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I’m not a hater of X-Men Origins: Wolverine; I thought it was stupid fun. I am in the minority, though, so along came The Wolverine, a new attempt to take Hugh Jackman’s Logan into a freestanding franchise.

Directed by James Mangold (3:10 to Yuma), The Wolverine goes in a darker, more-serious direction, although the film still includes some fine action scenes. (The opening scene in Nagasaki and a fight above a bullet train are both incredible.) Jackman, who has a lot more veins popping than he did last time, again has a blast in the title role.

The plot involves an old friend of Logan looking for the key to eternal life—a key which Wolverine actually has, making him a mutant of extra purpose and value. Most of the action takes place in Japan, and Wolverine loses his powers for a stretch, so we get the odd sight of him bleeding and getting lethargic.

Mangold and his crew deserve credit for filming two of the world’s most beautiful women: Tao Okamoto and Rila Fukushima. The also-remarkable-looking Famke Janssen makes some dream appearances as Jean Grey—and stay through the credits to get what some might consider to be the film’s best scene.

While I didn’t hate X-Men Origins: Wolverine, I acknowledge this effort is a better movie. Next year’s X-Men: Days of Future Past looks like the stuff of a comic-book-lover’s wet dream, and is sure to give Mr. Jackman another wondrous showcase for those sideburns.

Special Features: The extended edition comes on its own disc and features about 12 more minutes, as well as a commentary by Mangold. You also get the theatrical version, with a nearly one-hour documentary on the film’s making, and an alternate ending. There’s also a short preview for X-Men: Days of Future Past.

Published in DVDs/Home Viewing

I’m not a hater of 2009’s X-Men Origins: Wolverine; it was fun, albeit stupid fun. Still, many despised it, and this is a new attempt to create a film franchise around Hugh Jackman’s Logan.

Director James Mangold takes this film in a darker, more-serious direction, but he proves quite adept at creating an action scene. (The opening scene in Nagasaki, and a fight above a bullet train, are both incredible.)

Jackman, who has a lot more veins popping than he did the last time we saw him, again has a blast in the title role. The plot involves an old friend of Wolverine looking for the key to eternal life, which Wolverine actually has—so this makes him a mutant with extra purpose. Most of the action takes place in Japan; Wolverine loses his powers for a stretch, so we get the odd sight of him bleeding and getting lethargic.

Mangold and his crew also get credit for bringing to film two of the year’s most beautiful women: Tao Okamoto and Rila Fukushima. Good lord, these two are remarkable-looking.

Famke Janssen makes some dream appearances as Jean Grey—and be sure to stay through the credits to see what some might consider the film’s best scene.

The Wolverine is playing at theaters across the valley.

Published in Reviews