Monday, November 18, 2013

Film Of The Week: THE WOLVERINE (2013)

Based on the celebrated comic book arc, The Wolverine finds Logan, the eternal warrior and outsider, in Japan. There, samurai steel will clash with adamantium claw as Logan confronts a mysteriousfigure from his past in an epic battle that will leave him forever changed.


One of the greatest factors I can possibly say about the longstanding X-Men film franchise, is how it has remained mostly consistent over the years. I largely put this on the count of some really brilliant acting and screenwriting, put forth in a setting I practically in no way thought I would see as a live-action house. The quantity of creativity it takes to aid bring this comic book story to life is such that it is undoubtedly a challenge, especially when fans so desperately want to see a excellent film that reflects so heavy on their favourite lifelong heroes. For actor Hugh Jackman, it is a challenge he willingly and wholeheartedly accepts in director James Mangold's The Wolverine, and it much more than a decade later, he nevertheless gets the job done.

Jackman returns once once more as the mutant with the endoskeletal adamantium interior that initially enhanced his organic mutant powers. His character, Logan, has since parted ways with life as an X-Man and continues to live as a drifter, living a rugged, challenging and lonely life, suffering intense nightmares that haunt him sleeplessly with the memory of the late character, Jean Grey, played by Famke Janssen. The plot thickens when Yukio, a mysterious swordswoman played by Rila Fukushima, whisks him away to Japan at the behest of her master and dying surrogate father, Yashida, played by Hal Yamanouchi. The preconceptions right here are that Yashida's last request is to thank him for saving his life when Allied Forces dropped the atom bomb on Nagasaki back in World War II. As fate would have it, Yashida has other motives for his wealth and the fate of his megacompany, partly which includes the protection of his reluctant progeny and granddaughter, Mariko, played by actress Tao Okamoto. And with corporate and political influences, and other forces at play-each hidden and in plain sight, Logan all of a sudden finds himself on a harrowing mission, protecting Mariko from Ninjas, the clutches of the Yakuza, and whilst fighting for his own life extended adequate to seek answers.

With out providing as well considerably away, I adore how Mangold has helped redefine The Wolverine. It's the most famed story arc of the X-Guys storyline, and fans had been almost certainly skeptical of how The Wolverine would be reinterpreted this time soon after X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Needless to say, Jackman continues to do his point in his sixth stab as the silver-clawed loner. It has been thirteen years considering that he 1st portrayed the character in Bryan Singer's 2000 hit film, X-Men, and to this day, Jackman has neither lost his touch nor his passion for the character that he has come to know and adore as much as the fans have. And it is not specifically hurting his profession either, for worry of getting typecasted is an problem for some actors. But there is a lot of really like right here as fans have come to know Jackman via the years, in action, drama, comedy and music, in all his versatility and artistry. And as we enter a new era of superhero films, it is protected to say that that enjoy will be there for a lot longer, specifically if these films continue to do well.

Actress Rila Fukushima is a fine actress as she shares the screen with the titular hero from time to time. Her role as Yukio, was not underwritten, nor was her overall performance campy or undermining in anyway, as her personal layers get peeled back all through the film. Yukio is a difficult chick when she needs to be, but in no way also challenging to show her charismatic, more softer side, and it shows via Fukushima's soulful functionality. Her action scenes are very effectively handled, illustrating just how great she is on set when it is time to cross swords. This is best shown when her character comes face to face with Mariko's father, Shingen, masterfully played by Asian cinema preferred, Hiroyuki Sanada who is no joke when it comes to action either, a fact you know complete nicely if you are familiar with his work over the past four decades. As an actor, he knows just how to command the screen, and I am extremely happy to see him come into his own on the Hollywood front. He also has a single of the better fight scenes of the film with Jackman, showcasing his usual flawless coordination and kind with a sword. Sanada will soon be observed in the upcoming film, 47 Ronin, which I strategy on seeing when it releases this Christmas. Beyond that I have some fairly higher hopes for this actor, and I certainly wish my hopes come to fruition even though he is still about.

Tao Okamoto is yet another up-and-coming favorite of mine these days. As it turns out, The Wolverine is Tao's huge screen acting debut, and I could have sworn she was acting significantly longer than this. And her character, Mariko, was no damsel in distress either, as she befits that of an in a position-bodied, resilient lady who knows how to deal with a blade when she requirements to. On that note, I was very pleased by her handling of such a large process in carrying more than this installment of the film series. Furthermore, thinking about that her character shares a bit of a 4-way romantic conflict of interest since a trilogy that now sees Logan into a state of nightmarish mourning after ultimately killing the woman he loved in X3, Okamoto had some quite massive footwear to fill. But her character does not try to replace Jean either. Though rough and apprehensive at very first, there is a mutual respect and really like that grows in between Mariko and Logan, and it helps develop Logan's character in the method of healing from a bitter tragedy immortalized by his own regret and self-deprication.

The story is also enhanced by a really excellent supporting cast of villains, specifically by Hal Yamamouchi (who seems to be standing out these days, and in a really great and promising way), along with actor Ken Yamamura, who plays Yashida's younger self. Their dual function in this film was brilliantly written, and I am only going to say that significantly. Actor Brian Tee, ideal recognized for his commanding role as D.K. in the 2006 hit film, The Fast And The Furious: Tokyo Drift, also shares the screen as Noburo, a politically motivated opportunist with strengthening ties to Yashida's family members and organization pending his arranged marriage with Mariko goes by way of. Even though his screentime is a bit minimal, Tee also holds his personal, and shows lots of guarantee as an actor. And with his upcoming part in Mortal Kombat: Legacy - Season 2, I have no doubt in my mind that other casting directors are confident to take notice.

Will Yun Lee is usually welcome in my book as a single of the very best actors I have ever observed on film. His character, Harada, is Yashida's devoted servant who lives to safeguard Mariko as well. He has all the qualities that illustrate a hero, but of course that would be typical, and in a film that aims to please, we cannot have standard. So in the finish, he is not excellent, as he aptly serves his master with honor, and usually performing so at a price that might goes against his own intentions, which are still a mystery that make him 1 of the much more intriguing characters worth paying consideration to. And that you must.

To the film's avail, the forefront of The Wolverine's antagonistic presence is the the poisonous femme fatale, Viper, played by actress Svetlana Khodchenkova, whose character also stays hidden in plain sight until she strikes without warning. In hindsight, I would have loved to see Khodchenkova play a considerably bigger role, as I know her character is not designed to overshadow the genuine villainous center of this film. Viper does play a crucial mechanism in Logan's unwitting transformation throughout the film on a variety of levels, creating her one particular of the most influential villains of any superhero film. And I'm almost certainly asking also significantly by wishing she had far more screentime. Not for practically nothing though, as her character is well suited and applied accordingly, with a strong efficiency to boot. In my opinion although, she makes a great villain, as she an exceptional actress whose talents I hope to see a lot more of in the near future.

Lastly, but not least, I can not conclude this assessment with no discussing how awesome it is to see Janssen back as the Jean Grey. She entirely owns the character, and momentarily going back on the topic of footwear, if some director out there ever dares to reboot this franchise with this character in thoughts, well then excellent luck with that. Famke Janssen's beauty, maturity, grace and talent make her the best fitting for such an enigmatic function opposite Hugh Jackman. Their chemistry works so impeccably nicely that it quite much underlines just what I mean earlier in this review on the subject of consistency. And as considerably as studios tend to alterations actors and actresses for particular roles, I am particular there was no other way for this reside-action transition to function. Of course, they could try, but like I said, I doubt it would garner the same magic that Janssen and Jackman bring to the screen in this story. In some ways, whether or not you believe in destiny, the casting options for Jean and Logan were meant to be. Hell, back in 2000, I couldn't consider of any individual else who could play The Wolverine as excellent as Hugh Jackman at the time. And even if an alternate casting choice is feasible, until that day comes, I do not dare believe of it. 

Jackman and Janssen are The Wolverine and Phoenix, and your argument is invalid.

Director James Mangold previously brought us films like the cop drama Cop Land, the romantic comedy Kate And Leopold, the Johnny Cash biopic Stroll The Line, the Western thriller three:10 To Yuma and the quirky action comedy, Knight And Day. In The Wolverine, as with these films and other folks, Mangold continues to reflect on some reocurring themes like the struggle to live with human suffering, highlighted by moments in the film merging reality and fantasy in between characters regularly dreaming and waking up. These scenes intend to invoke the very discomfort of Logan's internal conflict with immortality, multiplied by his complacency with death whilst heartbreak and tragedy, till he begins his evolution back into the hero he demands to be, as a template for examiming his personal purpose for living. Throughout the film, Mangold is able to apply this formula to a near-best fit, as Logan, even with his healing aspect, is pushed to the ultimate limit, a restricted tested in his climatic battle with the Adamantium-made gargantuan killing machine, "The Silver Samurai". With this in mind, The Wolverine maintains its stability and high quality as a noteworthy installment of an invariably productive film franchise that fans will continue to enjoy and appreciate for generations to come.

For any individual who may have been disappointed by X-Guys: The Final Stand and X-Males Origins: Wolverine, I can honestly decree that Mangold's interpretation of this Marvel character is a valid, strong piece of film function. Some folks have varying opinions on these, no matter whether it pertains to how true to the supply material the films stays, or the action, and so on. At best it is comic book-style action, and it suits the film properly sufficient that it sells the story from begining to finish, with Jackman showing off excellent physicality and adaptation to the movements of a character he is clearly best for. And more importantly, coming off of director Matthew Vaughan's X-Men: First Class, and going into subsequent year's release of X-Men: Days Of Future Previous, I think its safe to say that the future of the X-Men movie frachise in great hands. And with The Wolverine, the episodic pieces of this epic tale are sure to come full circle.

The Wolverine is now in theaters.
Film Of The Week: THE WOLVERINE (2013)
9out of 10 based on 10 ratings. 9 user reviews.

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