Is The Wolverine all that original? Will it please fanboys? Why is set almost entirely in Japan? The answers to those questions are “not really,” “I don’t know,” and “to capture the overseas earnings 20th Century Fox so desperately craves.”
Now that that’s out of the way, let’s get down to what makes Logan/Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) the perfect subject for a superhero movie. He hates himself, which is a great start. He’s a mutant, and mutants are outcasts that jus’ plain folks fear—a well-established trope in the other X-Men movies that mercifully takes a backseat here.
The story—not that it matters—has a young Japanese woman, Yukio (Rila Fukushima), trailing Logan and coming to his aid when he gets into a bar fight. She convinces him to travel to Tokyo to say goodbye to a man he saved in Nagasaki in World War II.
The old man, Yashida (Haruhiko Yamanouchi), a businessman with an enormous conglomerate, wants Wolverine’s immortality. Wolverine says no. Not surprisingly, everything turns to shit.
All in all, The Wolverine is goofy fun, complete with a ridiculous series of stunts on top of a bullet train. It’s a good way to spend an evening in the air conditioning. Stay for the credits.
Directed by James Mangold
With Hugh Jackman, Tao Okamoto and Rila Fukushima
Regal Stadium Santa Fe 14