The Wolverine: Movie Review

"The Wolverine" may disappoint those who have been spoiled of superhero films of past. Ones that mostly rely on smokes and mirrors to peak the viewers' interest. Nothing bad on the tried and true formula but you must understand from the get-go that "The Wolverine" is a totally different beast from those. This film is more than visuals and fight scenes alone as the meat of this film concentrates on plot, story and more importantly, Wolverine's own struggle on his unwanted immortality and the loses he has encountered throughout his life.

Back in World War II, Logan (Hugh Jackman) saves a young Japanese soldier from certain death. The young soldier, Shingen Yashida (Hiroyuki Sanada), turns into the richest man in Japan and owns the largest company in Asia. Shingen has tracked down Logan and has him taken to his death bed. Shingen promises Logan that he can take Logan's immortality and invincibility and turn him human again. In exchange, Shingen will get Logan's powers. Logan refuses the offer as Shingen dies the next day. In Shingen's funeral, his grand daughter Mariko (Tao Okamoto) is taken captive by the Yakuza as Logan discovers that his healing powers is now gone. Weaker but more determined, Logan must find a way to save and protect Mariko from those who want to do her harm and find out who or what is causing his abilities to disappear.

The steady pace of "The Wolverine" may put off some viewers but patience is the key to truly understand what this film is trying to accomplish. This superhero film is not about the fight scenes or explosions or is it about countless heroes assembling or villains that are seeking to rule Earth. Jarringly, it is mostly about its title character - hero and villain himself and his psyche. And this is the beauty that is "The Wolverine". This is the standalone film that explores the struggles of a superhero that we mostly see as a ruthless, hard animal; one that shows how human Wolverine actually is. Additionally, we also liked the "other" story within the film (the Yashida family arc). Not only does it fully integrates seamlessly with the character of the Wolverine but it has its own surprises too. Honestly though, the film did feel a little slow on some parts and we do feel the visuals under utilizes the beauty that is Tokyo and Japan as it feels a little too dark for the neon-crazed city we usually visualize. Even though this is the case, the rare fight scenes are good enough and they could definitely hold their own. In the end, "The Wolverine" may not be the most thrilling superhero film ever but it is one with extreme depth and heart.

Rating: 3 and a half reels

Why you should watch it:
- the film has extreme depth on plot and character development
- the fight scenes were rare but they could hold their own

Why you shouldn't watch it:
- the film did tend to slow down on parts
- it seems that film under utilizes Tokyo and the Japanese setting

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