Released in 2013 The Wolverine once again has Hugh Jackman stepping into the role of Wolverine. It follows on from the events of X-Men: The Last Stand and ignores the events of X-Men: First Class as it continues with the original trilogy’s storyline and shows what happens to Wolverine after he was forced to murder Jean Grey.
As you know I was not a fan of X-Men: The Last Stand and whilst admittedly X-Men Origins: Wolverine really took more away from the character than added anything to it I found the film itself alright. However I was delighted when I watched X-Men: First Class and was so pleased with the direction that the film seemed to now be taking the audience with the fantastic story and great cast.
But before I start loudly voicing my opinions on this film…what is the story??
The film opens with a flashback in which the year is 1945 and Logan is in a Prisoner of War camp in Nagasaki, when the bomb drops he uses his phenomenal powers of regeneration to shield a fellow inmate, named Yashida, from the nuclear blast ensuring that they both survive.
We then skip to the present day (the not-too-distant future present day) in which it is a year since the events of X-Men: The Last Stand, Wolverine (Hugh Jackman once again returning to hi most well-known role) is a hermit living in the woods trying to come to terms with murdering Jean Grey (Famke Janssen reprising the role). He is tracked down by associates of the now dying Yashida who offer him the chance of transferring his powers of regeneration to him [Yashida] thus rendering Wolverine human allowing him to grow old and die. As Wolverine has started to view his mutation as a curse because whilst he gets to continue living, he must endure the pain of watching everyone around him die, whilst he goes on and on…
He is tempted by the offer but ultimately refuses. Yashida, doesn’t take the news too well, and has another mutant put something inside Wolverine that renders his ability to regeneration useless…and the rest of the film follows Yashida as he attempt to steal Wolverine’s powers thus saving his own life whilst Wolverine is haunted by visions of Jean Grey.
The film itself is good enough, it is quite entertaining, but follows yet another chapter of Wolverine’s life. The rest of the X-Men are not present and a few new mutants are introduced. He is haunted by murdering the woman he loved, and has basically returned to the gruff loner that he was in comics (I don’t really read the comics so I am presenting that statement as fact when it is based on what other have told me). Anyway, I did find the film entertaining enough and the idea that someone has found a way of taking away Wolverine’s ability to heal is interesting, it isn’t followed through fully. I mean he still gets shot, a bunch of times, and whilst the wounds don’t heal, his skeleton is made of fucking adamantium. So none of the bullets can do much as they just bounce off that. Yes, if a bullet had gotten through a gap in his ribs or something then it could have been a little more tricky for him to deal with. Of course, none of the bullets fired at him really slow him down for more than a few seconds as he continues to kick ass. So why does it really matter that he cannot regenerate anymore??
I am also a little puzzled about why Wolverine his so hung up on Jean Grey’s death. Yes, I understand that he murdered her, but he did it because if he didn’t she could have potentially killed hundreds if not thousands of people. He literally had no other options. In addition he tells her that he loves her before stabbing her to death, but Jean Grey was married to, and loved Scott. Wolverine even admitted to Scott that ultimately she chose him [Scott] rather than being with him [Wolverine] so I am not sure why they keep going on about his overwhelming guilt. Jean Grey wouldn’t have wanted herself to be consumed by the Dark Phoenix persona and kill innocent people so would have wanted to die rather than be a mass murderer – so because Wolverine loved her, he knew what had to be done.
I’m sorry but just get over it already, and abandoning the rest of the X-Men so you can go and wallow in your own guilt can’t be healthy for anyone.
Towards the end (spoiler alert) Wolverine also has his trademark claws sliced off, so the most iconic thing about the character has been taken away. Yes, we know he has bone claws but they are just not as cool or as intimitating as his metal ones so why as one of the character's trademarks been taken?? What are they going to do next - shave off his sideburns??
It may be nitpicking but I spent most of the time wondering exactly where this film fits into the X-Men Cinematic Universe considering that X-Men: First Class seemed to have taken the franchise in a new direction. Continuity didn’t seem to matter because that film was doing something new which didn’t link it to the previous films, and yet, here we are with another movie in which Hugh Jackman shouts in rage as he slaughters his way through various bad guys.
I’m not saying that I don’t like the film, but what I am saying is, like X-Men Origins: Wolverine, why is this film here??
Continuity is all over the place with a mid-credits scene just adding more questions but considering it was well known that Day of Future Past was due for release in 2014 I was hoping some of these niggling continuity issues were going to be addressed
When people ask me what I think of this film, the best I can do is shrug and say “It was aright” and it was, it was alright, run of the mill, nothing special. I don’t know why we really needed to see this period of Wolverine’s life and why we focussed yet again on him when it might have been more interesting to see how Xavier’s School was continuing without Xavier and Scott, and with Storm in charge.
My Thumb therefore is Horizontal, this film is ok, but only above average.
6/10 – There are a couple of interesting ideas but aside from building hype for Days of Future Past in the mid-credits scene I didn’t see why yet another film is focussing on Wolverine and none of the other characters in the X-Men universe.