Rant and Rave: ‘The Wolverine’

Image courtesy of 20th Century Studios

On a ninja rampage. Not quite Jackman.

Marvel once again aimed to set the bar high for the return of our beloved anti-hero Wolverine in the sixth instalment of the X-Men series. Set within the confines of aesthetic Tokyo, famed actor Hugh Jackman reprises his ageless role with the same passion and poignancy as he did in the previous films. The familiar claws and teased-up hair were a relief to see, as Logan (Jackman) finds himself in the midst of an age-old family crisis, where he struggles to survive upon finding his fate tied to the evil legacy of a soldier whose life he once saved.

Proving time and time again that Wolverine simply cannot be killed, Jackman gave us a heart-gripping action-packed movie, complete with high-end dramatic choreography and stunts. Characters gave a bright splash of anime colour into the film; thus, highlighting the uneasy brilliance of having staged the film in a self-contained Asian locale. The plot flowed smoothly and packed a crime-drama punch, complete with the ingredients of a stereotypical Japanese genre cinema: slick samurais, ninja acrobatics, and a refined yet zesty Japanese heroine. While it showcased unique elements, it was overwhelmed by the faults of a typical action film – tedious and conflicted villains, expected and repetitive fight scenes, and a script that, while impactful at parts, remains weak.

Nevertheless, this one is no mindless film, but a thoughtful one; the plot is steered by an underlying goal. It has succeeded where its 2009 prequel has failed – the growth and maturity of Logan as a character, following the death of the love of his life (Jean Grey), was captured and delicately outlined. Jackman seamlessly pulls off a tormented and broken character beneath the badass and roughed-up exterior we usually associate him with. We see the humanity in his character, as he continues to struggle with his immortality. His heroic tendencies were also played out in such a way that he was branded as a saviour of sorts, and not as the usual revenge-seeker we came to know.

The lack of familiar characters from the previous films and the presence of new elements give this film a refreshing yet alien feel – something which may be either appreciated or despised by viewers. While there was an element of tediousness in the plot, the two-minute teaser scene post-credits is something to look forward to. All in all, the Wolverine cannot compare to the prominence of the first three X-Men films, but it certainly is not a disappointing one.

Rating: 2.5

Shi Ailyn

By Shi Ailyn

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