Thursday, August 1, 2013

The Wolverine

**1/2 out of ****

The Wolverine?

As 20th Century Fox is probably more responsible than anything else for the stupid disappointment that was X-Men Origins: Wolverine, did the drastic change in approach and subtle change in title, make an improvement in the cinematic legacy of this Marvel superhero? While Hugh Jackman has been a trooper at playing this character through good and bad movies, does this one justify all of his efforts?
After the prospect of wild and dark art-house antics from this movie’s would-be director Darren Aronofsky were replaced by the traditional professionalism of James Mangold, does this movie still have the solid cinematic tone that Wolverine deserves? Is the Japanese setting helpful in accomplishing such a goal?

Does the on-location realism fit in with the Marvel Universe in a good way? Are the special effects sequences well designed? Do they take you out of the movie’s realistic atmosphere?

Does the fact that this story feels so self-contained and disconnected from all the other X-Men movies have a refreshing effect? Does this allow the plot to feel centered?

Do Wolverine’s dreams of intimacy with Jean Grey (Famke Janssen) work in this movie alone, given that he never got anywhere with her in the previous X-Men movies? Does the mourning of a hot chick feel like a really tired cliché? Does the new love interest, Mariko (Tao Okamoto) have a purposeful function in the story? Does James Mangold continue to handle romance and feminine characters with the same ineptitude as Michael Mann?

Are these questions getting any kind of point across?

Is this movie’s mutant villainess, Viper (Svetlana Khodchenkova), too tacky for the established atmosphere? Does she resemble a Euro-trash prostitute as well? Was I incredibly bored by her antagonism? Was it simply a relief to see a better villain take over the film near the end?

Is Wolverine’s new J-pop sidekick, Yukio (Rila Fukushima), totally kick-ass? 

Is Marco Beltrami’s music score compelling?

Is this movie entertaining?!

Is it fun?!!

Kind of.

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