Comic Vine Review

206 Comments

The Wolverine Review

3

James Howlett returns in his second solo film, but is it worth seeing in theaters?

X-Men Origins: Wolverine wasn't a film many of us enjoyed and despite it having a totally different director and set of writers, the previous movie has cast a rather ugly shadow over The Wolverine. Luckily for us, Logan's second film is definitely better than his first, but that isn't saying a lot, is it?

The Wolverine picks up after the events of X-Men: The Last Stand. In case you missed it, Wolverine was forced to kill Jean Grey. Plunging his claws into the woman he loved has taken a huge toll on him, forcing him to go into isolation and while he lives in the wild, he strives to avoid conflict. Logan may be an outcast, but one person wants to bring him back into society. Yashida, a man Wolverine saved during World War II, is now dying and wants to give his savior a gift: mortality. Wolverine is flown to Tokyo to hear the dying man's offer and to say any more would be too spoilery, so I'll cut the recap there.

The plot is loosely based on Chris Claremont and Frank Miller's 1982 four-issue series which is simply titled WOLVERINE. And when I say "loosely," I sure do mean it. Yes, it involves a lot of the same names and some scenes are blatantly inspired by the book, but it's massively different. I'm usually cool when it comes to most changes -- after all, they need to keep things fresh -- but they missed quite a few opportunities when it came to some of the more iconic moments from the book (there's a major tease early on but it never delivers the scene you're expecting). Additionally, I didn't appreciate the handling of a certain character. That's sure to only annoy a select few, but it's a character I'm really fond of, so sue me. And naturally, these complaints won't matter if you haven't read the classic series or share my passion for a certain Marvel character.

The story being drastically different than the source material is something I can overlook a vast majority of the time, but the problem here is the new narrative it creates feels like it's striving to be way more complex than it actually is. There's more than a handful of twists thrown our way, but the issue is none of them are actually shockers and I imagine most of you will be able to predict them well before they happen. A generic plot isn't a terrible thing if other factors can outweigh it, but it's worth noting because there's a fair share of moments I thought were downright silly -- the final act in particular had a few. Much to my surprise, there's an awesome amount of humor in the film, too. There's plenty of big laughs to enjoy, so even if you're not all that fond of the plot, odds are this movie will manage to slap a smile on your face a couple of times.

The Wolverine really succeeds when it decides to focus solely on Wolverine's internal struggle. Thankfully, there's a good chunk of that in the movie. Once again, Hugh Jackman does a superb job with the role, delivering the perfect blend of heart and rage. One moment you want to tell him everything will be alright and give him a pat on the back, and the next, you want to keep a safe distance from him or run as far away as you can. The more serious scenes are never enough to get the waterworks going, but it's certainly heartfelt enough at times and that's thanks to Jackman's performance. So if the plot does one thing very well, it would be its handling of the most popular X-Man and how he develops as the journey continues.

While Jackman steals the show and rightfully has a vast majority of the focus, Young Yashida's actor, Ken Yamamura, comes in second place for a short yet strong emotional performance in the opening scene and another flashback. Everyone else does an able job with their roles, too -- even if it is a super campy villain (here's looking at you, Viper).

Earlier action scenes suffer from too much shaky cam (and I'm someone who can usually tolerate a very good amount of that) and it really detracts from the chaos. This movie needs to bring good melees and unfortunately, it misses the mark in some of the early fights. I get the movie can't be too gory and a Wolverine movie certainly doesn't need gore to be good, but it's awkward watching him slice and stab so many goons without any kind of visible damage occurring to them most of the time. That said, they do counter this a few times with some pretty cool shots of blood still on his claws and the aftermath of a door he stabbed through. Additionally, Wolverine is more vicious when it comes to his handling of certain people he encounters, but those actions often take place right outside of our view. Regardless, I'm just happy they occurred, even if we couldn't technically see it.

Director James Mangold delivers big time when Logan finally faces off against a certain character from Claremont/Miller's story. It was without question the best scene the film had to offer and one of Logan's best action scenes yet. For a moment, I thought to myself, "why aren't Wolverine's claws slicing through those swords?" But then I immediately thought, "Shut up and enjoy the best action scene, stupid." (To be fair, they did say they were stockpiling adamantium, so maybe some went to those blades?) And the bullet train sequence? The final cut has better editing than the previously released clip and, despite it being all kinds of ridiculous, it has some truly fun moments that'll likely make the audience erupt in laughter. It's just too bad the finale doesn't have anything on par with these two scenes, but regardless, the two are indeed really enjoyable.

Honestly, 3D isn't worth it unless you want a tad more depth to Jackman's ridiculously jacked body (I wonder how many 3D tickets that line just sold?). The 3D comes off as an afterthought and never added much to the experience. So if you're going to buy a ticket this weekend, I highly recommend saving a few bucks and checking it out in 2D.

If you've been optimistic about the trailers and clips, check this out and hopefully you can pretend this is the only Wolverine solo film that exists. Odds are you won't fall in love with it, but you'll probably dig it way more than his first effort. It does a solid job handling the character and provides at least two crowd-pleasing action scenes. That said, it does also suffer from a pretty weak overall plot and has some fairly questionable moments, especially towards the end. The Wolverine isn't a very bad movie -- it's just not a very good one, either.

Oh, and there is a mid-credits scene and yes, it is ABSOLUTELY worth waiting for. You'll definitely want to stick around for it.

216 Comments
Posted by Brightseid

@allstarsuperman: I recommend waiting for the DVD. I watched the premier show. No good

Posted by lordraiden

It was good, I liked it. Not great, but good and enjoyable. Found it somewhat better that IM3, though I did enjoy that also, though neither are on par with MOS, imo, that movie was intense on a lot of levels, which might have put off a lot of people. Good review, btw.

Posted by Outside_85

It was an overall decent affair, never boring, had some funny moments but never really made me go 'whoa'. Added I have to say I was, in the back of my head, imagining something very different from the two ladies of the movie.

Plus it was a good excuse to get out of the midday heat.

Edited by JuliusTakalua

last act was horrible although the epilogue act was good. Packed with emotion and good depth. It was a great WOlverine movie. And the after credit scene will blow your minds! really exciting!

**** (8/10, very good). it was a satisfying movie. although I said the last act was bad Wolverine really made up for the bad. He was badass enough to crack a few laughs and cheer him on. Needed more from the story though. And also more blood. It's PG13 but it needed more blood. The Wolverine could still be PG13 with Logan still slashing people and torsos are cut and blood is on his claws.

*editted the score:

*****=10 to 9 (Perfect, Brilliant)

****1/2=10 to 8.5 (Perfect, amazing, near perfect, Great)

****=9 to 7.5 (Near Perfect, Great, Very Good, incredible)

***1/2=8 to 7 (Very good, Great, good, Okay)

***=7.5 to 6 (Good, okay..., so so..)

**1/2=6 to 5.5 (mediocore and worse than so so...)

anything two and below is a 4/10 and below..... Just to make sure how I feel about my star ratings. And this is how star ratings should be like. And based on the review, people should know how the reviewer might have said it in terms of #/10 or just an adj... Just because it's a 4/5 star doesn't mean it's a straight 80%. Sometimes **** movies I consider are a good 9/10.... Stars can be a way to say how good a film is and the review explains/examplifies or limits what kind of a **** movie it is.... Many people think just because the reviewer gave it a 3 means it's an immediate 60% and to some that's mediocore to bad but based on the review it's a clear 70%....

Posted by IrishX

Well, I take back what I said earlier in this thread. After seeing it myself I also rate it 3/5. I just wish someone who truly cared about the character would get their hands on a movie for Logan.

Posted by JonesDeini

Solid summer flick, that's all I expected honestly.

Posted by 2099Rebirth

saw the movie, it was good, 4 out of 5 or 3.5 out 5, sure its not the best, but still entertaining

Posted by TheGreyOutcastX

@theheat said:
@thegreyoutcastx said:

@k4tzm4n: I respect your review K4tz, and I do agree this movie is freaking leagues above Origins. However, I'd give it a 4/5 or a 7.5/10. It easily was far better than I expected and I hate Wolverine. But that's just my opinion xD

Sidenote: Did you catch the part that Jean says to Logan that she is all alone. My friend and I hear that and thought "Wait, isn't Cyclops dead and with you?" So does that mean that Cyke is alive and out there somewhere?

@goddamnironman said:

PG-13 Wolverine is bullshit!

I take it you didn't hear that Mangold has gone on record to saying there will be a Unrated Cut for the blu-ray release with extra footage, and it is supposed to be bloodier?

Um, you do know that Jean was part of Wolverine's imagination, right?

That's debatable. She could have been haunting him from beyond the grave or have been the pure manifestation of all his repressed guilt. But either way, Logan would have known that Jean was involved in the death/disappearance of Scott so why did she say that? She wouldn't have been alone if that was the case. It makes no sense that she would have forgotten all about Scott. So naturally we are left with the assumption that either he's alive or that in this Universe, Jean never really cared about Scott.

Posted by THORSON

i liked it and i'm not a wolverine suck up.

Posted by LordRequiem

@super_soldierxii: He doesn't. He is no where near built enough to play it. He has an ectomorphic body shape if anything. And that is no where near the shape to fit. Liev Shcrieber has more of a Wolverine appearance in shoulder width and stature (although he is probably too tall). Hiring famous actors to play superheroes is never as good as finding a relatively unknown (i.e. Chris Hemsworth for Thor) actor with a greater likeness.

Posted by Mr_Colossus

@super_soldierxii: I agree Jackman makes an excellent Wolverine. Yea, he's a little taller than the comic version, but it's not really something you notice too much while watching a movie.

Edited by Angelo2113

The Wolverine was absolutely great. It really broke apart and focused on all of the aspects of the character that I love. I do believe it should have been given a better rating but that's just me. I usually enjoy every comic book movie, there's only a few I really don't like.

Edited by TheBrownPowerRanger

i honestly thought it was a good movie, but i am not very hard to please.

Only thing i would have changed was the use of carbonadium in the movie.

Posted by KomicKev

@captaingenisvell: What I was wondering is: When he didn't have his healing factor, he'd still pop his claws a lot. Wouldn't he have blood coming out between his knuckles? And maybe feeling a bit of pain as those big, metal knives would slice through skin and muscle?

Posted by danielhungria

@squalleon: im mean the guy be comes mortal and doesn't bleed when the claws comes out come on man it's 2013

Posted by The_Titan_Lord

Everyone has their opinions and most people are frustrated critics. If you wanna see the movie go watch it and decide for yourself don't trust too much on what critics would say. lol

Posted by Mangakid1995

I enjoyed the movie but I have some gripes that keep me from loving it, like they gave one characters powers that they don't have in the comics, and without giving anything away the took something from one character that I feel takes away a little bit of there identity. That aside I enjoyed the movie and squeeid like a little fan girl at the end credits scene.

Posted by nappystr8

I was very skeptical going into this movie, but I had an open mind. I was absolutely loving this film. It was a terrific Japanese gangster film that didn't set it's aspirations outside of its own reach. The action was great, and I was ready to determine it the best comic book superhero film of the summer.

Unfortunately then the final fight happened. And everything this movie had been doing so well was thrown out the window...like so many characters in that final fight. Viper, who had been the film's weakest point from the beginning (the actress was fine, it was the role that was bad) became a complete joke. Silver Samurai was not only terrible looking, but led to a plot twist that I saw coming from the first five minutes of film.

Still that 15 minutes of crap doesn't ruin the over an hour of fun I had. I agree with the 3 stars completely. I'd say overall it's a little worse than Iron Man 3. Looks like for the second year in a row DC has my favorite superhero film of the summer. Although Man of Steel really didn't earn the win, it just didn't mess up as badly as the Marvel movies did this year.

...there's always Thor: The Dark World to look forward to I suppose.

Posted by Sammo21

"The Wolverine isn't a very bad movie -- it's just not a very good one, either."

This is how I feel about every single one of the X-Men films to be honest.

Edited by Darling_Luna

Didn't expect much, question is will it be a good three or a bad three for me ?

Posted by LordRequiem

The film is almost as useless as the first. The story they've used as inspiration is completely mutilated for and twisted, much to the film's detriment. The action is moderately entertaining, but repetitive. My diagnosis, the director has no respect for source material, and has wasted their time.

Edited by benblanks86

Well, all the reviews I read pretty much led me to the conclusion that I'm more interested in the mid-credits bonus scene than I am the actual movie, so I went ahead and found it and saved myself ten hard earned bucks, so if you're like me and you're waiting to rent it but can't wait another minute without seeing the scene, here ya go:

SPOILER:

THE WOLVERINE - BONUS MID CREDIT SCENE

also somebody said they saw a bishop-lookin dude? not seein him.

Posted by Dman1366

I actually liked this movie. I personally am not a big Wolverine fan, but I love Viper and Silver Samurai! And I thought that they had a great, and gorgeous, actress for Viper; along with their rendition of Silver Samurai, which was fun. I just wonder why this got 3 out of 5, while Man of Steel got 5 out of 5. It kind of settles the debate that this website leans towards DC in order to keep their exclusive interviews.

Edited by Squalleon

@dman1366: I don't think comicvine leans towards DC in their reviews.
Most of DC's comics in this website have an average lesser than MARVEL's.
The staff are proud fans of Valiant and Image.
Also some of the elements you liked most people hated it.Viper and Silver Samurai were a joke in this movie.
Just because someone doesn't like something from MARVEL(FOX in this situation) doesn't mean he is a DC sellout.

Posted by blackkitty

Well, my opinion, yes, the Silver Samurai was not in this movie. There was something called the Silver Samurai but, it wasn't the character I came to know and love. Also, had no idea one can rip Adamantium apart with their bare hands. I will say the portrayal of Yukio was pretty awesome so, there is that I guess. And the Viper... don't even get me started on what they did to poor Viper...

In general, the movie was okay. It was entertaining and in the end that's what a movie's for. But yes, I agree, 3/5.

Posted by Vance Astro

I'm sorry but this was worst than the first film.

Moderator
Posted by TheAcidSkull

@the_mast said:

Such an awful film.

could i ask why though? i thought it was a Good movie, Not The BEST THING EVER( kind of hard to be impressed after Pacific Rim and MOS THOUGH) but i though it was a solid one :)

Posted by ozeol

It was shit.

Posted by Perfect 10

who is the character that you liked that they messed up?

didnt see the movie but was looking at the imdb page and i am confused. there is a shingen and a yashida but yashinda is shingen's family name, why would they split his name into two different people? same with there being a harada and a silver samurai. things like that and a blonde super powered viper are keeping me from seeing this movie

Edited by Perfect 10

what happened to the ninja turtle reviews?

Posted by Brightseid
Edited by Jake Fury

Pretty enjoyable despite its flaws.

Edited by dbatdog

Read this review: "Jackman has once again proven that he understands Wolverine and is one of the most perfect fits for a character since Christopher Reeve as Superman. When you watch Jackman on the screen, you believe it. There's never a doubt in your mind that he IS Wolverine." waaaaaaaaayyy of in here.

Posted by k4tzm4n

what happened to the ninja turtle reviews?

The latest one is on the homepage.

Staff
Posted by caladbolglight

I feel a little silly. I loved Viper.

The movie was good, absolutely. However, the ending was a little over the top. I also felt a little underwhelmed.

Edited by lilben42

I liked it.

Posted by k4tzm4n

@dman1366

: I don't think comicvine leans towards DC in their reviews.

Most of DC's comics in this website have an average lesser than MARVEL's.

The staff are proud fans of Valiant and Image.

Also some of the elements you liked most people hated it.Viper and Silver Samurai were a joke in this movie.

Just because someone doesn't like something from MARVEL(FOX in this situation) doesn't mean he is a DC sellout.

No, unfortunately he's correct and has revealed the site's darkest secret. I mean, why think otherwise? It's not like I wrote about what I liked and didn't like about both movies or anything like that.

Staff
Posted by Planet_arium

@iron_turtle: It wasn't awful, it just wasn't good. Yes, I'm talking both about the movie and the final scene with Silver Samurai. And also, they said they were stockpiling adamantium to MAKE the Silver Samurai suit. The best scene was the bullet train scene, and that was probably the only thing to really impress. 2.5/5 stars

Posted by The Mast

@the_mast said:

Such an awful film.

could i ask why though? i thought it was a Good movie, Not The BEST THING EVER( kind of hard to be impressed after Pacific Rim and MOS THOUGH) but i though it was a solid one :)

Well, I thought Man of Steel was pretty garbage, too.

Posted by TheAcidSkull

@the_mast said:

@theacidskull said:

@the_mast said:

Such an awful film.

could i ask why though? i thought it was a Good movie, Not The BEST THING EVER( kind of hard to be impressed after Pacific Rim and MOS THOUGH) but i though it was a solid one :)

Well, I thought Man of Steel was pretty garbage, too.

ouch. just wanna know why you didn't like it?

Edited by ThomasElliot

It was a tad bit slow (which isn't always a bad thing, but here, it was a bad thing) and Viper was just master-cheese at its best. I mean, the woman had time for a WARDROBE CHANGE, in which one scene she's wearing green spandex, then just had to change into her green leather outfit in the next. And had to apply her green eye shadow too, because f*** you Poison Ivy. Bleh. (also, her mole grossed me out. Sorry, but it did... reminded me of that quote from Uncle Buck... here's a quarter...)

But its not a HORRIBLE film and better than the first. I'm glad that someone is FINALLY addressing holes left after X3... its all I ever wanted since X3. Even the credits-tease scene touched on one of those holes, and sealed it shut with one single line. Good. Now its all set-up for Days of Future Past which will seemingly "Abram's Trek" the whole franchise into a rebooted new universe. Those little, presumptuous, promises is what made The Wolverine worth the cost of my ticket.

EDIT. Embarrassingly enough, I really had no idea who 'Viper' is. So I just now looked her up and... okay. Seems to me the 2nd most down-graded villain in a movie, right behind Lady Deathstrike in X2!

Posted by cwf123

I love it because it uses the Japanese language. I speak it.

Posted by Guardian_of_Gravity

I love people stating their opinions as fact in the comments, don't you?

Edited by The Mast

@the_mast said:

@theacidskull said:

@the_mast said:

Such an awful film.

could i ask why though? i thought it was a Good movie, Not The BEST THING EVER( kind of hard to be impressed after Pacific Rim and MOS THOUGH) but i though it was a solid one :)

Well, I thought Man of Steel was pretty garbage, too.

ouch. just wanna know why you didn't like it?

I don't like Jackman as Wolverine. I never have. I tire of the same old facial expressions, the same old nonsense.

"Oh, you cut my face? I better turn back to the camera slowly as my wound heals. I feel that's something I need to get across in the sixth proper film appearance I've made."

I tire of the, "Oh, I don't wanna be me anymore." I don't like Robosamurai. Viper was awful. The plot was badly predictable in ways it clearly didn't think it was, which insults me as a viewer. "You'll be surprised by this because you are so oblivious that you'd never see the twists." No. I had this movie figured out by the trailer, yet it insisted.

It's not like Pacific Rim where it KNOWS what it is. I knew what this was and it tried to tell me it wasn't.

I thought the characterisation was poor. The adaptation of the original story was a shambles and disrespectful (Changes work, but bad changes don't).

I just...don't give an F about this movie character, his adventures or anything else. I think the X-movies are just awful.