I don’t go to the movies as often as I used to. Partly because once I finally got a wide-screen television I discovered I could enjoy movies as much as I did when I went to the theater. Ticket prices have a lot to do with it also.
I’m still a big movie lover, however, but now, unless it’s some movie I’ve just go to see on the big screen, I wait until the movie shows up at Netflix or my local library. With the shorter turnaround time from when a movie comes out at the theater and shows up on DVD, I usually don’t have to wait that long.
Which brings me to The Wolverine. I didn’t see it in the theater, but not because I thought it sucked or anything. It was for the reasons I stated above. Unless a movie is something I’ve just got to see when it comes out, I wait for it to show up on DVD.
The Wolverine stars Hugh Jackman as the eponymous hero. Jackman has played Wolverine since the debut of the X-Men movie franchise back in 2000. Wow, can you believe it’s been fourteen years since the franchise started? I’m a big fan of Jackman, but I have to admit, because of the clarity of HD, you can see the years beginning to show on his face.
But he’s still pretty darn hot! He was heavily muscled in this movie and the action scenes were a testament to that.
The movie also starred Tao Okamoto, Rila Fukushima, Svetlana Khodchenkova and Will Yun Lee. Lee played Danny Woo on one of my favorite, too-early cancelled TV shows, Witchblade.
Directed by James Mangold, who also directed Jackman in another favorite of mine, Kate and Leopold, the movie was written by Scott Frank, who wrote among other movies, Marley & Me and Minority Report, and Mark Bomback, who penned Total Recall (2012) and, apparently, is doing the rewrite of the movie version of Fifty Shades of Grey.
So what did I think of The Wolverine? Well, I’ve seen all the X-Men movies and this one was slightly better than some of them but not as good as others. This is the second X-Men movie featuring Wolverine as the central character and I thought it was better than 2009’s X-Men’s Origins: Wolverine.
The Wolverine is set in modern-day Japan and I’m a sucker for any movie set in that country as I’m fascinated by Japan. The cast was serviceable, meaning they said their lines and did their part. I thought Wolverine’s love interest in the movie, Mariko, played by the model turned actress, Tao Okamoto, was very lovely but a bit bland as an actress.
Rila Fukushima, who played the katana-wielding, precognitive Yukio, was a pretty likeable character. Like so many female characters in so many movies, she kicked her requisite quota of asses. She did have a bit more depth to her than Mariko and I found her to be, as a result, a more interesting character.
As for Dr. Green, Viper, whatever the heck her name was supposed to be, as played by Svetlana Khodchenkova, I had no idea what her deal was. I mean she was a villain, yes, but I never really got any sense as to what she was doing or wanting except to spit venom into people’s faces.
Wait, I should clarify that. I did find out what she was up to but by then I didn’t care.
See, that was the major problem I had with The Wolverine. The movie waited so long to finally clue me in as to what was going on that when I finally found out (due to a rather inane “plot twist”) I really didn’t care. I never felt fully invested in the plot, the characters or their plights. There were a lot of action scenes that honestly left me feeling ho-hum.
It wasn’t a bad movie, but my criteria for how I feel about a movie pretty much follows this line of thought:
1. Would I recommend this movie to family and friends?
2. Would I watch this movie again?
3. Would I want to personally own this movie to add to my collection?
In all three cases, with The Wolverine, I have to say maybe (but with a lot of qualifiers) on Question 1 and a definite no for both Questions 2 and 3.
Not that Question 3 is necessarily a kiss of death for a movie if I should answer no. I’ve seen a lot of movies I really liked but have no desire to own, but would watch again if I came across them. If I want to own a movie, well, that says a lot! Unfortunately, that was not the case with The Wolverine. I have no desire to own it and one viewing was enough for me.
Popcorn Rating – 1 Bag (Don’t even bother) to 5 Bags (What are you waiting for? SEE THIS MOVIE NOW!)
I give The Wolverine three popcorn bags. It was okay, but it left me feeling a bit blah at the end.