friendship but one that isn’t overburdened with romance.  I like how it started here and feel it’s got a good future on screen should it be developed.

Logan himself – what can I say but WOW!  Jackman pulled out the stops in getting into Wolverine shape.  He does the comic proud.  Also the short hairstyle is awesome and more what I picture the up lifts being – side cowlicks that just curl up.  I did enjoy his mountain man  scenes and long for a bit more exploration of that since it was a frequent retreat in the comic books.  I get that this movie wasn’t about that so in interest of moving the story along it was just enough.  That doesn’t mean I wouldn’t enjoy a bit more of the surly mountain man kicking the city slicker hunter’s ass in the dive bar.  LOL!

Finally the kicker after the credits (Marvel is famous for that always stay in their movies to see them) was awesome!  It’s a nod to Days of Future Past coming out in 2014.  This is another classic comic tale for the whole team but in the movies it will blend the cast of First Class with the cast of X-Men I.  I am hoping that it is along the lines of this movie and First Class in tone not the hyper frenzy of X-Men III or Origins where it was thought the more thrown in the better (psst I prefer Taylor Mane as Sabertooth sorry Liev ).  

In the end I think The Wolverine is a rare comic book movie that doesn’t suffer from being over done.  It doesn’t suffer from what I call Fanboy syndrome of constant battles.  It takes time to have action and emotion.  It does well to juxtaposition peaceful with traumatic imagery.   I think that unlike some comic book movies this one is more accessible to those who don’t know the comic.  The Romeo/Juliet or right/wrong side of the tracks romance between Logan and Mariko is something many people can understand.  What makes this movie stronger than many of the ones before it in Wolverine’s story is that it has a core, a heart, and isn’t afraid to be quiet and serve that heart, much like best portrayals the Wolverine himself.

Until next time.

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