Monday, December 9, 2013

Film Review: The Wolverine (2013)

The Wolverine (Review)
United States/2013
Netflix Streaming: No
Amazon Prime: No

"...this summer's best action film."

Logan, also known as the Wolverine (Hugh Jackman), travels to Japan as requested by Yashida -- a now successful businessman on the brink of death, who Logan saved during World War II. In Japan, Yashida offers to take Logan's curse away... his immortality.

The Wolverine continues with the titular character falling into a web of lies and conspiracy. Yashida passes away, and his granddaughter, Mariko, is targeted by the yakuza. Above all, Logan has lost his immortality, leaving him to use any means necessary to survive his battles against the heavily-armed yakuza and expertly-trained ninja. Of course, he develops a relationship with Mariko, as well as a change of heart. The Wolverine enters a final act with a great final battle and a solid albeit predictable twist. (Stick around for the scene in the credits for a peek at what the X-Men have coming up.)

The Wolverine takes up a darker tone this time around. There is some light comic relief, but it's mostly sticks with the darker tone. I personally welcome this tone, I feel like it matches well with the ferocious Wolverine. The action sequences are exhilarating and even creative -- some of the camerawork is a bit rough during some scenes, though. The bullet train sequence and the fights during the final act are easily memorable due to their great choreography. Despite losing some of the comic tone, the film keeps the blockbuster-comic-action superhero movies are known for -- maybe even better than most. Viper (Svetlana Khodchenkova) is the main villain of the film for a bulk of the time, but she comes off as underwhelming -- she's villainous sure, but she lacks a strong threat.

Hugh Jackman is great as the lead -- you can see he really loves playing The Wolverine, and that feeling is transmitted to the audience through his performance. Svetlana Khodchenkova is good as Viper, but for a character with such a strong significance, she seemed to lack an equally strong screen presence. The rest of the cast is top-notch in the blockbuster category. The action sequences feature great choreography, despite some poor camerawork. The music is well-fitted, blending the Japanese sounds with the modern blockbuster soundtrack nicely. The film is also beautifully shot with great use of color and lighting. The special effects are much better than Origins, as well.

Overall, The Wolverine is an exceptional action blockbuster. In fact, The Wolverine is one of the best superhero films in a long time and this summer's best action film. Unfortunately, I didn't have the opportunity to watch the unrated version due to Amazon's negligence and poor customer service, but I digress. Check this film out!

Score: 9/10
Parental Guide: Some strong violence and blood, and language.

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