Hugh Jackman is back as X-Men hero Logan, aka the Wolverine, in the sequel to 2009’s X-Men Origins: Wolverine. But this time, our clawed crusader visits Japan to fulfill an old friend’s dying wish, and in turn loses his immortality while battling ninjas and confronting his own demons. Does the X-Men franchise benefit from The Wolverine turning all Japanese, or does this detour through the Land of the Rising Sun leave you lost in translation and robbed of your yen? Read on!
The Good: The Wolverine boasts plenty of high-flying martial arts action, featuring an epic bullet train battle scene that is breathtakingly spectacular. Plus the scenery is gorgeous, with a lot of the movie shot on location in Japan. The film also features notable Japanese actors such as Tao Okamoto as Yashida’s gorgeous granddaughter Mariko, and Rila Fukushima as the precognitive sexy ass-kicking mutant Yukio.
The Gay: Jackman. Whoa. He definitely puts the jacked in Jackman, with his wooftacularly ripped body. Heck, you see a lot of it! You even see him get scrubbed down in a hilarious bath scene; yay for gratuitous Jackman nudity! And the sight of beefy Brian Tee in his red undies was truly scrumptious.
The Bad: Oh boy, this film is LONG. And not only is it long, but it tends to come across as boring because it tries too hard to highlight Wolverine’s inner struggle. Okay, he’s tormented; we get it. But seriously, do we really need more of Logan’s angsty nightmares involving his dead flame, Jean Grey (Famke Janssen)? Despite the excellent Japanese cast, it’s stereotypically cringeworthy at times, and all the ridiculous plot twists just make this film come across as one big nerdy Japan fanboy’s masturbatory explosion.
The Fugly: The 3D is rather pointless (except for during that bullet train fight scene). And speaking of pointless, the whole Viper character (Svetlana Khodchenkova, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy) was utterly unnecessary. And what was up with her outfits? They were hideous! Instead of smoldering sexpot, the Viper looked like an overglorified drag queen. And I swear in one scene she stole Uma Thurman’s Poison Ivy look. Ugh, so vile. And don’t get me started on her acting…
The Wolverine: cutting edge or does it make you wanna claw your eyes out?: As much as it tries to expose the inner struggles of Logan, the hokey plot twists and holes just unravel any point that this movie was trying to make. Besides the two-minute teaser snippet during the credits, The Wolverine doesn’t advance the X-Men franchise in any way. I was left baffled long after the credits had rolled, and felt what could have been a movie with claws just turned out to be one big waste of time. Sure, go see it for Jackman’s buff bod, but otherwise, I say give this beast a miss.
The Grade: C