Director: James Mangold (3:10 To Yuma, Girl, Interrupted)
Starring: Hugh Jackman, Famke Janssen, Rila Fukushima, Tao Okamoto
Run-time: 126 minutes
IN SHORT: Despite terrible writing, The Wolverine just about claws its way to a one time watch rating with great visuals and some stunning fight scenes.
Working in a cinema means I overhear conversations as customers are leaving the screen in a half-blind stupor. And whilst eavesdropping upon people filtering out of The Wolverine, I've found that there really isn't a consensus regarding Marvel's newest offering. Some are tarnishing it the 'worst X-Men movie ever' whilst others are running out with big grins on their faces hailing it a return to form for the character. I hate to sit on the fence but I'm somewhere between these two extremes, neither loving, nor hating the film.
Let's get the bad outta the way first. The script is all over the place, with inconsistent characters, bad guys turning good for convenience sake (who the hell was 'Asian-Hawkeye' working for?!) and a painful over-reliance upon dream sequences. The Wolverine is cluttered with background characters and with half of them double-crossing or just plain disappearing for large segments, it's sometimes difficult gauging just what the hell is really going on. An obligatory but completely unnecessary sex scene further bloats the run-time, although it's the perfect opportunity for a toilet break unless you want to sit and admire Jackman's torso.
|Ninja's man, they just don't fight fair.|
When The Wolverine was first announced, I wondered if we really needed another X-Men film that wasn't a First Class sequel. Hadn't we had enough of this mutant's dodgy side-burns? You get the impression that the writer's feel the same way with the plethora of side characters and the futile attempts to make Logan witty (he's not Tony Stark!) If the writer's had scrapped these surplus elements, they'd have a far more stream-lined movie on their hands. It's Mangold's competence behind the camera that saves The Wolverine from being a chore to sit through but whilst I (just about) enjoyed my two hours, I won't be hurrying back to repeat the experience.