X-Men Origins: Wolverine disappointed every Wolverine fan everywhere and pissed off every rabid Deadpool fan. This is the main reason a lot of would-be Wolvie fans weren't all that hyped up to see The Wolverine. Sure, the trailers looked great and the animated poster was just bananas, but they weren't really enough to make fans want to drag their butts to into those theater seats.
Thankfully, with new writers (Mark Bomback, Scott Frank, and Christopher McQuirre) and a new director (James Mangold), we finally got the Wolverine movie we deserved and the one we needed right now.
First off, this Wolverine movie totally respects the previous 20th Century Fox X-Men timeline, unlike that clusterfuck Gavin Hood put together. The events of The Wolverine take place after X-Men: The Last Stand. Why Famke Janssen (Jean Grey) is in the film, well, you'll just have to watch it to find out.
As convoluted as Wolverine stories tend to get, this one is pretty easy to understand once you get a minute to yourself to process it. You'd be all like "Wait but why did [insert character name here] have to do that when he/she already [insert action here]?" but in a minute you'll be all "OH that's right because [insert character name here] needed to [insert circumstance here]!" There are many characters whose agenda may not seem clear at the start but once everything settles down and the expositions are made, they'll be fairly clear. "Fairly" being the key word here.
Essentially, it is a Silver Samurai story, and it deals with some stuff from Wolverine's past, which is a fun way to use the character's unique powers. Now, comic book fans know that the 20th Century Fox Marvel movies take liberties with characters. Comic book fans know that the original Silver Samurai was Kenuichio Harada, the illegitimate son of Shingen Yashida. His successor was his son, Shingen "Shin" Harada, who uses an Iron Man-like Silver Samurai suit of armor. Viper, also known as Madame Hydra, was also changed for the movie. However, the changes made were all very respectful of the source material. There is no silent Deadpoolclops kind of shit anymore. I think comic book fans will appreciate the changes made.
And don't worry, the giant Silver Samurai robot in the trailer makes total sense. Believe in Mangold!
Action scenes are plenty and you get a lot of ninja and Wolverine badassery. The ninja and samurai characters move the way you'd want them to, and this is especially true for Rila Fukushima (Yukio) and probably her stunt double who put on a clinic. Hugh Jackman, who has had enough practice with Wolverine, brought out some awesome berserker rage. My favorite fight scene would be the one on the train with Wolvie and the Yakuza. And while I love every fight sequence, I do hate the shaky, close up, quick cut camera. There's a reason why we all love guys like Zack Snyder. He proved there is a way to show good fight scenes, making them visceral and carnal, without having to try and immerse the audience by making them feel like they're shoving their faces right into the armpits of random Japanese goons.
As far as performances and dialogue go, Hugh Jackman played a very convincing Wolverine. And this Wolverine isn't always emo; when he gets angry, he gets his rage on, which is a Wolvie trademark. Some of his lines were witty, and a lot of the funnier scenes of the movie included Mr. Jackman (who is jacked, bee-tee-dub). I kept picturing him in the Alex Ross designed Wolverine costume for some reason. I thought it'd work really well. Tao Okamoto did very nicely as Mariko, as well.
Okay, wait, I have a question. How old was Mariko in the movie? She mentions something about having to wait until she was 15. Does that mean she's under 15 years old during the movie? Because, as you might know, Mariko Yashida, is one of Wolverine's many loves and the movie doesn't stray far from this particular part of comics canon. Does that mean Wolverine bedded a 15 year old girl? Please tell me I'm wrong, otherwise, it gives this article I wrote a few months ago a WHOLE new meaning!
It wasn't the perfect Wolverine movie but this is probably the best we're going to get with 20th Century Fox still owning the rights. At least, they did something very Marvel Cinematic Universe-esque at the end credits. Make sure to STAY as the credits roll. You're NOT gonna wanna miss it. Also, make sure the cinema you're watching it at shuts off their lights during that scene to show proper respect for the film. You paid full price for it, you want the full goddamned experience. The theater we were at had bright blinding lights that were on the whole time during it so all we saw were ghost images of such an awesome scene.
Go and see this. It won't disappoint. 3.5 out of 5!