James Mangold • 126 mins • Hero Movie
Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Russell Crowe, Michael Shannon
Following the disappointing 2009 “Origins” movie, it seems that Jackman had a point to make about his Wolverine being alive and well. The last film suffered from throwing in lame side characters, a love story that never rang true and the sacrilegious way in which Deadpool was handled, adding a sub-par lore to the already rich Marvel universe. The new film is loosely based on Chris Claremont’s and Frank Miller’s awesome 1982 comic-book narrative, which spanned over four issues and is a strong foundation on which to build a movie. The story has been tweaked and rearranged so that it still fits in with the increasingly confusing arc running through the X-Men movies, and although hard-core fans will notice some obvious gaps, everyone else should find something to like.
The story begins in 1945 with Logan saving a young Japanese soldier, Yashida, from a nuclear blast. Fast-forward to the present day and Yashida is now an entrepreneur with no shortage of cash, but for all his wealth, he cannot stop the inevitability of his death. Calling on his long-lost savior, Yashida offers to strip Wolverine of his mutant healing power, giving him the gift of mortality.
Deprived of his powers, Wolverine faces up against giant samurai and hordes of ninja, but the real smack in the face action sequence is a knife vs claw fight on top of a bullet train. Inevitably, there is a love triangle to counteract Wolverine’s bouts of savagery, to try and keep the character humane and likeable, but it is hard to believe he has the potential for compassion, when in previous scenes he butchers henchmen without remorse or hesitation.
Luckily, the film is far more focused than its predecessor, and endlessly more enjoyable. The pacing can be a little jarring, and the side-characters a little undercooked, but for fans of the Wolverine, it is a must-see.
Don’t forget you can find a list of local cinemas (and what’s playing) online at: www.kansaiscene.com/cinemas/