This review was published on the 4th of August 2013 in Images on Sunday (Dawn Newspaper). The post is an unedited copy.
His Claws Are Out — Again!
By Farheen Jawaid
In The Wolverine (an innovatively titled sequel, if there was one), Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) has nightmares – and that’s the least of his worries. He also has to become an unwilling pawn in a family struggle, and contend with some limp storytelling in the process. Despite all this stacking up against him, The Wolverine is an entertaining action film that does not disappoint often.
Starting out in the World War II days, Logan (aka Wolverine) saves a young soldier’s life in the Nagasaki atom bomb blast. Decades later the soldier, Yashida (Haruhiko Yamanouchi) becomes the head of a Japanese technology empire, and on his death bed sends Yukio (Rila Fukushima, enticing), a young girl with kick ass katana skills, to fetch Logan to Japan. As it happens Logan’s healing factor can help save Yashida from cancer.
Logan denies but soon has to guard Yashida’s daughter Mariko (Tao Okamoto) from Yakuza hit-men, while contending with bad dreams about Jean Grey (Famke Janssen), who died by his hands in X-Men: The Last Stand’. He, surprisingly, also suffers from a failing healing factor, making him an easy prey for many of the film’s assassins.
The lack of original plotting in The Wolverine, and the lack of mutant heroes and villains from the last solo Wolverine movie, works somewhat in favor here. The villains that do get introduced (Viper, played by Svetlana Khodchenkova and the Silver Samurai, who I won’t say who) get limited exposure because there’s not a lot for them to do here.
In the meantime, the screenplay by Mark Bomback and Scott Frank (and the un-credited Christopher McQuarrie) and its director James Mangold, focus on a succession of action sequences out of which some get you in the mood to appreciate what the film has to offer.
Primarily the offering is Jackman whose likability in the role fits like a glove; but then again, as the leading mutant in almost all X-Men movies (and lets not forget the cameo in X-Men: First Class), getting the character wrong is the least of his worries. Plus, he and Yukio make a fine action pair.
Released by 20th Century Fox, ‘The Wolverine’ is rated PG-13 for painful action that we know is fake to begin with.
The published version is here, and it looks like this in the paper: