The Wolverine

Wolverine Poster Hugh Jackman

Rating: 2.75 of 5 ★★¾☆☆ 

I have to admit that I heard a couple of Collider interviews that pointed out that this isn’t really a comic book movie until the third act and I totally have to agree. It’s thoughtful and interesting and sort of everything I expected the first Wolverine movie to be. But for all the character work in the beginning, I never engaged with this movie emotionally.

Not in a Nolan way, because the movie lacked substantive emotion, but in a very personal way. Nothing in this movie resonated in me. But it was well made so, I would imagine it could easily resonate in someone else.

I think my barrier to entry had to do with the information they withheld. The beginning was pretty good and I immediately liked Yukio. Then, as the story gets rolling everyone is after Mariko. And she’s pretty and dignified and I liked her right away also. But I didn’t know why everyone cared enough about her to be after her, so I didn’t care either. I wasn’t emotionally invested in her rescue at all or afraid they’d capture her because I didn’t understand what the stakes were in the story.

And then in the third act I didn’t understand why anyone was doing anything. I mean, I wasn’t surprised by the silver Samurai (or anything else much). But Harada made no sense to me. Even though they gave us the reason for his actions earlier by Mariko explaining her honoring her father with her arranged marriage. From a narrative perspective they explained Harada I guess, but emotionally it still didn’t work for me. And didn’t end at all like I was expecting. Also I didn’t understand why Viper was doing what she was doing. The story wasn’t convoluted, really, but withholding different pieces of information throughout negated any emotional connection in me. The only time I felt anything was when they

tiny, shocking spoiler ยป
cut off his claws. That was awful and I couldn’t believe they actually did it.
So, as adequate as the writing and the directing and the performances all were, I didn’t enjoy it really.

And the parts that were a comic book movie were rather ridiculous and kind of silly and it was a rough shift from the more serious tone of the first two acts. You can see how much they wanted to make it a good movie and not just a tent-pole thrill ride. I totally respect and appreciate that. And Hugh Jackman did an amazing job. I wanted to like it for him. I just didn’t enjoy Wolverine as much as I wanted to.

Except the action. I did enjoy the stunts and the fight scenes. And I truly loved Mariko and Yukio. They were both so fluid and strong when they fought it was beautiful. I appreciated that as delicate as Mariko was she could throw a punch or a knife. And Yukio was completely bad ass. It was great to have strong female characters at the heart of this story.


July 27, 2013 | Review , , | this post contains affiliate links