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The Wolverine Movie Review

Reviewed by on Jul 26, 2013
Rating: 4 Star Rating

Kidzworld reviews The Wolverine, the new movie about the famous X-Man!

By: Lynn Barker

After his love Jean Grey died at his own hand, Logan (the immortal Wolverine) has been depressed and in hiding. Will a voice from his past and a new damsel in distress bring the steel-clawed wonder back to us?

Wolverine and his love Jean GreyWolverine and his love Jean Grey

The Call to Action

When evil hunters badly injure a Grizzly bear with a poison arrow, Logan, who has been living in an icy mountain cave, sees it all, puts the bear out of its misery and tracks the last hunter to a local bar where he whips out his claws and doles out justice. Suddenly, petite but sword-wielding kick-butt, fellow mutant (she sees future deaths) Yukio (Rila Fukushima) is at his side fighting with him. She tells him that an old “friend” of his is dying and wishes to see him in Japan. (We see, in a flashback to WW2, that Logan was a prisoner of war when America dropped the atomic bomb on Nagasaki. Logan helped this guy, then a young Japanese soldier, survive).

Yukio comes to Wolverine's rescueYukio comes to Wolverine's rescue

In Japan

Logan is taken to the posh home of the once young soldier, now mega-rich industrialist Yashida (Hal Yamanouchi) who tells him he has invented a way to transfer Logan’s healing power to himself, leaving Logan to live the rest of a “normal” life as a mortal. Isn’t that what he wants? Yashida is afraid for his family. The Yakuza (Japanese crime lords) want to kill his granddaughter Mariko (Tao Okamoto). Logan refuses but rescues Mariko from a Yakuza attack. When Yashida dies, Logan attends the funeral where all heck breaks loose.

Wolverine at Yashida's funeralWolverine at Yashida's funeral

On the Run

Yakuza men attack the funeral and grab Mariko. Is Mariko’s arranged fiancé, a politician, involved? One of Yashida’s “doctors”, a hot blonde, reveals herself as “Viper” a mutant who can shoot deadly snake venom. Archer Ninja Harada (Will Yun Lee), an old boyfriend of Mariko’s, aids Wolverine to get her back. Wolverine realizes that he has actually been injured in the battles and is bleeding! On the fast bullet train on the way to a “safe house”, Wolverine is attacked again and a train-top battle results.

Mariko and Wolverine on the runMariko and Wolverine on the run

In Hiding

In a small house in Nagasaki, Logan has another of his recurring dreams of Jean (Famke Janssen) whose sexy “ghost” continually asks him to come to her.. let go and die. Meanwhile, Viper admits that she suppressed Wolverine’s healing ability while he was at Yashida’s mansion. At the safe house, Mariko reveals that she and Harada were childhood sweethearts but her dad broke them up (we see that Harada appears to be working with Viper!). She tells Logan that she has inherited all of her grandfather’s wealth! This has really pissed off her dad who expected to inherit. So who are the bad guys? Dad’s men, the Yakuza, Viper’s minions? Having grown closer during their ordeal, Logan and Mariko make love and he tells her about Jean but she is again captured by baddies when Logan is too weak from injuries to save her.

The elderly YashidaThe elderly Yashida

Closer to the Truth

Feisty fighter Yukio joins Logan again and they visit Mariko’s fiancé who Logan forces to admit that her grandfather had been stockpiling massive amounts of adamantine (the steel that Wolvie’s claws are made of) in a sick attempt to also be immortal. Mariko is probably being held in a massive mountain fortress.

Ninja archer HaradaNinja archer Harada

Final Battles

At the Yashida mansion, Wolverine uses medical equipment to extract a horrible “bug” placed inside him by Viper and his healing powers return. He makes his way to the mountain fortress after fighting arrow-shooting Ninjas in the streets. Inside the fortress Wolverine faces a giant metal Samurai made entirely of adamantine. The monster lops off Wolvie’s claws and starts sucking his power while Viper fights Yukio and Mariko’s old boyfriend Harada proves himself a good guy. Will Wolverine rescue Mariko and beat the Samurai metal warrior?

Wolerine fights NinjasWolverine fights Ninjas

Tag Scene - Note: Stay through a few of the end credits for a cool scene that links this movie to the new X-Men film now being shot in Montreal!

Wrapping Up

The Wolverine is a much more personal movie for the well-loved character that should appeal to X-Men fans, Wolverine fans and character-based action fans alike. Taking Wolverine to Japan is a shout-out to a 1980’s classic comic series. Although the story is complicated with many factions blocking Logan/Wolverine’s path to finding his true self both as a human and as a mutant, the tale makes sci-fi sense.

Hugh Jackman as WolverineHugh Jackman as Wolverine

Hugh Jackman is at his best, abs and acting-wise, playing one of his favorite characters for the sixth time!  Also there are some enjoyable moments of humor as Logan/Wolvie makes a rough but funny comment now and then and, of course gets really “berserker” ticked off as well. The story has heart!  

The film’s action sequences are big and varied. The bullet train scene is fun as are the various martial arts fights. It’s nice to see that female characters are holding their own. Even kidnapped rich girl Mariko fights back a bit and little spunky Yukio, once a street orphan, is a hero in her own right. Viper is a cool villainess but she sort of seems stuffed into the story. With Wolverine facing Yakuza and Ninjas and a mogul making giant Samurais out of adamantine steel, she is almost not needed.. but she looks cool!

Viper challenges WolverineViper challenges Wolverine

This movie is closer to the Wolverine film comic book fans wanted and it works great for the rest of us as well. We’ll go 4 stars.

The Wolverine Movie Rating: 4

The Wolverine is in theaters now!

The posterThe poster