Sunday, August 25, 2013

The Wolverine (2013) -- Movie Review

I saw this movie in the evening during a date. A lot of my comic-nerd buddies didn't like it, but since I haven't read the comics, I'm going to review the movie by itself (and maybe the other X-Men movies).

Hugh Jackman

Release date: July 26, 2013

Summary by Twentieth Century Fox:

In modern day Japan, Wolverine is out of his depth in an unknown world as he faces his ultimate nemesis in a life-or-death battle that will leave him forever changed. Vulnerable for the first time and pushed to his physical and emotional limits, he confronts not only lethal samurai steel but also his inner struggle against his own immortality, emerging more powerful than we have ever seen him before.

There are some spoilers, so watch out! <3

Genre: Action / Fantasy 

Storyline: Much of the non-flashback part of the story is a chase story. Logan/Wolverine and Mariko, heiress to her grandfather's fortune, are pursued by the Yakuza, forces of her fiance. That alone was pretty flat, but I found the most interesting parts of the story in the back story between Logan and Yashida during World War II.

Theme: The pursuit of immortality, or more accurately, eternal youth. Because you could have eternal life, but you'd look ugly as hell in a hundred years. In the beginning, the Wolverine has immortality, but doesn't want it--he's been haunted by nightmares of traumatic losses, and it can't be fun to outlive everyone you love. 

Special Effects/Design: Oh my god, fiery explosion at the part where Logan saves Yashida. Logan's face gets like, burnt off--then it regenerates. But why does it regenerate his hair to the former length and exact style? Wouldn't he be bald but with a healthy scalp? His skin also has the same tan (uh, sun damage?) and oil it had right before the blast, as opposed to pinkish/whitish new skin. I guess it works that way in the comics, but aside from that, it's a bit far-fetched for me. From a movie-making perspective, it's simpler this way--Logan emerges from fire looking just as hot and rugged as before.

The samurai-looking robot is really cool.


Characters: Like in the first movie, Hugh Jackman is an awesome choice for Wolverine. It is amusing to see his tall, hairy, and bulky body wading through crowds of petite Japanese people.

As for Mariko, I find her character a bit hard to believe, because for the first half of the movie, she seems to have been raised to do nothing but be a good wife and provide a future heir, especially with her power-hungry dad pushing her around.

After the fall of the patriarchy, at the very end, she rises into her grandfather's former position, in modern menswear (as opposed to the traditional Japanese gown she wore in the beginning) and all, to suggest her new strength and leadership. This is very...sudden for me. I have a hard time believing that she has the skills and background knowledge (well maybe she does) to handle being a sudden CEO. But maybe she's a fast learner. She has to be, because who else could take on the position without going on a power trip? She'd still have to show her resolution in front of meetings which will still be mostly dominated by male CEOs and other officers, but now she has some grounding.


So, I like the concept of her rising into power after the overthrowing of the patriarchy, but I wish it is more believable because there are few signs in the beginning that she has the knowledge and experience!!! to be a CEO.


That weird love scene: Okay, so Logan's stuck in an age where he's still got raging hormones, so I'll give him that. And sure, Mariko is young so she definitely has raging hormones. But that love scene was just awkward. When I saw him and Mariko run inside already-soaked from the rain, I began rolling my eyes. A rain-induced love scene, really? So cliched. Not to mention they had zero chemistry. I think there was more sexual attraction between Logan and Yukio. 
Overall, it was an enjoyable movie. I give it 7.5/10. 

Thanks for reading! You can read more about The Wolverine (2013) on IMDB here

--Ellen

2 comments:

  1. The Japanese actors were horrible, I did like the train chase scene. I couldn't stop laughing, it was so silly.

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  2. Oh, right! The train chase scene was PRICELESS! I loved how they hopped back and forth on the train like frogs.

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