When Wolverine saved the life of Yashida in the Nagasaki bombings in 1945 whilst being held captive in a prisoner of war camp, he never in a million years expected that he would be summoned to his death bed to say his goodbyes. Little does he know Yashida wants more than a goodbye and despite owing his life to Wolverine he intends to trade places and give Wolverine what he most desires; a peaceful, normal death whilst stealing Wolverine‘s immortality for himself.
The Wolverine is an action packed visual feast, and no I’m not just talking about Hugh Jackman‘s incredible abs. The film is beautifully shot from start to finish and although released in 3D it works well as a 2D film as well, which many made-for-3D films do not. It’s everything you could possibly want from a superhero movie and then some, the film delivers some brilliant in-depth back story for several characters building an interesting little world accessible even for viewers unfamiliar with the X-men franchise (which admittedly I am).
The performances are great, Rila Fukushima who plays Wolverine’s wannabe bodyguard is particularly good despite The Wolverine being her first ever role in a feature film. Her chemistry with Hugh Jackman is perfect and they make a brilliant fighting team. Hugh Jackman himself is, as can be expected, on top form in his role as Wolverine, who has his own demons to face, and love interest Mariko (Tao Okamoto) is perfect in her role.
The Wolverine seems to have struck an ideal balance, with stunning visuals, great performances and a decent script. Every aspect is well thought out and it’s a Marvel film through and through. It makes brilliant action packed entertainment for all ages and is everything you want from a summer blockbuster. The only real issues are small continuity errors which are minor but very frustrating. Such a large budget film could afford to take better care of continuity and silly little errors like the positioning of blood stains on skin changing between takes should have been easily avoided. However those details won’t detract from the film and are barely noticeable unless you have a touch of OCD and an obsessive eye for cinema.
The representations of the Japanese are fairly stereotypical with ninja’s and pro samurai warriors galore, but this works in the film and the use of a predominantly East Asian cast who have all been choreographed to perfection in action scenes gives the film a beauty that often lacks Hollywood movies. The fight scenes are like art, not just mindless violence and all the East Asian settings pave the way for some stunning cinematography.
The Wolverine is everything you would want and everything you would expect from a Marvel summer blockbuster. Even for those of us that aren’t familiar with the X-men films The Wolverine is a highly enjoyable action packed romp with some great performances and yes, ladies, some beautiful abs on display. Although difficult to fully understand if you haven’t seen the previous Wolverine and X-Men films, The Wolverine is still a highly entertaining action movie well worth catching on the big screen for the full effect.