Not 100% the movie that Wolverine fans will have their hearts set on, but definitely pretty good.
After the events of “X-Men 3”, we find Logan living in solitude in a cave in the mountains. The events of that chpater in his history haunt him, especially having to kill Jean Grey. He has nightmares about her constantly. In them, he feels the affection he used to have for her and then relives the anguish of having to kill her.
Eventually he’s tracked down by a mutant named Yukio (Rila Fukushima), and asked to accompany her back to Japan in order to say farewell to and to be thanked by a dying man named Yashida (Hal Yamanouchi). Logan saved Yashida’s life when the atom bomb was dropped on Nagasaki. In the years since, he rose to be president of one of the most powerful technology corporations in Asia. Now, on his deathbed, he wishes to say goodbye to Logan, and to thank him one last time for saving his life.
Of course, nothing is as easy as that when you’re the Wolverine. When he arrives in Japan, he finds that Yashida actually wants him to transfer his healing powers to him in order to save his life. He’s enlisted the aid of an evil mutant named Viper (Svetlana Khodchenkova) to try to drain Logan of his powers. There’s also a battle ensuing between Yashida’s heirs for control of his empire once he passes. Logan falls for Yashida’s granddaughter Mariko (Tao Okamoto), and feels the need to protect her when the other interests try to kidnap her.
Will he be able to protect Mariko, even when he’s robbed of his healing powers?
“The Wolverine” is almost the Wolverine solo movie that fans have been clamoring for. Logan gets to wallow in the pain and the burden of who he is, while getting dragged into a conflict he has little interest in aside from protecting the innocent. Along the way he finds a doomed romance and finds out just how much of himself he truly identifies with his healing factor. It’s not exactly a “deep” film, by any means, but it’s certainly not as disposable as say “X-Men Origins: Wolverine”. Watching Logan struggle without his healing factor was a nice touch… for a superhero that feels more cursed than most others, seeing him come to realize just how much he needs and wants his abilities made for an interesting watch.
The action scenes and plot are both decent, Wolverine is given plenty of people to slice through and a good enough reason to do it. When they try to go “big” with the action, however, the film loses its footing a bit. The set piece atop a speeding bullet train and the final “Boss Battle” at the end of the film both strained credulity a little and stood out in comparison to the rest of the film, which was relatively grounded.
Nonetheless, it’s great watching Jackman reprise this role. He’s the spitting image of Wolverine, as if he were born to play this character. And this film is a solid showcase for him that will certainly please most fans.
NOTE: Be sure to stay through the credits on this one! I’m typically not thrilled about these little clips they make people hang around for, but this one is definitely worth your time!!