Reel Thoughts: The Wolverine (movie review by Christie G.)
To my great surprise it was actually really good. It’s placed timeline-wise after X-Men: The Last Stand (2006) when Logan (Wovervine) has destroyed Jean/ Phoenix, and is struggling with both her death and what his life has become. He is found in the Canadian outback by Yukio, an assistant to a Japanese soldier Logan saved from a nuclear blast during World War II. Now the soldier wants to return the favor: to save Logan’s life by taking his immortality.
Anyone who’s watched the Wolverine animated series on G4 (soon to be the Esquire channel), or read the 1982 limited comic series written by Chris Claremont and Frank Miller, will be familiar with the story line and how most of the movie goes. The violence is similar to other X-Men movies, but to me didn’t seem nearly as realistic or jarring as the terrorism scenes in Iron Man 3.
My teens and I really enjoyed it. It’s definitely one that I will add to our library collection and would love to show at the library, if Disney ever gets the rights back from Fox for the X-Men properties.
For weird/awesome things that can possibly spoil the movie, follow the break!
STAY THROUGH THE CREDITS
DC hasn’t done this for some of their movies, and sometimes Fox hasn’t done it for their comic creations either, but this time they are taking a page from the rest of their Marvel brethren and adding in a teaser for where the franchise is going. On the bright side, it’s only one, not the three different endings that came out during the end of X-Men Origins: Wolverine; but on the semi-negative side where it’s placed depends on what *type* of movie you see. We saw it in 3-D so it was pretty close after the listing of the cast (at the transition from the 3-D credits to the 2-D credits), but I’ve seen online that if you see the movie in 2-D that it’s shown after *all* of the credits.
It’s not any surprise to anyone who has paid attention to the news that came out from Comic Con, but it’s fun to see anyway, and gets you excited for what’s coming next. I’m interested to see how they’re going to mesh everything together in X-Men: Days of Future Past with the “old” and “new” cast, and I am super excited about the Sentinels.
There were some flaws in editing that we noticed that shouldn’t have happened in a film this size- it’s like getting a misprinted book. If you haven’t seen it yet and are interested, go take a look and see if you catch it.
There’s a scene with Viper/the doctor in which she’s taking off her gloves, and they cut it weirdly- she ends up taking her gloves off twice…
There’s a scene with Logan and Mariko (the granddaughter) where they are eating and discussing important plot points. (Here’s where action people are all like, NOOOOOOOOOOOO, discussion?!?! Need more fighting!!!!) Near the beginning of the scene she takes his upright chopsticks out of his food and sets them to the side; at the end of the scene she again takes the upright chopsticks out of the food and sets them to the side. Now, Logan might have put them back in the food as a rebellion move, but you (the viewer) never see him to it…
I really like to know *where* characters come from, and their back story. I want it in my books, and I want it in my movies. Marvel has won me over with what they’ve been doing with the Avengers and the whole series surrounding all of it because of how they’re building that world. The newest Batman movies build that world and sold me, too. I’m not so sure about some of the characters in The Wolverine; my teens were fine during the movie with the characters just appearing out of nowhere, but as we were driving back were asking me or using their phones to search for more information.
Viper- The good doctor really doesn’t follow any of the established storylines. Depending on which one you follow, she’s either part of Hydra, or a master assassin, or something else entirely. The problem is, she’s not really established in the movie. The immunity to poisons is cool, and the biotech smarts is awesome (yea girls with science) but the shedding skin thing at the end just didn’t work quite right. What’s with the blonde hair then going bald but with perfect makeup? That’s totally inconsistent with all the variations.
Silver Samurai– They have this huge, awesome silver samurai suit, and this huge, wonderful backstory. The movie publicists build up an epic battle with Wolverine and Silver Samurai- and there is, because this is what everything has been building up to (even though two of my teens guessed who was in the suit) and the whole point of the movie. Yet, it’s really like the Batwing from the original Batman with Michael Keaton and Jack Nicholson: tons of money, and a one-off.
Still Really Good
None of this detracts from this being a really good movie. It definitely made my inner comic geek happy, and it gave my teens a really good buzz. I adored the soundtrack music, and they fact that they really kept it in the Japanese flavors. I would love to do a marathon before the release of Days of Future Past but as of right now none of the movies are covered by our public performance license. I shall have to geek out at my house beforehand.
About Karen Jensen, MLS
Karen Jensen has been a Teen Services Librarian for almost 30 years. She created TLT in 2011 and is the co-editor of The Whole Library Handbook: Teen Services with Heather Booth (ALA Editions, 2014).
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