Wolverine movie review: Dark and damaged hero
This action film isn’t your typical superhero flick. In fact, it delves into themes of mortality, honor and grief. Set against a modern Japanese backdrop, Wolverine Logan finds love and redemption while kicking some serious butt.
4 Stars: Perfect for action lovers
Logan (Hugh Jackman) is a mutant with claws made from a nearly indestructible metal alloy and whose body has the ability to quickly heal itself. But this latest take on the X-Men character isn’t a kids’ movie. This Wolverine is very much an adult exploration of life, death and what lies in between.
Tortured by nightmares and the loss of his love, Jean Grey (Famke Janssen), Logan begins the film very much alone. He’s soon convinced to fly to Tokyo by Manga-sprite Yukio (Rila Fukushima), to say a final farewell to a dying Japanese man he rescued in World War 2.
Once in Japan, he discovers his old friend Yashida (Hal Yamanouchi) is in fact dying, but will stop at nothing to prolong his life, including stealing Logan’s mutant abilities and immortality. Yashida's doctor is also a mutant called Viper (Svetlana Khodchenkova), and figures out a way to remove Logan's fast-acting healing ability. This turns out to be quite the bummer for Logan, particularly when Yashida’s beautiful granddaughter Mariko (Tao Okamoto) is kidnapped by Japanese gangsters called Yakuza.
Aided by feisty Yukio, Logan becomes embroiled in a hunt for Mariko that takes him from flashy and futuristic Tokyo to Japan’s quaint countryside. Logan’s battle to save Mariko also mirrors the bitter battle taking place inside himself.
Logan is a man full of demons and often feels like a monster who’s lost or destroyed everything he’s ever loved. He identifies very strongly with a “Ronin”, a Samurai warrior with no master and no purpose. While fighting to save Mariko, Logan manages to find his humanity and love for life.
The costumes and styling in Wolverine are stunning. From the boldly bright Harajuku outfits to the reptile-inspired snake suits worn by Viper, costume designer Isis Mussenden delivers exotic, eye-candy costumes that help to define the characters and tell their story.