*Minor spoilers, it’s advised you watch before you read*
So as a result of being stuck at home for the day on Sunday past, I decided to get out for a bit by any means necessary; and ended up at the movies… alone. Sadness.
I digress. I had the choice of either watching World War Z, or The Wolverine. I ended up watching the latest installment of the beastly mutant’s ever-popular franchise.
I had watched X-men Origins a while back which had quite a deep focus on Wolverine’s story particularly, despite including other main characters of the X-Men as well.
To be honest, my hopes were pretty high for this one, as Wolverine is mine, and probably many other people’s favourtite X-person.
I ended up walking out of the cinema pretty dam disappointed – to put it mildly. But before I get to the bits and pieces I disliked, I want to highlight some of the film’s aspects that I actually thought were pretty good.
Firstly, being an avid anime fan, I have always had a very keen interest, appreciation and adoration for Japanese culture, and stories that generally highlight aspects of Japanese geography and civilization.
So, the fact that this was set in Japan was pretty epic, and the whole Samurai element made me want to get a katana of my own.
I was really impressed with the choreography of the fighting scenes and the action sequences in general. I appreciated the raw nature of the cinematography that captured the rough realism of the chase in each of these scenes.
I also liked that Wolverine was at a disadvantage for a large part of the film, as this stayed true to the character as the underdog who always, through a mixture of luck, good relationships and pure will, manages to triumph at the end of the day. Big ups!
Aside from this, it’s worth noting that I happen to be of the opinion that Japanese women are absolutely magnificent, and this film had its fair share of beauties in the form of Tao Okamoto and Rila Fukushima.
Aesthetics aside (and on to my overall opinion of the film), I really thought the whole thing lacked substance. The real issue for me here was that I could not place this movie in a larger context of Wolverine as a character or as a part of the X-Men franchise.
The only pertinent factor is that Wolverine *SPOILER* loses his metal claws and ends up with his original bone claws by the end of the film. I’m thinking this may factor in with the latest X-Men movie currently in production, but seriously though? Create an entire film just to maintain consistency for this one aspect? A bit excessive if you ask me.
Maybe I missed the point, but for me this film was like being presented with a filler episode for one of my favoiurite anime series after waiting months for new episodes. Yes, perhaps there were some demons that Logan had to face, especially in the aftermath of X-Men Last Stand where he was forced to kill the woman he loved, but I think he had enough demons-of-the-past defeating in Origins.
I feel like they made the latest film for the sake of making it, because like so many other franchises in Hollywood, the movie sells itself based on the A-list cast and brand, regardless of how bad (or good) the content may be- a sad reality.
The Wolverine (in my opinion) was so unlikable that my favourite part was the post- credits scene that was the Easter egg setup for the next X-men film. Without going into too much detail, this scene includes some characters that will make the hairs on your neck rise in excitement, and leaves you with a “WTF?!” expression on your face.
I’m really looking forward to the next X-Men movie, which will follow in the footsteps of the highly successful First Class (which blew my mind), but The Wolverine franchise is officially dead to me.
Spend your hard-earned cash on this one at your own risk, because everything good about this movie is in this trailer
Memorable moments: The fight sequence at and moving from Yashida’s funeral.
About the author: Stephen is co-founder of BTG Lifestyle- an avid film-watcher and maker.