The Wolverine is yet another spin-off in the X-Men movie franchise focusing on the titular mutant, Wolverine (Hugh Jackman). Directed by James Mangold, the movie is mostly removed from the popular X-Men franchise story, placing Wolverine in an unfamiliar landscape with familiar problems.
How to Stream or Download The Wolverine
The movie can be obtained from Google Play Store or iTunes. Click on the Download button below the review. If you like X-Men movies that focus on Wolverine check out also our reviews od X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009) and Logan (2017).
The Game Review
Unlike X-Men Origins: Wolverine, this movie takes place after the events of X-Men: The Last Stand. In this film, Wolverine is lonely and depressed, sick of his life as a hired killer and murder machine.
As he struggles with his inner demons and the inherent solitude of immortality, Wolverine is pulled back into the chaotic life he so desperately wants to leave behind. Whereas other X-Men spin-offs crumble under the weight of the original trilogy, The Wolverine stands out with its own fresh visual identity and standalone story.
Our story picks up with Wolverine (now preferring to go by his human name, Logan), alone in the woods, disheveled and dirty. He battles with countless nightmares; some recalling his time in Japan during the war, and others reminding him of the death of Jean Grey (Famke Janssen). He remembers saving the life of a Japanese soldier named Yashida (Hal Yamanouchi) in Nagasaki, and the bond that they shared.
In modern day, Wolverine is approached by the Yukio (Rila Fukushima), who informs him that Yashida is nearing death and wishes to bid his friend farewell. Wolverine is forced to uproot his mostly non-existent life and head to Japan, where things only get worse.
As is the case with most comic book movies, things go horribly wrong, forcing our hero to battle a sinister force of evil. In the case of The Wolverine, that evil is the corrupt world of Japanese organized crime, including the yakuza and several other shady individuals. They are all gunning for Mariko (Tao Okamoto), the granddaughter and inheritor of the wealthy Yashida. Unable to leave his violent past behind him, Wolverine takes it upon himself to serve as Mariko’s bodyguard.
This predictably leads to several scenes of intense action, all of which are shot and edited quite well. The action in The Wolverine is both over-the-top and exciting with an exceptional level of brutality. This is especially true for the action scenes that feature Yukio and the mysterious archer Harada (Will Yun Lee), who are both incredibly lethal in combat with a dash of finesse.
The Wolverine also uses its plot location well, as Japan is a visually rich and aesthetically pleasing environment. The movie jumps from the city streets of Tokyo to the beautiful countrysides of Nagasaki, dazzling the viewers with interesting locales and scenery. The action scenes are also influenced heavily by the Japanese culture, featuring some visually arresting backdrops. Even though the plot can be a bit slow at times, the “fish out of water” story of Wolverine in Japan is made better by its visual spectacle.
Overall, The Wolverine is an exciting standalone film that injects some originality and creativity into the X-Men universe. It tells a mostly effective tale of loss and sees our hero in a very vulnerable position. It’s a nice change of pace to see Wolverine out of his element, fighting with a ferocity rarely seen.
The movie is ultimately a bit predictable, but that doesn’t detract from the fun and colorful action scenes. If you’re a fan of the X-Men franchise but felt that previous Wolverine spin-offs were underwhelming, The Wolverine is a good pick for your next movie night. While it’s not the absolute best X-Men film, it definitely ranks high compared to the rest of the franchise.