Movie Review #383: The Wolverine

Interesting premise, poor execution

For a while I thought I was watching a superhero drama. Suddenly, yakuza thugs arrive to provide what we’re usually looking for with this type of film: mind-blowing action and visual effects. Those few fast-paced moments strangely enough did not seem to fit well in the story. In fact, the film focused more on telling a moment in Wolverine’s life that has little to do with beating up other mutants and more about the character. Rarely do blockbusters invest a considerable amount of time in a movie to explore someone’s backstory deeper. And I relish that idea even though it slows down the pace and there’s less things blowing up on screen.

Unfortunately, the interesting take on Logan is crippled by poor execution and serious pacing and tonal issues. It seemed that they were gunning for something that was meant to be an intelligent and different approach for a superhero movie, but was pressured to deliver the usual blockbuster requirements. It was awkward from the way the Japanese culture was integrated to the random shifts from drama to action. There were plenty of moments that could’ve been cut or replaced by something else. The screen time is incredibly long and I blame that on the frequent dialogues between Hugh Jackman and Tao Okamoto or Rila Fukishima, none of which was all that interesting (though I admit I’m stunned by Okamoto’s beauty). The chase scenes were unique and involving but they occur too haphazardly, and the finale ended up being formulaic and disappointing. What’s worse, the audiences were most interested when the end credits scene arrived. While I agree it was awesome, it reminded me of how disappointing The Wolverine really was. Fortunately the next outing, Days of Future Past, looks more promising. I just hope they execute it much better.

GRADE: C

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