I saw The Wolverine July 27, and enjoyed it. I'll have more to say in my column (which I can post in a few days). In the meantime, here's the first trailer:

 

 

Who's seen it? What do y'all think?

 

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Here's Chris Claremont's take on the movie, from Vulture.com: "Chris Claremont, Writer of The Wolverine’s Classic Comics, Critiques the New Film"

Saw it today and wasn't super impressed. Some interesting ideas there but I felt like they were just kind of scattered all around in one big chaotic mess of a movie. My initial impression is that the direction by James Mangold was the problem. I generally didn't feel like he did a good job of setting things up or providing proper motivation for most of what was happening. Too many narrative short cuts I guess. And the train scene was just really dumb.
I'm on my way to see it.
I just saw it. Overall, I liked it. Hugh Jackman gives his best performance as the character, IMO. The story and action was much darker than any previous X-men movie. It also felt like a Wolverine movie, not another X-men movie which was what the first Wolverine felt like. The resolution was typical of a generic superhero movie and a bit anticlimactic. However everything leading up to it and after was spot on. Also, stay for a scene about a minute into the credits.

Echoing what Detective 445 said, I thought the pacing was off. That is to say, it felt too rushed.

Having said that, I thought it was very James Bondish in that the action scenes were exciting but not unbelievable (If you account for a guy with claws). And I LOVED the Japan setting. The first 2/3 of the movie were an absorbing, noirish thriller. The end, alas, fell back on action-movie cliches. (And how come all bad guys have to FALL to die? Is that to avoid seeing blood?) I liked the train scene; vertiginous and exciting.

And did y'all notice there wasn't even a hint of Spandex? Wolvie spent most of the movie in jeans and a wife-beater. Well, Viper got vamped up, but nothing you couldn't buy at the right kind of store. And, good God, Jackson was BUILT in this movie. That was a special effect in itself!



Captain Comics said:

(And how come all bad guys have to FALL to die? Is that to avoid seeing blood?) I liked the train scene; vertiginous and exciting.

 

Yes, the "falling into oblivion" at the end has really become tired. Maybe it lets the hero off the hook a little bit when it comes to finishing off the baddie and also leaves the possibility that they may return at some point.

I guess the train scene worked on a comic booky kind of level. But for me it seemed just too much outside of the laws of physics and took me out of the story a bit. I thought it was kind of a contradiction to the grim and gritty realism that they were trying to set up early on.

I'm not a huge fan of the Claremont/Miller mini but it was probably a good choice of source material if they were trying to establish Wolvie as more of a solo artist. Although his best moments, for me, are still his group interactions from the Claremont/Byrne days. But I wonder if this movie was intended as a way to detach him from the X-films and incorporate him into a future Avengers movie.

Detective 445 said:

Yes, the "falling into oblivion" at the end has really become tired. Maybe it lets the hero off the hook a little bit when it comes to finishing off the baddie and also leaves the possibility that they may return at some point.

I saw this bit yet again last night, in last week's episode of "Beware the Batman." I could get along just fine without ever seeing it again.

Having now read more reviews of The Wolverine than most reasonable people would bother with, there seems to be an overwhelming consensus that the movie has a problem with tonal shift in the 3rd Act.  Most of the disagreement lies in (1) whether you preferred the 3rd Act to what came before it, or vice-versa and (2) whether the part you didn't prefer bothered you so much that you felt it damaged the movie.

Most (but by no means all) reviewers seem to prefer the grittiness of the first 90+ minutes to the "oh, wait, I just remembered this is supposed to be a superhero movie, isn't it?" turn at the end, but aren't bothered by the shift so much that they wouldn't recommend the film to others.  That's pretty much where I fall, too.

I didn't even realize that the Wolverine mini by Miller was source material for this. That was a long time ago, and I didn't much care for it anyway, IIRC. Was Viper in that one? Silver Samurai?

I just remembered that not only did nobody put on a superhero suit, but Viper wasn't even referred to as Viper by name. She was described as a viper once, and I noticed at the time it could be interpreted as that being her name, and I enjoyed the cleverness of it. (A nod to fans, nothing to confuse newbies.) Usually she was referred to by her doctor name (which was likely an alias), and Logan referred to her as "the blonde" a couple of times. And she was NEVER called "Madame Hydra," nor was Hydra referenced in any way that I caught.

As long as I'm on Viper, she mentions that she's immune to all poisons, plus she's a mutant with a Toad tongue. I don't recall any Madame Hydras being mutants, and the only character I can remember who is immune to all poisons (which is quite a trick, given their variety) is DC's Cheshire. Can anyone confirm or deny my admittedly fuzzy memories?

As to the train scene, one mark of success: My wife couldn't watch it. She kept hiding her eyes.

I loved it that occasionally someone would refer to Logan as "the gaijin." Wolverine comics is where I learned that word. (It's a Japanese word that means foreigner, and as such sort of subhuman ... or an animal.)

I saw The Wolverine today and really liked it. Hugh Jackman gave a great performance and looked amazing considering he first played Logan in 1999!

I thought I wasn't going to like Yukio but she grew on me. Mariko may be a mutant: being that thin yet healthy at the same time.

I didn't like that Logan had no connection to Japan as he obviously had in the comics before he ever met Mariko nor was he able to speak Japanese which added to his character.

It was the best movie version of Poison Ivy that I've seen, far better than Uma Thurman's! Wait that's the Viper?!?!

Never mind!

As for the epilogue........WOW!


I haven't read the original mini. I flipped through it the other day at the LCS. Silver Samurai and Viper show up at the end of the story, it looks like. From what I can tell the books is similar to the movie as in the first part is not very superheroey at all and then the ending we see more superheroic type things. But then again, I didn't read it. That was just me flipping through the book. I may eventually buy it and read it. It just didn't particularly jump out at me as something I'd enjoy.

 

However, I really liked the movie.


Captain Comics said:

I didn't even realize that the Wolverine mini by Miller was source material for this. That was a long time ago, and I didn't much care for it anyway, IIRC. Was Viper in that one? Silver Samurai?

I just remembered that not only did nobody put on a superhero suit, but Viper wasn't even referred to as Viper by name. She was described as a viper once, and I noticed at the time it could be interpreted as that being her name, and I enjoyed the cleverness of it. (A nod to fans, nothing to confuse newbies.) Usually she was referred to by her doctor name (which was likely an alias), and Logan referred to her as "the blonde" a couple of times. And she was NEVER called "Madame Hydra," nor was Hydra referenced in any way that I caught.

As long as I'm on Viper, she mentions that she's immune to all poisons, plus she's a mutant with a Toad tongue. I don't recall any Madame Hydras being mutants, and the only character I can remember who is immune to all poisons (which is quite a trick, given their variety) is DC's Cheshire. Can anyone confirm or deny my admittedly fuzzy memories?

As to the train scene, one mark of success: My wife couldn't watch it. She kept hiding her eyes.

I loved it that occasionally someone would refer to Logan as "the gaijin." Wolverine comics is where I learned that word. (It's a Japanese word that means foreigner, and as such sort of subhuman ... or an animal.)



Philip Portelli said:
I didn't like that Logan had no connection to Japan as he obviously had in the comics before he ever met Mariko nor was he able to speak Japanese which added to his character.

Well...he was there when Nagasaki was nuked. And he appeared to be a POW. Although, if any of that is in the comics, it was added to his history long after I stopped reading.

Yes, that's true but it was also clear that Wolverine hadn't been back there since. He had no knowledge of the customs, language or weapons. He didn't even know what a ronin is! Heck I know that!

The only appreciation to the culture he showed was one for Mariko who certainly was a departure from the comics version.

BTW, the Silver Samurai and the Viper/Madame Hydra did NOT appear in the Claremont/Miller classic. I think one of their stories from Marvel Team-Up was put into a new collection for the movie.
 
Detective 445 said:



Philip Portelli said:
I didn't like that Logan had no connection to Japan as he obviously had in the comics before he ever met Mariko nor was he able to speak Japanese which added to his character.

Well...he was there when Nagasaki was nuked. And he appeared to be a POW. Although, if any of that is in the comics, it was added to his history long after I stopped reading.

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