Almost Wolverine

Movie Review: The Wolverine (Blu-ray uncut release)

The uncut Rated R version of The Wolverine was recently released and I thought I’d watch it again to appreciate the difference between the cinema release and to write the review I never got to write.

The Wolverine Unleashed

It’s Wolverine! The badass-est character in the Marvel universe! And it’s Hugh Jackman! But even so those two great thing, couldn’t stop me from feeling disappointed that this still wasn’t the Wolverine I wanted to see. It’s a great action movie. Just not a convincing Wolverine movie.

The biggest reason I didn’t totally enjoy the movie was, unfortunately, Hugh Jackman. I love him to bits. Seriously. Hell, I even cried in Les Mis! But Wolverine is a short and stocky; he’s an animal; he’s the pretty boy antithesis - things that Hugh Jackman is most visibly, not. This is probably the biggest reason why I’ve never been able to buy Hugh Jackman as Wolverine from the very first X-Men movie.

Almost Wolverine. But still good.

I can’t picture him as the savage firecracker I know from the comics. We rarely see the trademark violence Wolverine is known for. No Hit Girl-esq chopping off of limbs. Which you’d think would be the first thing to happen when up against a guy with long claws. The unrated version had a more blood than the cinematic release and a couple of notable additional scenes. One was a particularly gory scene featuring Yukio and heavy machinery, and the other was a fight in front of the love motel. But both scenes were memorable not because of Wolverine, but because of what Yukio and Mariko contributed. It’s disappointing that the most violent scene of the movie was because of Yukio and not Logan.

Tao-Okamoto-in-The-Wolverine-439x650 Hugh-Jackman-and-Rila-Fukushima-in-The-Wolverine-439x650
Mariko and Yukio became more interesting in the Uncut version

The Wolverine was a character piece. Which is a great thing! Coz let’s face it, Wolverine’s power is basically to take a prolonged beating. What really makes Wolverine interesting is his personality, his history, his pains. And this movie focused on his humanity, more than his mutation. But I think there was a lack of gravitas in his supposed guilt. Wolverine says he swore off killing but 10 minutes in, he was already involved in a bar fight. There was no struggle with the choice of killing and not, no effort on his part to pull his punches (or claws) throughout the movie. A scene where he gets beat up, but never fights back would have convinced me of his remorse.

Unfortunately, Wolverine did not have a profound samurai transformation in this story.

He’s got the brooding and grumpiness down, and he also has the intensity, but it’s still hard for me to fully see Hugh as the iconic character. I just need a little more, just a little bit, for Hugh Jackman to transition to a genuine Wolverine. Maybe he needs to wear the uniform? I don’t know.

I wouldn't fit in THIS film, but maybe in future ones.

But my complaints didn’t completely ruin the experience for me. Don’t get me wrong, this is certainly a much much better Wolverine than any of the previous films. It was a great and grounded superhero action film - the conflict was engaging and the fights were still intense and well choreographed, especially during sword fights.

Just not a great Wolverine movie.

Some other stuff I liked: (SPOILERS)
  • Yukio’s badass Viper kill! Like watching Final Destination.
  • The return of Bone claw!
  • Barbequed Wolverine. It was awesomely gruesome! Reminds me of the start of Civil War where Wolverine got disintegrated. PRETTY. F*IN. COOL.
  • Prof X and Magneto cameo FTW! This actually made up for everything for me.:)
Some other stuff I didn’t like:
  • The actress who played Viper. Too cartoon-y. Did not at all fit seamlessly in the film.
  • Mecha-Silver Samurai. You Iron Man rip off, you.
Wolverine VS. Iron Ma...wait. I mean Iron Samurai!

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