Directed by: James Mangold
Screenplay by: Christopher McQuarrie, Mark Bomback & Scott Frank
Based on Wolverine by Chris Claremont & Frank Miller
Starring: Hugh Jackman, Hiroyuki Sanada, Tao Okamoto, Rila Fukushima, Famke Janssen, Will Yun Lee, Svetlana Khodchenkova, Hiruhiko Yamanouchi & Brian Tee
Hugh Jackman returns and delivers yet another brilliant performance as the Wolverine. Taking place after the debacle that was X-Men: The Last Stand (a movie I would prefer hadn’t happened). Wolverine is suffering through the anguish he feels or killing Jean-Grey, the woman he loved, in The Last Stand. Now, living in a self-imposed exile he lives his life alone until a ghost from his past, a man whose live he saved, seeks him out to give him the gift he’s always been wanting: a cure for his immortality. But not all is what it seemed.
As Wolverine, Hugh Jackman is flawless in his performance. He had the strength and the attitude to deliver this character perfectly, as always. All that was missing was his iconiccigar smoking. Another great part of the movie was the fact that each character has within them their own fears that haunt their everyday life, giving them depth as characters. All except the Viper, played by Svetlana Khodchenkova who made her debut into the world of Hollywood with this tantalizing performance. Her acting did not falter and her facial expressions were perfect, even down to her eye rolls. Khodchenkova was a perfect choice to play this part.
Now as far as chemistry goes for this cast, there was no problem with it. Everyone has chemistry with one another and they build a strong dynamic with one another, presenting the love story between Wolverine and Mariko, an iconic story that left shockwaves for Wolverine in the Marvel Universe. The casting was great for this movie, even if the movie had flaws.
The biggest flaw in this movie had to do with the Jean Grey sequences. By the third one, I was muttering “go away Jean, no one cares”. They were excessive, didn’t build on the story, and were so annoying. There were five sequences! Five. Now I love Famke Janssen as Jean Grey but I hated these sequences. If the creative team insisted on having back then onlyinclude three sequences, one in the beginning to highlight how he’s haunted, one in the middle to show how the Viper gets to him and one in the end to show him letting go…finally.That was all the audience needed. Everything else was time and budget wasted. My second biggest issue was his claws no longer being adamantium. Now I understand the science behindwhy but considering that his adamantium claws are quite essential for him to fight Sentinals in the next X-Men movie, it seems like a big mess they are going to have to clean up.
Despite those bumps in the road, it was a well done movie, Hugh Jackman was awesome, and had what comic book movies are supposed to have, comical aspects wrapped in the seriousness. It wasn’t perfect, not exceptional like The Avengers and Captain America, but it was still fun to watch and incredibly enjoyable…not mention awesome. ★★ ½ (B+)