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The Wolverine

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Scott Roberts
The Wolverine
on Jul 30, 2013 at 10:57:55 pm

Premise: A guy that Wolverine saved from an atomic blast in WWII is dying, and would like to say goodbye to his mutant friend, so he buys Logan some plane tickets. Once he gets there, Wolverine has a badass Japanese adventure.


-I loved the opening scene at Nagasaki. Seeing the bomb drop from a relatively short distance away, AND from eye level was equal parts cool and frightening. I also loved how the film just sort of brushes over the details that lead up to Wolverine being imprisoned at a POW camp at the bottom of a well. Not everything *needs* to be explained to the audience. Thanks for letting us use our imagination to fill in the holes sometimes.

-The movie basically just has one storyline. It has one hero, and one villain (if you just count the organization as the villain). Wolverine goes to Japan, he stabs like fifty people with his claws, and he leaves. It's a singularly contained storyline. It's not overly complex. Seems like that doesn't happen a lot in comic book movies any more.

-Wolverine is friends with a grizzly bear! And in the most foreshadowy way possible!

-I liked how they handled the "main" mutant villain, Viper. Not that she was a particularly cool villain (basically a rip-off of Uma Thurman's Poison Ivy), but they established she's evil, they established she creates boiling hot poison from her body, and they kind of left it at that. The movie is called The Wolverine, and he was the main focus. Viper served her purpose in the movie, and we were never forced to linger on a bunch of scenes of her doing whatever she does. I also like that they just dropped subtle lines that she is the most sexual frustrated being on the planet, without her explicitly describing her problem. Less can be more. I liked the hints they dropped.

-The bullet train action scene was ridiculously fun. As in, it was super ridiculous, and totally fun. That was an action scene that did not take itself seriously for the sole purpose of benefiting a fun atmosphere.

-As usual, Wolverine always makes the best use of the one PG-13 F -Bomb.

-The end credits scene was awesome. I assume they were talking about the sentinels in the upcoming X-Men: Days of Future Past?


-It drags in the middle. I mean, it IS 130 minutes. They probably could have cut out a few scenes.

-I almost feel like Wolverine movies don't really need romance scenes. Especially when the dude spends the entire movie grieving over Jean Grey anyway.

-This further proves that giant CGI metal samurai are never as cool as filmmakers want them to be. I call this the Sucker Punch Theory.

-On that note, perhaps a tad cliché in the fact that Japan is depicted as a place overrun with Yakuza, ninjas, and samurai.

-I thought it was super violent despite its PG-13 rating, but James Mangold has stated that the Blu-ray release will be even more violent, and I'm kind of looking forward to that. But it's in the con section because the maximum violence version should have just been the theatrical one if that was the director's intended vision.

-I went to the movie with my friend who lived in Japan for a couple years, and while I didn't notice, he said most of the movie was geographically inaccurate. Most notably, "You can't take a bus to Nagasaki...! C'MON!"

Final Thoughts: It's not a great film by any means, but if you had any interest in seeing another Wolverine movie, this new one is certainly very watchable. And, to be fair, it was a lot for the studio to ask of us to even be interested in another one of these movies after the disaster that was X-Men Origins: Wolverine. So... I guess keep trying to make that mind-blowing X-Men movie that hasn't happened yet, Hollywood. We all want to see it someday. But in the meantime, The Wolverine is at least a step in the right direction.

7.5 out of 10

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Tim Wilson
Re: The Wolverine
on Jul 31, 2013 at 12:11:24 am

[Scott Roberts] " the maximum violence version should have just been the theatrical one if that was the director's intended vision."

Directors trade off vision for contracts. Marvel helmers are contractually obligated to deliver PG-13 cuts, because an R rating would cost the studio hundreds of millions. At least that's what they think.

Whereas an unrated version will MAKE them money at home.

Robert Altman never got the final edit on any of his pictures. He felt it was a small price to pay for keeping studio suits off his sets, but in the end he said, it's their money, and it's churlish at best to think that you should get the final say about ANYTHING.

In the end, nobody who cares about "vision" takes on comic franchises...unless their vision is PG-13.

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Tim Wilson
Re: The Wolverine
on Jul 31, 2013 at 1:05:06 am

Speaking of contractual mandates, I wish they'd mandate that no comic movie go longer than 1:50. Even that's a stretch more often than not. Thor was "only" 1:55 and was excruciating.

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