Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

August 7, 2013

‘The Wolverine’ further proof Jackman owns character

Movie Review

Ezra Mann
Pauls Valley Democrat

Pauls Valley, Oklahoma — With an apparent golden age of super hero movies upon us, it is easy to become a rabid fan for just about any recent character. However, a select few make it nearly impossible to imagine any other actor portraying them.

Like many, I enjoyed every wild ride for examples like Christian Bale as Batman or even Samuel L. Jackson as SHIELD’s Nick Fury, but bringing about a wish for endless adventures is even more deserving when you consider others like Ron Perlman’s Hellboy, Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man and specific to this review, Hugh Jackman’s delivery of the X-men’s clawed dude with a tude. Biased as it is on the surface, from the get go I knew I was going to enjoy this latest entry and after seeing several trailers decided it was only a matter of how much until the final swipe of the adamantium. It delivered, in perhaps the most intimate look at the tortured soul of our hero, who made one feel torn between wanting an end to the suffering to rooting for a reason to live. “The Wolverine” may fall a bit short of award worthy attention as most in this genre do, but as a whole deserves a level of praise that could act as encouragement worth emulating.

Keeping with that wolvie roulette of nightmares that makes him such a personality, audiences witness flashbacks both to a time when Logan/Wolverine (Jackman) saves a Japanese soldier named Yashida (Haruhiko Yamanouchi) in WWII Nagasaki as well as dealing with the guilt of killing Jean Grey (Famke Janssen) in “X-Men: The Last Stand.” He has pretty much isolated himself from all of society and people, content to be les miserable in the Yukon wilderness.

However, the part of Logan’s past that isn’t a ghost eventually finds him when a young girl send by Yashida, Yukio (Rila Fukushima), convinces him to go back to Japan to be properly thanked as he is not long for the world. As it turns out, Logan’s geriatric friend actually also wants to grant him the ability to die, but also obtain that immortality for himself. A simple no might suffice, but what follows is only complicated in spades that moment on from protecting Yashida’s granddaughter Mariko (Tao Okamoto) from every assassin on the island to Logan forced to admit he’s not as ready to give up as he previously thought.

What made this chapter stand out the most was the element that Jackman displayed in this familiar character in a side that was much more vulnerable on every level than what we’ve seen before. Instead of this unstoppable butt kicking, wise cracking machine, we struggle to cope with the reality that he may not overcome this new weight on his shoulders.

Ultimately, the only things stopping this from topping my one perfect score film of the year so far is that it does falter a bit with an average soundtrack and barely a passing fancy appearance of one Wolverine’s most intriguing villains, the Silver Samurai (which is not to say the way they did it was not good at all, but rather limited it to mere plot device). Still, I do recommend it for those about teenage years and up and feel like it was a perfect Segway into “Days of Future Past.” It’s worth a respectable three and three fourths out of five ninjas for “The Wolverine.”

Movie viewing experience courtesy of the Royal Twin Theater of Pauls Valley.