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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars FASTER THAN A SPEEDING BULLET TRAIN
Perhaps "Wolverine 3" would be a better title considering all the times we have seen Jackman in this role. The film opens with a flashback dream within a flashback dream as Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) continues playing Jeremiah Johnson. He is persuaded to go to Japan by Yukio (Rila Fukushima) to pay his last respects. While in Japan, Wolverine encounters Viper woman...
Published 23 months ago by The Movie Guy

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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A missed opportunity for Wolverine greatness
The Wolverine is a 2013 action fim starring Hugh Jackman as the iconic Wolverine. It is largely set in Japan and based loosely on the graphic novels by Chris Claremont and Frank Miller which saw the start of Wolverine's Japanese connection. The run-time on the Blu-ray is the same as the theatrical release. There is some talking head feature as part of the Extras but...
Published 12 months ago by MLA


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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A missed opportunity for Wolverine greatness, 5 July 2014
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MLA (Jakarta, Indonesia) - See all my reviews
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The Wolverine is a 2013 action fim starring Hugh Jackman as the iconic Wolverine. It is largely set in Japan and based loosely on the graphic novels by Chris Claremont and Frank Miller which saw the start of Wolverine's Japanese connection. The run-time on the Blu-ray is the same as the theatrical release. There is some talking head feature as part of the Extras but not much else. The Blu-ray comes with a downloadable version.

Wolverine is one of the greatest of the comic book heroes. His sense of honour, the underdog with that rage, his immortality, and pervading sense of grief are so well known. Wolverine's journey into Japan is a part of his lore, something well known to fans. It is good to see this part of the great Wolverine on screen.

The Wolverine is not a direct translation of comic book onto film. In the Extras, producer Hutch Parker says that the best films do not stick too closely to canon. He is completely wrong. The closer a film sticks to its origin the better it tends to be with only a few rare exceptions. The Wolverine is not an exception. It is a good film but never great, it is not as interesting or exciting as the world from which it was drawn but it is a perfectly fine action adventure.

One of the most difficult things about The Wolverine when compared to the original is Hugh Jackman himself. He is a magnifcent Wolverine. Jackman is so intense, appears to be locked so deep in thought all of the time. The fire within burns throughout and seems to be just on the cusp of control. It is an excellent performance. The problem though is that he is too big. This is not just an issue of comparison but also affects the way his character comes across. Jackman is a really big guy. Wolverine is a notably average height superhero. With Jackman on screen he never seems like the underdog in this film. Every physical scene looks like one his opponents have no chance to win. Part of Wolverine's mystique is his willingness to take on unfavourable odds. The sense of drama lacks when Hugh Jackman towers over his opponents and his huge muscles are enhanced by lighting and some visual effects.

The worst example of this is the fight scene with Shingen Yashida played by Hiroyuki Sanada. Jackman is nearly a foot taller than Sanada who is a small framed guy anyway. Normally in these situations it is the little guy who the audience should support - Bruce Lee in Game of Death being the stereotypical example. It is hard to sympathise with a brutal savage who overpowers his rivals and in any case cannot really be hurt by them.

Far more effective are the character driven elements of the fillm. In particular, Wolverine's appearance at Nagasaki that fateful day is an outstanding sequence. It does what works so well for the Wolverine character in previous films in that it takes real happenings and puts Wolverine into them in a realistic way. The sequence with the future Yashida patriach in which Wolverine saves his life is beautiful and really quite moving. When he returns later in the film to that same spot it is something quite special.

There is though not really enough character and there is too much action. The action sequences are generally ok rather than excellent. The use of a slightly different choreographic style for Wolverine compared to previous films is good, the use of samurai swords always a winner. However, the battles with Yakuza are not especially exciting. Part of the lack of drama is that Wolverine is too powerful, he is always going to win. The absence of other mutants makes it an immortal demi-god taking on puny mortals.

The final sequence vs the Silver Samurai is terrible. The Silver Samurai looks far too bulky and unrealistic. It is a tin robot, the sort of thing Terminator should be taking on rather than Wolverine. It is a real surprise to find this abomination was designed by the legendary Weta Workshop. Possibly it needed to be so big and appear so clumsy because Hugh Jackman is too big.

An exception to the poor action sequences is the ride on the bullet train. Fight scenes on trains are nothing new. What makes this sequence work so well is the sense of speed. It is really well directed to have the illusion of threat from speed generated by blue screen. The Bullet really does seem to travel at its breakneck speed. It seems to pose a real challenge to Wolverine, the sequence is excellent.

When he is not fighting, Hugh Jackman is outstanding. He is a magnificent screen fighter but the directing and choreography really let him down. However, the directing cannot get in the way of his wonderful screen presence. There is a calmness about Jackman that always seems to be on the brink of breaking apart. His interaction with the other characters, especially the women, works well. Jackman's Wolverine is a troubled beast trying so hard to deny the monster within while doing everything he can to support those around him. Jackman captures his character so well it generates real pathos.

Jackman's primary screen compatriots in The Wolverine are relative unknowns Tao Okamoto as Mariko Yashida and Rila Fukushima as Yukio. It is Yukio with whom Wolverine first interacts and the pair seem ideal. The playful and fun Yukio seems to be exactly who Wolverine needs to be with, ideal girlfriend material for him to shake him out of his permanently sombre mood. Unfortunately the beautiful Fukushima is not the love interest, she is just the bodyguard. Fukushima seems to be having fun in every scene she appears in, her light footed combat style is really pleasing to watch. It is a bit confusing to see Yukio wearing the red and grey hoops worn by Lady Deathstrike in the animated series and it seems to associate the two. Fukushima looks great in the outfit though, almost the cyberpunk part of Japanese culture.

Tao Okamoto has less presence. As love interest Mariko Yashida she is not overly endowed with personality. She also does not look the part. Okamoto is a much more westernised vision of beauty. She is very tall, slender, almost frail. Okamoto's modelling career has existed in part because she does not look typically Japanese. In Japan this makes sense but there seems little point in casting a Japanese person who looks just like a westerner. Mariko is subdued and quiet which is supposed to make her a contrast for Wolverine's rage but it is too close to the contemplative Wolverine on screen most of the time. Compared with the imposing Hugh Jackman, Okamoto really fails to shine at all.

The minor characters are not given much to go on. Villain Viper is a fun threat but plays a limited role in the story. Kenuichio Harada seems to be a good marksman but in the comic to movie world is just a poor man's Hawkeye. It is a bit weird for the original character of the Silver Samurai to just be a bit part player in a film that actually features the Silver Samurai. Jean Grey makes a brief un-needed appearance mid-way through the story.

Visually The Wolverine is good. It looks decent on Blu-ray. The settings are great, using parts of Tokyo and other parts of Japan adds authenticity.

The Extras are terrible. Nearly an hour of verbal back-slapping between the various talking heads does not a special feature make. It is a great example of what not to do. There is hardly any behind the scenes activity, nothing about how things unfolded the way they did, just line after line of slightly defensive self-praise.

The Wolverine is a missed opportunity. It is a missed opportunity to take one of the greatest characters of the 20th century, put him in one of his iconic settings in Japan, and present the next great comic book based film. Director James Mangold seems to have got much of it really quite wrong. This film should have been slower in the Japanese style. It should have been more character based and dialogue heavy. The action sequences are generally poorly designed. The casting of Tao Okamoto was a mistake.

There are really great things about this film, notably the excellent acting of Hugh Jackman and Hiroyuki Sanada as well as the playful Rila Fukushima. It could have been great, it is just ok.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars FASTER THAN A SPEEDING BULLET TRAIN, 11 Aug. 2013
By 
The Movie Guy "Movies from A to Z" (United States) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Wolverine [DVD] (DVD)
Perhaps "Wolverine 3" would be a better title considering all the times we have seen Jackman in this role. The film opens with a flashback dream within a flashback dream as Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) continues playing Jeremiah Johnson. He is persuaded to go to Japan by Yukio (Rila Fukushima) to pay his last respects. While in Japan, Wolverine encounters Viper woman (Svetlana Khodchenkova) his "Kryptonite," and gets involved in a plot that gave me flashbacks to fine films like "Toxic Avenger II" and "Nazis at the Center of the Earth."

The plot had more complexity than what I expected or wanted to see. The action scenes were shot by shaking the camera at odd angles so we could feel the intensity. Instead I thought "Why the low budget effect?" The film started out with some comedy and dark comedy, but that aspect quickly died when they went to Japan.

Considering the fine Avenger/Mutant films that have come out, this one was a let down.

Worth a rental. Most likely I will buy it since I own all the other ones.

Parental Guide: 1 F-bomb. Implied morning after sex. Jackman rear nudity...again.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars slightly off, but entertaining, 3 Sept. 2014
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This was a much better film than the last stand alone wolverine outing. The charactor is given much more time to develop, and the opportunity is taken to look at the cost of his mutation as well as the benefits. That said there are some weaknesses in the film. The enemies are not very well developed or explained, so it is hard to think of them as anything other than expendable redshirts for Wolverine to go through, and the pacing of the film seems slightly off to me with a baggy middle section that never really goes anywhere. I feel that Hugh Jackman knows the charactor so well now that he has no problem slipping back into Logans skin and bringing more to the charactor than is written which is a real strength. However some of the other acting around him is not as strong, and that does hurt the film a little.
Overall i would recommend this to any fan of the X-men films or comics. However if you are a newcomer to the charactor then i feel you will see a much better version in the first 2 X-men films.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Funny you should ask...., 17 Nov. 2013
Wolverine is out of his depth as he faces his biggest challenge in a life or get hurt, then heal battle that will leave him forever changed.

Vulnerable for the first time and pushed to his limits, he confronts not only lethal Samurai, but a woman who thinks she is a snake.

Also Famke Janssen stars as his inner struggle.....

the most boring generic Summer in a very long time, continues with this, another chance gone begging for one of the most interesting comic book characters out there.

Jackman is fantastic as the 'The Wolverine'. and he oozes the character from every pore. The first twenty minutes are great, it's as good as when we were first introduced to Logan back in 2000, he's moody, funny and dangerous.

soon as we hit Japan, the film nosedives and becomes a crashing bore.

despite a couple of good set pieces (the bullet train segment is awe- inspiring0, the rest of the film is Wolverine battling his inner demons, and Jean grey popping up every now and again to let the audience know that it's still part of the X-Men universe.

When compared to origins, it's on a par, but at least that had more colourful characters, and it was bonkers, not boring.

The final set piece involves a huge Samurai with a surprise inside, and the Viper woman is just plain annoying.

So all in all, it's a crashing disappointment, just like many of the big films released since June, so you maybe fooled into thinking it's not that bad.

It's average and dull, which a Wolverine movie shouldn't be.

And the worst thing? I fear it may be the last standalone Wolverine movie Jackman will star in, which is depressing.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Life or death, 25 Dec. 2014
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This review is from: The Wolverine [DVD] (DVD)
Immortality yes or no in this exciting life to death situation so much full on action and suspense this can only give, well we know the truth but let's carry on with my comments, the show is unusual and with the marvellous cast and great storyline there is no chance of not been fantastic, made in Japan and all this and that makes this an A grade plus. When it first started I really wasn't going to watch it, a bit slow on the mark but it did pick up and improved than that got my interest, We can't work the actors to much as they will get tired and demand more money. The imagination and ideas are fabulous so worth picking up the movie but you need the popcorn also, now when you relax with feet up well try to anyway, with this movie it could be a bit hard as it will have you on your toes, so for a brilliant night in of entertainment than this is it. Enjoy!
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43 of 51 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Refreshing and humble take on a truly interesting Marvel character, 18 Oct. 2013
By 
Mr. T. O. Brand "Tom Brand" (London) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
If you're still smarting over the disaster that was Origins (not including the title sequence, which was the only good part of that movie!)then you can feel confident that The Wolveriene will leave you with a much better sentiment.

Still fitting into the continuity of the other X-Men films but without many constraints imposed upon itself, The Wolveriene is a great standalone film which helps to flesh out the titular character, which in many people's opinions is the most interesting in Marvel lore.

On the whole Jackman does a great job at portraying Wolveriene, and slightly more nuanced than he has played the role in the past. I liked how superheroes aren't always at the forefront and it's more about vendettas and relationships. The action that does feature is, on the whole, excellent and not too 'OTT' (in contrast, I found Man of Steel to be overly action orientated) right up until the final showdown battle with Silver Samurai, which I felt went too much with the expected Hollywood ending.

Overall though it's a great film, and you don't need to be into Marvel or superheroes to enjoy it.
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4.0 out of 5 stars "SNICKT!", 7 Aug. 2014
By 
Mr. C. Gelderd "aka GelNerd" (Basingstoke, UK) - See all my reviews
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After the dust had fallen from the greatly anticipated 2009 film ‘X-Men Origins: Wolverine’, it was widely flawed by fans and critics as a general disappointment to the X-Men universe and the character of Wolverine himself. Populated with as many mutants as they could use for “fan-boy” pleasing, X-Men comic nods to pin a story together, a number of big name stars who appeared amongst a heavy CGI action story, it left audiences with a sour taste in their mouths. So with the 4 year gap between films, another Wolverine headlined adventure taking place AFTER the original X-Men trilogy serving as a sequel than prequel (keep up…), this was the chance to prove that the character had a real core to be discovered and make up for a failed attempt at giving fans the hero they wanted.

I was one of the many fans disappointed by ‘Origins’ and feared another Wolverine film would simply add insult to injury. Thankfully, I was proved wrong and am so glad I was. This film is the one that eradicates ‘Origins’ as shows us a hero already established but one where there is real character development, a good story and brilliant action used sparingly but effectively.

The action is nothing new in the modern super-hero rule book, but this is a brutal and painful looking story where Jackman really owns the character more than ever, and every punch, kick and slice is felt and we even have blood stained claws at one point! The CGI is there but it is never used for the sake of it, only to enhance dangerous scenes or “super” powers that couldn’t be done in reality which I’m happy to see. There’s a violent grace to the fight sequences that appeals to all fans without being TOO violent to isolate younger fans. If anything, the Silver Samurai is a little under-used as a main threat, but it does the job of being a CGI throw-away villain and certainly looks good but never really feels as evil as it could have been.

The supporting cast is largely unknown to Western audiences, but that isn’t a bad thing because we take them for who they are – talented and understanding of their role, and authentic too. Taking away Hugh Jackman as the main pull for Western audiences, the rest of the cast is largely European and Asian as the film is based in Japan and it looks so good because of it. Not globetrotting, but developing a feeling for the country and its important history to help enhance Logan’s story and the poignancy being there. The only actor I recognised with Will Yun Lee as Harada, head of the Black Ninja Clan, who starred as Colonel Moon in 2002 Bond film ‘Die Another Day’. However Okamoto and Fukushima are great alongside Jackman and make their characters far more fleshed out and emotive than you could hope for.

With a great visual style (the opening scenes on 1945 Nagasaki are beautiful, yet terrifyingly shot), and a far greater understanding of the Wolverine character by director Mangold, this is the film X-Men fans deserved for Hugh Jackman to really get his claws into and show how excellent an actor he is and the passion he puts into the role he has made his own. A thrilling soundtrack adds to the excitement, and the film leaves room to develop Wolverine even more as a character, which is exciting to feel rather than wishing it would be over as we did in 2009.

And the post-credits sequence is something truly wonderful for X-Men fans that lead us perfectly into the era of ‘Days Of Future Past’. I just never thought I’d say this, but I can’t wait to see more of the Wolverine, because this film has reminded me how excellent a character he is.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The film that actually made me luck Wolverine, 20 April 2014
This review is from: The Wolverine [DVD] (DVD)
The thing that makes this film quite different to other superhero films, is the fact that it is very character-based and the plot comes second. This allows an insight into just who Wolverine is and the constant struggle that rages in his mind. The action sequences which whilst not frequent, they definitely are thrilling when used. The only thing which this film falls down in is the weak characterisation of viper. Also make sure you stay through the credits for a very awesome scene which will have you very excited for 'days of future past'.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Worst film ever, 5 Oct. 2014
This review is from: The Wolverine (Blu-ray)
so disappointed with this film. Story line poor and no 3d effects at all. Might as well have turned 3d off. Been looking forward to this film for a long time, wish I hadn't bothered 😫😫😫
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Quite fun, 19 Jun. 2014
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This review is from: The Wolverine [DVD] (DVD)
This was trashed by the critics when it came out and so I had avoided it until now. I only watched this as a precursor to the new X-men film (the post-credit sting is the connection between the two). I had pretty low expectation and perhaps because of this, was pleasantly surprised. It is much better than the reviews say (don't get me wrong, it's no lost classic, but it's streets ahead of the previous Wolverine solo film) and an enjoyable super-hero action film.
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The Wolverine [DVD]
The Wolverine [DVD] by James Mangold (DVD - 2013)
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