The latest Superhero summer flick is The Wolverine (PG-13).
Hugh Jackman reprises the title character and this time finds himself embroiled in a family dispute in modern day Japan. Tao Okamoto, Rila Fukushima, Hal Yamanouchi and Svetlana Khodchenkova costar in the film. James Mangold (Walk the Line) directs.
Ryan: Prior to The Wolverine coming out, Hugh Jackman was doing his best to proclaim that this film was always the solo Wolverine movie that he had wanted to make, obviously conceding the universal fact that X-Men Origins: Wolverine was a complete train wreck. And while I believe that the intentions of Jackman, Mangold and company were good, the results were not. The Wolverine is eerily similar to “Origins” in that it is not a good movie…not even close.
Andy: The Wolverine is one of the most boring action movies I have ever seen. James Mangold has proven he can direct a thrilling and interesting film (3:10 to Yuma), but the methodical pace he chooses here does not work for a superhero movie. He is not aided by an awkward and unfocused script by Mark Bomback and Scott Frank, that never really lands on a storyline compelling enough hook the audience.
Wolverine is whisked away to Japan to say goodbye to a dying friend, when for reasons never made entirely clear, he chooses to protect the friend’s granddaughter from Japanese gangsters. These gangsters have vague motives and no consistently compelling villain (Viper? Really?), so it is hard to be too invested in the story.
Ryan: One of the more frustrating aspects of The Wolverine is that the ingredients were there for a more nuanced and thoughtful movie. Wolverine the character — and I know I’m “mixing metaphors” here — in a lot of ways is both Batman (thirst for justice) and Superman (nearly indestructible) so there’s a lot to play with there.