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Film: The Wolverine
Wolverine goes ninjanote 

The Wolverine is a 2013 superhero film based on the character of Wolverine. Again.

Directed by James Mangold, the film is loosely based on Chris Claremont and Frank Miller's acclaimed 1982 Wolverine mini-series, which saw the character traveling to Japan. It is the second attempt to give Wolverine his own movie following X-Men Origins: Wolverine to which this was originally going to be a sequel. Hugh Jackman reprises his role as Wolverine from the X-Men film series, and is joined by Tao Okamoto as Mariko Yashida, Will Yun Lee as Kenuichio Harada, Hiroyuki Sanada as Shingen Yashida, and Rila Fukushima as Yukio.

Set some years after the events of X-Men: The Last Stand, the movie follows Logan, after the disbandment of the X-Men, as he travels to Japan to bid farewell to an old friend on his deathbed. While there, he is caught up in a world of Yakuza intrigue and falls for their latest target Mariko, the daughter of a powerful industrialist.

Watch the official trailer here, the first international trailer here, and the second international trailer here. The storyline that inspired this film was also loosely adapted into a Wolverine anime series in 2011. Currently, another stand-alone Wolverine film set for a 2017 release in is development.

Followed by X-Men: Days of Future Past, which also follows X-Men: First Class as well as the original trilogy.


Tropes applying to The Wolverine:

  • Absurdly Sharp Blade:
    • The heirloom katana that Yukio brings with her to meet Logan is able to cleanly slice barstool legs and a beer bottle, without harming the man on the stool or the guy holding the beer bottle.
    • While adamantium blades are indestructible and can virtually cut through anything, superheating it is the only way to slice through another adamantium substance with laser-like precision.
  • Achilles in His Tent: Logan has quit the X-Men for at least a year, and isolates himself within the Yukon wilderness because he is unable to cope with his guilt for being forced to kill Jean Grey.
  • Action Girl:
    • Yukio introduces herself in a bar brawl and proves competent enough to protect Logan. And later helps him fight Viper.
    • Mariko is proficient in softhanded martial arts and an excellent knife-thrower, helping to kill Silver Samurai.
  • Adaptational Badass: Mariko Yashida is a much more capable and physical badass in this movie than she was in the comics.
  • Adaptational Heroism:
    • Harada, sort of. In addition to pulling a Heroic Sacrifice to save Logan, he's far less of a Jerkass than his comic counterpart, who is a foreigner-hating bigot.
    • Yukio was much more morally ambiguous in the comics (especially in earlier appearances, where she was a mercenary/assassin/thief) than in the movie.
  • Adaptation Dye-Job:
    • Yukio sports natural black hair in the comics but has dyed red hair in the movies.
    • Viper also has blond hair rather than green or black.
  • Adaptation Name Change: Mariko's fiance has his name changed from "Noburo Hideki" to "Noburo Mori," possibly because, although an actual Japanese name, Hideki is a given name, not a family one.
  • All Women Love Shoes: Yukio politely hands a pair of high heels to one of the prostitutes as she runs out the door in her underwear.
  • Animal Motifs: Next to the Wolverine, we also have the Viper, and their animalistic nature is often alluded to.
  • Anime Hair: Yukio. Down to the color. Director James Marigold has expressly stated his desire was to give her a more anime appearance, hence the aforementioned Adaptation Dye-Job.
  • Animesque: The film has this in their rendition of the Silver Samurai, having a sort of Humongous Mecha look to it as opposed to the design from the comic book arc on which much of the film was based.
  • Annoying Arrows: Logan is brought down by several arrows near the film's climax. He manages to shrug most of them off until he's hit with poisoned ones which eventually knocks him out.
  • The Archer: Harada is quite a Cold Sniper, especially when it comes to defending Mariko, as well as his squadron of Black Clan ninjas.
  • Arranged Marriage: Mariko and Noburo for business purposes.
  • Artistic License - Nuclear Physics: Yashida stares directly into the flash of an atomic bomb and suffers no ill-effects. He should have been blinded on the spot, which would have made it a lot harder to run for the well. His survival of the following explosion and radiation is somewhat more plausible, due to distance and detonation factors (an air-burst detonation leaves relatively little fallout), but still rather unlikely given he waited until the blast had practically caught up to them.
  • Artistic License - Physics:
    • While fighting atop the bullet train, Wolverine charges at a mook many feet behind him by leaping up so that he remains in the same place while the train speeds by under him. In reality, Wolverine and the mooks are already moving at the same speed as the train, so jumping would at best provide only minimal deceleration through wind drag, as opposed to Wolverine temporarily flying like he's Superman.
    • A superheated adamantium sword is depicted cutting through room temperature adamantium. While (in the canon) adamantium can only be made malleable by superheating it, superheating the sword would only render the sword more malleable, not what it's cutting. However, it should be noted that the sword is several times larger and thicker than the claws, meaning it takes more heat to fully superheat it, and could theoretically be kept at a level too hot for the tiny claws, but that the huge sword could handle easily. especially when backed by the strength of Powered Armor.
  • As You Know: When he saw the old pit where he saved Ichirō, Wolverine was about to tell what had happened there... and Mariko stopped him: she already knows that story.
  • Atomic Bombings Of Hiroshima And Nagasaki: The bombing of Nagasaki is featured at the start of the movie. Wolverine is shown as a POW held in a camp across the bay, and both he and a Japanese soldier survive while everyone else in the camp kick it. Said soldier is Ichirō Yashida, Mariko's grandfather.
  • The Atoner:
    • Wolverine goes to Japan to face his guilt for killing Jean Grey and to receive help from an old friend who might have the means to remove his Healing Factor and make him mortal.
    • Harada ends up as this near the end of the film.
  • Audible Sharpness: Aside from Wolverine's claws, the ringing noise when young Yashida presents the samurai sword to him in the well goes on for several seconds.
  • Badass:
    • Wolverine, as usual. The gruff soldier with the metal claws beats down both yakuza thugs and ninja thugs and then squares off against an eight foot tall suit of Powered Armor.
    • Viper does pretty well against Wolverine.
    • Shingen Yashida. As much of a bastard as he is, it can't be denied.
  • Badass Adorable: Yukio who has anime rebel schoolgirl features with the efficiency of Miho in terms of swordsmanship.
  • Badass Normal:
    • Shingen Yashida. No mutant powers, no supertech, just a katana. Nonetheless, he holds his own against the Wolverine himself. Oh, and he was weakened by Viper's poison at the time, poison that it appears was intended to kill him.
    • Harada is a mundane leader of a clan of mundane ninja.
    • Yukio’s mutant power is a limited form of precognition that allows her to see how people will die. Her strength and skills come entirely from training, yet she kicks about as much ass as Wolverine, a decades old veteran warrior with an indestructible skeleton, metal claws, and an enhanced healing factor.
    • Wolverine has a very difficult time with the two determined Yakuza on top of the bullet train, who do all the same death-defying stunts as Wolverine without any superpowers at all.
  • Bad Dreams: Throughout the film, Logan suffers chronic nightmares of Jean, his Lost Lenore who he previously was forced to kill.
  • Bald of Evil / Bald Women: Viper after she sheds her skin and looks more evil and like a viper.
  • Battle Butler: Yukio performs certain tasks for Master Yashida (like tracking down Wolverine), and is very deadly with a samurai sword.
  • Beard of Sorrow: Logan starts out with a shaggy one, likely resulting from the events of The Last Stand.
  • Berserk Button: Threatening people Logan cares about will make him go berserk, which is pretty normal. Causing unwarranted suffering on wild fauna, however, also puts him on a violent warpath.
  • BFS: The Silver Samurai wields an enormous katana and wakizashi, both made out of pure adamantium. Holding these swords with both hands triggers the blades to become superheated and be able to cut through adamantium.
  • Big Bad: Ichirō Yashida who is responsible for bringing Logan to Japan and has an Evil Plan to steal his Healing Factor. However, the yakuza that kidnap Mariko on two occasions were hired by Shingen and Mori.
  • Big Bad Ensemble: There are two separate villainous factions in this movie: One led by Shingen Yashida, and one led by Shingen's father Ichirō.
  • Bilingual Bonus: Yashida's sword, the one he tries to pass on to Logan, is inscribed with kanji characters that mean "never grow old, never die".
  • Blessed with Suck: Yukio's mutant power allows her to foresee a person's death (including that of her own parents), but she can't do anything to prevent it from happening.
  • Bloodier and Gorier: In the extended cut there is no Bloodless Carnage, up to and including a number of ninjas being sucked into a snow-blower and scattered across a few buildings.
  • Bloodless Carnage: The scores of Mooks that find themselves on the pointy end of Wolverine's claws don't bleed note . However Wolverine bleeds, though it doesn't mean much since he's Nigh Invulnerable even with his gimped healing factor.
  • Bodyguarding a Badass: Yukio to Logan: "Think of me as your bodyguard." Wolverine just eyerolls and goes with it. It's understandable in this case because Logan isn't used to fighting without his Healing Factor. The 'everyone can use back up' reason is employed.
  • Book Ends: "I'm your bodyguard."
  • Brick Joke: In the beginning of the movie, Logan is shown clearly distressed and nervous whenever he's on a plane, vigorously clutching the arms of his chair in terror. In one of the movie's final scenes, he can be seen clutching his chair yet again.
  • Broad Strokes:
    • As an adaptation to Wolverine's backstory in Japan in the comics, Logan does not have any knowledge of Japanese culture and etiquette throughout the film.
    • X-Men Origins: Wolverine is mostly treated as Canon Discontinuity (for starters, the opening has Logan in World War II alone instead of accompanied by half-brother Sabretooth), except for some examples listed in Continuity Nod.
  • Brought Down to Badass: Wolverine's Healing Factor is dialed down to near-human levels. While his adamantium skeleton and multiple lifetimes of traumatic injury have rendered him superhumanly strong, tough, and resistant to pain, he's still left considerably weaker since his injuries accumulate rather than healing automatically.
  • California Doubling: Parts of the film set in Japan and Canada were filmed in and around Sydney, Australia.
  • The Cameo: A repowered Magneto and a resurrected Professor X greet Logan—much to the latter's astonishment—during the post-credits scene.
  • Caught in the Rain: Logan and Mariko return to the house in Nagasaki after a sudden rainshower and change from their wet clothes into traditional Japanese wear. Mariko notes that Logan is wearing his wrong and goes to adjust it; it's no surprise what happens next.
  • Character Development:
    • Logan was an avid Death Seeker to atone for his guilt after Jean's death. When Ichirō gave him the offer, Logan refuses until he was sabotaged by Viper. The loss of his accelerated healing clearly shook up Logan as he is thrown battle after battle to the brink of death. He recovers this ability and he also manages to let go of Jean by the end of the film.
    • Mariko began having no interest in the Yashida zaibatsu when her grandfather named her as his heir but with the turmoil over its ownership and the climactic turn of events, her appointment as the Yashida CEO is one she accepted wholeheartedly.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • Ichirō Yashida's life support equipment is used to discover the machine suppressing Logan's healing factor.
    • Yukio seems shocked by Yashida's sudden death because she didn't see him die, because he didn't actually die.
    • In the beginning, a bear is shot by a poisoned arrow, then in the climax, Logan is taken down with Harada's poisoned arrows.
  • Chekhov's Skill:
    • Japanese swords need to be held with two hands.
    • Mariko mentions while looking at photographs that she's a champion with knives. Her knife-throwing expertise does come in handy.
    • Shingen is introduced kicking ass in kendo.
  • Childhood Marriage Promise: Mariko jokes that she was going to marry Harada, but couldn't because they weren't fifteen. By the time they're adults, however, Mariko has to enter Arranged Marriage with Noburo Mori.
  • Color Character: The ancestral Silver Samurai suit; later depicted as a Powered Armor with the silvery luster of adamantium.
  • Color Motif:
    • Yukio has a thing for fiery red.
    • Viper has a thing for green.
  • Comic Book Movies Don't Use Codenames:
    • Played straight with the adamantium Powered Armor that is not explicitly called Silver Samurai. The moniker of Silver Samurai was named after a suit of samurai armor that serves as a Legacy Character for the Yashida generations.
    • Averted by Logan, who calls himself The Wolverine during his fight with Shingen.
    • Played with for Viper, who never calls herself "the Viper" but does says she's a viper.
    • Played straight with The Hand (mainly linked to the Daredevil / Elektra franchise, and ownership of those rights reverted back to Marvel before the film was finished), who are referred to as "The Black Clan" and led by Harada.
  • Composite Character:
    • Ichiro Yashida has elements of Shingen Harada, the second Silver Samurai. The most obvious being the suit of Powered Armor.
    • Shingen in the film is a combination of the comics Shingen Yashida and the personality of Kenuichio Harada.
    • Yukio's knife-throwing skills were given to Mariko, in a plot-important role.
  • Conservation of Ninjutsu: Shockingly averted as despite sending a whole army of ninjas for Logan to fight, he manages to kill two by surprise in the belief he was still weakened by Viper's device, only for Harada to immediately fall back and use rope arrows to slow Logan down and highly poisonous arrows to knock him out.
  • Continuity Cameo:
    • Magneto and Xavier in the Stinger, which also shows an in-universe advertisement for Trask Industries for X-Men: Days of Future Past.
    • Also Wolverine's classic costume makes a brief appearance in the alternate ending. When Yukio and Logan board the plane, Yukio hands him a large flat box. He opens it to find himself staring at a familiar yellow face mask, with other spandex pieces. All he can do is give Yukio a "Really?" look.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • While most of the film has Wolverine remembering Jean, the scene where he wakes up has a voiceover involving Kayla Silverfox from X-Men Origins: Wolverine.
    • When the ghost of Jean was jealous of Mariko, she reminds Wolverine that all the women he loves die. Silver Fox, his love from X-Men Origins: Wolverine, also died in that film.
    • The post-credits scene where Magneto and Xavier arrive to recruit Logan mirrors their brief encounter from decades earlier in X-Men: First Class.
    • Wolverine flatlines once again after having surgery done to him, just like X-Men Origins: Wolverine, though this time by it's done by himself.
    • Wolverine is afraid of flying.
    • Also a subtle one to X2, as in the movie William Striker said that the only way to make the otherwise indestructible Adamantium malleable was to superheat it. Guess how Wolverine's claws get cut off.
    • Much like Silverfox, Logan's new love interest Mariko also brings up a legend about a "kuzuri", a.k.a. the "wolverine."
    • Storm can be seen briefly on a photo in a file.
  • Continuity Snarl: In previous films it had been established that Logan had no memory of his past prior to 1979. So how, exactly, was he able to remember saving Yashida during World War II?
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive:
    • Shingen Yashida from is a rich businessman with ties to the Yakuza.
    • Ichiro Yashida, in the end of his life.
  • Corrupt Politician: Noburo Mori, Minister of Justice, is doing nothing to enforce justice. Instead he's trying to bumb off his finance and fooling around with prostitutes.
  • Cranial Processing Unit: Zigzagged. Wolverine cuts the head off the Silver Samurai robot, and it falls over. Then it gets back up again and then it's revealed that the Samurai isn't a robot, it's a suit of Powered Armor with a man inside. If Wolverine had just cut a little lower...
  • Crucified Hero Shot: After Wolverine becomes a Human Pincushion, he strikes this pose, mostly because all the tethers attached to the arrows are forcing him into it.
  • Damsel out of Distress: When Mariko is snagged by thugs at her grandfather's funeral, she was well on her way toward escaping from them when Logan reached her and finished them off. Also she saves Logan a few times and helps take down Silver Samurai with her knife-throwing skills.
  • Dangerously Genre Savvy: Viper, who seems to know about Logan's Healing Factor, along with using Mariko as a Distressed Damsel to force him to come to the facility where she plans to take his mutant powers away. She even deliberately taunts him to make him pull his claws out while he's restrained in a chair.
  • Dark Action Girl: Viper is a vicious poisoner and martial artist to the point that even men don't mind fighting her.
  • Darker and Edgier: The film is more serious than the previous X-Men movies, presenting the story as a noir crime drama.
  • Death by Adaptation:
    • Viper wasn't hanged in the comics.
    • Harada wasn't killed in the comics, who falls under Type 2 of this trope.
  • Decomposite Character: Silver Samurai is split into two separate characters. Harada (Samurai's civilian ID in the comics) is depicted as a ninja and Mariko's former lover, while the ACTUAL Silver Samurai is Mariko's grandfather, Ichirō, who uses a silver suit of samurai-themed powered armor.
  • Defiant Captive: Mariko got in a few hits on her kidnappers and even put one of Hanada's assassins in a chokehold. She saves Logan from Silver Samurai.
  • Designated Girl Fight: Yukio fights Viper at the end, though it's mostly because Logan is occupied with the Silver Samurai at the time.
  • Desperately Seeking A Purpose In Life: Logan is essentially a wandering hobo when the film starts, mostly just living in the wilderness and avoiding contact with people as much as possible. Only when he meets Mariko does he start to have a renewed hope to go on living. And after a two-year gap, he is reunited with Professor X, and X-Men: Days of Future Past confirms that he rejoins the X-Men.
  • Disc One Final Boss: Shingen is responsible for the yakuza thugs and Logan fights him to end this plot thread and become 'the wolverine'' again but there's a bigger villain in play.
  • Disney Villain Death:
    • Ichirō, somewhat. Logan throws him off the building and he crashes below, but he was probably already dead even before hitting the ground.
    • Wolverine also tried doing this to Noburo, but luckily for him, there was a swimming pool beneath the window Wolverine threw him out of.
  • Enemy Mine: Harada cites Viper as a "means to an end," and voices his displeasure towards her consistently. Viper seems indifferent to Harada attitude-wise, but she just sees him as another inferior underling.
  • Evil Plan: Yashida wants Logan's Healing Factor so he can live forever. This is why he sends Yukio to retrieve him.
  • Exact Words: When Wolverine is interrogating Noburo he tells him that he'll throw him out the window if he "doesn't like" what he hears and says nothing about telling the truth. Sure enough, Noburo gives him the information he asked for, but gets thrown out the window anyway, because "I didn't like it."
  • Face-Heel Turn: Ichirō Yashida was apparently a genuinely nice and caring man once, but when his cancer started destroying him, he became obsessed with immortality and turned evil.
  • Failed Attempt at Drama: Noburo Mori
    Logan: You're gonna talk tough, standing there in your red underwear?
  • Family of Choice: At the end of the movie, Mariko adopts Yukio as her sister, "her only family," as the rest of the Yashida family have been killed off.
  • Fantastic Racism: Shingen has an implied thing against mutants, in case you forgot this was an X-Men movie. While calling Logan "your kind" could've meant Westerners, Ichirō is obviously interested in mutants, not Westerners.
  • Faux Affably Evil:
    • Viper talks in a polite and seductive tone when discussing her evil plans.
    • Ichirō Yashida continues to discuss philosophy and talk like a kindly grandfather even as he is literally sucking out the life of Wolverine. He also seems to genuinely want Logan to find peace in death.
  • Feet-First Introduction: Yukio and Viper have these with their "badass in boots" look, as well as a She's Got Legs intro when Viper gets out of her car at the funeral.
  • Femme Fatale: Viper kills with a kiss... literally. She does know how to use her considerable sexuality as a weapon.
  • Follow the Leader: While the use of post-credits scenes was nothing new (not even in this franchise, as X-Men: The Last Stand already did its own), the Marvel Cinematic Universe popularized their use as a tool for 'world-building', i.e. using them to tie non-sequel movies into a bigger universe. The Wolverine "copies" this concept as it contains a Stinger that ties it into X-Men: Days of Future Past, when originally this movie wasn't going to be related to First Class nor the original series.
  • The Foreign Subtitle: The Brazilian and Russian releases added the subtitle Immortal.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • One of the earlier modern day scenes in the film features Logan delivering some punishment to a hunter who supposedly used a poisoned broad-tip arrow to hunt the former's grizzly bear companion. Poisoned arrows reappear in the third act, when Harada uses a poisoned arrow to knock Wolverine out for the climax.
    • Yukio's vision of Wolverine's future, although it doesn't play out quite the way she saw it.
    • Noburo's remark about the Yashida's expensive adamantium research.
    • The fact that Yukio didn't foresee Ichirō dying that night.
  • Forgotten Fallen Friend: In Logan's mind, Jean is "all alone" where she is, and wants him to join her... except Logan knows that she loves Cyclops, who is also dead... and Xavier, who, while not her lover, was still a mentor and good friend, who, as far as Logan knew, was also dead. It's a Justified Trope in that if she was an actual ghost, Logan's guilt could have been keeping her from moving on. And if she wasn't, and merely a manifestation of his guilt, then it's perfectly understandable that she would focus on Logan and play on his secret fear that she couldn't move on for whatever reason. Still, the fact that he views his relationship with Jean as being very clearly romantic makes this trope sting a little.
  • Freudian Excuse: Shingen covered for his father robbing his own company to extend his own lifespan, only for Ichiro to leave everything to Mariko instead.
  • Friendless Background: Mariko had difficulty making friends while she was younger.
  • Genius Bruiser:
    • Implied with Viper since she's a scientist.
    • Shingen Yashida makes a brief mention to the fact he graduated in biology, and is as well a very competent businessman.
    • Ichirō Yashida served in the military in World War II, and later founded a highly successful technology conglomerate.
  • Genre Shift: James Mangold has referred to the film as more of a Film Noir piece rather than a Superhero film like The Avengers.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: Wolverine standing in the cold rain after he and Mariko are stuck in a Love Hotel is very easy to see as him taking a cold shower.
  • Good Adultery, Bad Adultery: The good adulterer Logan, sleeps with Mariko, but he's a wounded soul and she's trapped in a loveless engagement. The bad adulterer Noburo, is just getting his jollies on, and was engaged to Mariko to get money. He's also conspiring to have her killed for even more money.
  • Good Thing You Can Heal: Wolverine, as usual, takes a lot of punishment throughout the film, but his survival of an atomic bomb really stands out.
  • Gory Discretion Shot:
    • The Japanese officers in the beginning of the film performing Seppuku as American bombers approach their city.
    • Logan's attempt at self-surgery. He even warns Yukio to look away when he's doing it to remove a bug that Viper implanted in him to reduce his Healing Factor effectiveness.
  • Green Aesop: Our hero walks past a brown bear peacefully. He later passes some hunters, who behave like rowdy, drunken idiots. A clerk reacts disdainfully and asks Logan, "You're not a hunter, are you?" Later we learn that the hunters were sloppy and stupid, and used illegal poisoned arrows, which resulted in the rest of them getting killed and also doomed the bear to a slow, agonizing death. Logan is distraught by the bear's suffering and returns to torture the surviving hunter, which is called "justice" by Yukio.
  • Headphones Equal Isolation: Mariko wears them... while Logan is battling Yakuza above her in a Traintop Battle. At one point a Yakuza thug clinging to the roof sees her through a (locked) skylight and roars in impotent rage, which of course she doesn't hear.
  • Healing Factor: Wolverine loses this, which is suppressed by the Yashida Corporation, through technological means. At least until he figures out how they did it and rectifies the problem.
  • Heel-Face Turn: Harada switches allegiance from Ichirō Yashida as 'the head of the Yashia family' to Mariko, who was named the head after Ichirō's faked death.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Near the film's end, Wolverine sets himself up for one during his battle with Ichirō (who was piloting the Silver Samurai armor), only for Harada to step in and distract Yashida long enough for Logan to get his bearings. The distraction gets Harada impaled onto a massive heated sword.
  • He's Back:
    • Magneto, with his power, and Xavier alive again in the stinger.
    • Also when Logan figures out how his healing power was suppressed and manages to regain it all, turning him back into the the near-unstoppable fighter he is.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Mariko and Yukio. They are not related, as Yukio was a poor girl found in the street by the Yashida family, but they were raised and treat each other as if they were sisters.
  • Hijacked by Ganon: Ichirō Yashida was alive all along and was the real mastermind behind weakening Wolverine and kidnapping Mariko. Shingen was nothing in the end.
  • Hitman with a Heart: Downplayed with Harada. While he isn't a hitman in the traditional sense, he's a bodyguard for the Yashida family. (By extension, serving as THEIR hitman. He and Viper are in an Enemy Mine arrangement during the film) Harada has a Heel-Face Turn near the end of the film after being spurned by Mariko for Logan. Shame that it ends up getting him killed in a Heroic Sacrifice.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Had the Big Bad not have told Wolverine how to properly hold a Japanese sword all those years ago, he'd still be around to mock him for it.
  • Hot Blade: The Silver Samurai was able to cut Wolverine's admantium-coated claws with a superheated Adamantium sword. Since Adamantium suffers from a Like Cannot Cut Like rule, presumably the intense heat melts the claws off.
  • "How Did You Know?" "I Didn't.":
    Yukio: How did you know there was a pool down there?
    Logan: I didn't.
  • Human Pincushion: Logan receives plenty of Annoying Arrows by the ninjas, which, being poisoned, knock him out.
  • Hypocrite: Logan gets really angry at Noburo for cheating on Mariko, his fiancé, despite having slept with her the night before while knowing about her engagement. As seen under Good Adultery, Bad Adultery, there's a distinction. From Wolverine's perspective, Noburo, by arranging a marriage with her father, is essentially asking for her hand, where Mariko is being forced to marry him so as not to shame her father. Given his shock when she tells him, it's clear he sees the distinction.
  • I Ain't Got Time to Bleed: Unless the wound is fatal, most characters will shrug off injuries and fight on without any detriments to their skill. Although in Wolverine's case, once he has time to rest, his wounds will catch up to him.
  • I Have No Son: Inverted
    Yashida: Mariko. It's me, your grandfather.
    Mariko: I buried my grandfather.
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: Wolverine is tempted by the option of growing old and dying like everyone else because it could mean a more mundane life. He later reconsiders it.
  • Imminent Danger Clue: At Yashida-sama's funeral, Logan notices one of the monks has a tattoo sticking out his sleeve. In Japan, tattoos pretty much mean "gangster".
  • Immortality Hurts: Inverted. When he was immortal, Wolverine's wounds healed quicker and so the pain faded faster. When he loses his healing factor, the wounds and their pain linger.
  • Immortality Immorality: Ichirō Yashida wants to gain immortality by stealing it from someone else. That should be the first clue that he's not a good person.
  • Immortality Seeker: Ichirō Yashida became obsessed with becoming this after meeting Logan back during World War II.
  • Impaled Palm: Logan does this to a hunter that survived a bear attack, using the same arrow the hunter used on the bear which then caused it severe pain and suffering and forcing Logan to perform a Mercy Kill on it.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice:
    • Harada gets skewered by the Silver Samurai's massive sword.
    • Logan does it to Shingen, by piercing the latter's throat while he's attempting to stab the former with his katanas.
    • Logan again to the Big Bad at the end of the film.
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: Narada hits several running Yakuza at incredible distances during the Chase Scene.
  • Improvised Weapon: Adamantium claws as throwing knives.
  • In Name Only: Most of the film's characters are based from Frank Miller's Wolverine series; with some of them taken liberties to in terms of role.
    • The comics Kenuichio Harada is THE Silver Samurai, Shingen's arrogant illegitimate son and a mutant seeking to rule the Yashida clan for himself. He despises the "gaijin" and the Yashidas especially his half-sister Mariko. In the film, most of his personality reflected on Shingen while Harada is relegated to the Yashidas' bodyguard, Mariko's ex-fiance and not even the actual Silver Samurai. His closest reference to the comics is his affiliation with Viper.
    • Viper a.k.a. Madame Hydra is a high-ranking member of HYDRA (and eventually leader) who is a human with superb martial arts skills and knowledge with poisons. Much like Juggernaut before her, the film depicts her as a mutant scientist with snake-like attributes who mainly works for herself. Confusingly, Fox was still allowed to use her, even though she's much more tied to Nick Fury and SHIELD. Strangely enough, it's the Silver Samurai who is one of HYDRA's leaders during the events of X-Men: The Official Game.
  • Interchangeable Asian Cultures: Korean-American actor Will Yun Lee plays the Japanese villain Kenuichio Harada.
  • Interrupted Suicide: Wolverine stopped Yashida when, as the other generals, preferred to die with honor with his own sword instead of in the atomic explosion that was coming. Wolverine took his blade out, and brought him to the pit.
  • I Owe You My Life:
    • Logan saved the life of his benefactor decades ago. In return, he offers Logan the chance to have a mundane life rather than immortality.
    • Yukio informs Logan that she owes Master Yashida her life.
  • Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique: Logan does this to Noburo. ("Talk or I'll throw you out that fucking window!").
  • Japanese Sibling Terminology: At the end, Yukio refers to Mariko as "Onee-chan."
  • Jidai Geki: Not an actual Jidai Geki movie technically speaking (as it is set in the modern day), but The Wolverine features stylistic Homages and Shout Outs aplenty to the genre and its conventions: samurai, Japanese ideals of honor, ninja clans serving noble families, etc.
  • Just Train Wrong: The Shinkansen (bullet train) is powered by overhead lines, which the film gets right — the characters studiously try to avoid hitting them — but these overhead lines power the trains by way of very large pantographs, which take up substantial space on the roof the train. We could Hand Wave it as the Traintop Battle occurring atop a part of the train without one, but careful watching suggests that simply do not exist on the bullet train in the film, which is shown zooming along with no physical connection to the catenary above it. Case in point: there are at least two obstacles mounted low enough to pass between the train and the overhead lines, and Logan is forced to (carefully) leap over them. The question of how they got there aside, each of these on their own would have caused a major rail accident — perhaps the worst in the bullet train's half-century of operation — before it even got to him.
  • Katanas Are Just Better: The way they are supposed to be brandished becomes a Chekhov's Gun.
  • Kick the Dog: Shingen contemptuously tells Yukio, who has been friends with Shingen's daughter Mariko since childhood, that she's nothing more than a "plaything" that Mariko has now outgrown.
  • Le Parkour: Logan uses a messy variation, which is still effective. One of the shirtless Yashida Yakuza uses this, as well as Harada and his Ninja, although it veers into Freerunning here and there. They're Ninja after all.
  • Liquid Assets: Yashida intends to drain Logan's Healing Factor from him.
  • Living Forever Is Awesome: Logan refuses Yashida's offer to revoke his immortality. Despite his hardship, he prefers living with his pain to the alternative.
  • Look Behind You: During the Traintop Battle, Logan and a mook have to keep dodging arches using each other as visual cues when to duck or jump. Wolverine eventually tricks the mook into doing the wrong one. Splat.
  • Look Both Ways: One of the Yakuza gets hit by a car as they chase Logan and Mariko across the street.
  • Love Hotels: Logan and Mariko stay in one for the night although no love making actually occurs (at least, not at the hotel).
  • Made of Indestructium: Wolverine's claws and the Silver Samurai suit and swords are made of adamantium. It's revealed that the swords can be superheated, which allow them to cut through Wolverine's claws. Fortunately, the bones within still grow back.
  • Made of Iron: Yakuza Enforcers seemingly have no issue with surviving high speed impacts into the top of a bullet train after leaping over train traffic lights. The most you'll get out of them are minor, irritated grunts.
  • Magic Pants: Logan's pants somehow survive being incinerated while the rest of him is burned to a crisp during the bomb shelter scene. In fact, they aren't even singed.
  • Mayfly-December Romance: The nigh-immortal Logan becomes involved with Mariko, who's around her twenties in the present day. Logan leaves at the end to continue his journey despite finally coming to terms with Jean's death.
  • Meaningful Name: Viper.
    • Her alias as Yashida's doctor is Green, and she wears green clothing as Viper.
    • The name "Viper" is also meaningful. It alludes to the classic fable "The Farmer and the Viper", which perfectly describes Logan's relationship with her master.
  • Mercy Kill: Logan, to an injured and poisoned grizzly bear.
  • Movie Superheroes Wear Black: Averted and played straight. Harada (Silver Samurai in the comics) wears a practical black outfit for most of the movie, but Yashida dons a suit of silver Powered Armor in the finale.
  • Mr. Fanservice:
    • Logan — the bathing scene.
      • He's the only reason Tao Okamoto initially agreed to play Mariko.
    • Noburo Mori is in nice shape and gets an underwear scene.
  • Ms. Fanservice:
    • All of Famke Janssen's cameos show her in very revealing clothing.
    • Viper tends to wear some nice skin-tight outfits.
  • Mythology Gag: The film provides some nods on the Wolverine limited series, where most of the characters are taken from.
    • Instead of Harada, the film's Silver Samurai is old man Yashida. Since the comics name Kenuichio is not a real Japanese name, the film derives Yashida's name Ichirō from the actual Japanese name, Kenichirō.
    • Mariko's arranged marriage, that she accepts as a thing of honor, which she does not expect Wolverine to understand because he's not Japanese.
    • Ichirō pledges his katana to Logan as gratitude for saving his life. In the comics, Mariko is the one who pledged the Yashida katana to Logan after he kills Shingen.
    • Like the film, the mini-series also took place shortly after Jean's death, and involved a love triangle with Mariko and Yukio.
    • In the "Return of the King" arc of Ultimate X-Men, Logan ends up running through a bear with his claws, although the film's version is much more peaceable and emotional.
    • The Silver Samurai possesses the ability to heat up its blades, causing them to glow. This resembles the way the comic iteration of Silver Samurai coats his katana with a glowing tachyon field.
    • A very small nod on the Fatal Attractions arc may also apply where the Silver Samurai extracted Logan's Healing Factor from the marrows of his broken claws (removing the adamantium along with it.) Wolverine later regrows his claws, now in bone form.
    • In an example combined with Foreshadowing and Sequel Hook, a commercial for Trask Industries, the makers of the mutant-hunting Sentinels, can be seen at the end of the film.
    • Moments when Jean Grey is seen, its in a white room. Perhaps representing Phoenix in the White Hot Room?
    • The Alternate Ending has Yukio giving Logan a more realistic version of his classic yellow and brown and yellow costume from the comics. Complete with a mask!
    • Mariko holding two of Wolverine's claws at the end could be an X-23 reference.
    • Probably not intentional, but look at Logan's train-lunge. With the black trenchcoat, it's pretty reminiscent of Victor Creed's action scenes from X-Men Origins: Wolverine.
    • Wolverine now has bone-claws after losing his adamantium claws something that happened in the comics. Albeit this version is a lot less-bloody than how he lost them in the comic, where Magneto pulled all the adamantium from his body at once.
  • Named After Somebody Famous: Hiroyuki Sanada and Shingen Yashida are both named after known samurai.
  • No Immortal Inertia: When Logan's healing factor is sucked out of him, he ages rapidly, gaining wrinkles, hair turning grey and his eyes clouding over as if he suddenly developed severe cataracts.
  • No Ontological Inertia: Despite Ichirō having absorbed enough of Logan's healing factor to return to his 20s, he reverts immediately upon his connection with Logan being broken.
  • Not Hyperbole: When Logan tells Noburo he has ten words to explain what's going on, he means ten words.
  • Not Quite Dead:
    • Going back to the Yashida house, Logan technically dies when he removes the cause of his weakness with his bare hands. He revives shortly thereafter when hise Healing Factor kicks back in.
    • The Silver Samurai armour keeps Ichirō alive, but he allows others to think he's dead.
    • Charles Xavier came back alive and well in the Stinger, to Wolverine's surprise.
  • Not That Kind of Doctor: At one point, Logan is treated by a veterinarian student.
  • Not Wearing Tights:
    • Played straight. Wolverine wears street clothes instead of his costume from the previous films, as he is no longer a member of the X-Men, though the Silver Samurai wears a suit of Powered Armor resembling his comic book costume.
    • In a deleted alternate ending, we see Wolverine opening a suitcase he's been given and finding there... his classic comic book suit. After the events of X-Men: Days of Future Past, though, we might never see him wear that costume.
  • Offing the Offspring: Shingen planned to kill his daughter so he could have the company.
  • Off with His Head!:
    • Logan uses one of the Silver Samurai's own swords against him, slicing the head off with it. Unfortunately that doesn't stop it.
    • Yukio manages to snag Viper with a wire then ties it to an elevator, dragging her into it. A rigging coming down the shaft tags her in the head as she's being pulled up and...yeah.
  • Oh, Crap:
    • Not said, but it's clearly written on Harada's face when he sees Wolverine's regained his healing powers.
    • Three days after the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, two B-29's fly over Nagasaki. Everyone knows what's coming.
    • In The Stinger when Logan sees everything metal start to vibrate.
  • Only in It for the Money:
    • Noburo Mori is only marrying Mariko for the power and money that comes with such a connection to Shingen.
    • Shingen Yashida's big objective is to gain his father's inheritance.
  • Open Heart Dentistry: A mild example, with a veterinary student stitching up Wolverine's wounds and extracting some lead bullets out of him.
  • Outrun the Fireball: An atomic fireball no less.
  • Poisoned Weapons: Some moronic hunters attack a bear with illegal poisoned arrows. The bear kills several of them and escapes, but is left in agony. After Wolverine gives it a Mercy Kill, he angrily confronts the remaining hunters and stabs one of them with one of the arrows. Later, Wolverine is attacked by several ninjas with poisoned arrows.
  • Poisonous Person: Viper's mutant power renders her immune to all viruses and toxins, and she's able to secrete them with her tongue.
  • Posthumous Character: Famke Janssen reprises her role as Jean Grey in several dream sequences.
  • Powered Armor: The Silver Samurai is a humongous robotic suit of adamantium armor to help him face off against Wolverine.
  • Power Nullifier: A robotic parasite suppresses Wolverine's healing factor.
  • Pragmatic Adaptation: The film is a loose adaptation of the Japan arc in Chris Claremont and Frank Miller's Wolverine series, with its own spins to the characters. Viper and Yukio, Badass Normals in the source material, are mutants here; a Poisonous Person and a precognitive respectively.
  • Precision F-Strike: All are spoken by Logan.
    • "Go fuck yourself, pretty boy."
    • The extended cut adds two more: "Too many fucking wars," and "Talk or I'll throw you out that fucking window!"
  • Pre-Mortem One-Liner: "You brought me back to say goodbye. SAYONARA!"
  • Pretty Boy: Wolverine invokes this when he confronts Harada, presumably as an attempt to deride the latter's masculinity.
  • Previews Pulse: In the first trailer, 1:20 in.
  • Prophecy Twist: Yukio predicts Logan will die with his heart on his hand. She's never wrong. Logan does die (in medical terms: his heart stops functioning for an extended period of time) with his "heart" on his hand, but his healing factor kicks back in soon thereafter and he is able to return to the land of the living.
  • Reality Ensues
    • Logan's injuries take their toll after his Healing Factor slowed down. For one, he's much more susceptible to concussions and piercing weapons.
    • Logan also gets tired and needs to rest while taking a walk with Mariko. It's established in the comics that his adamantium skeleton weighs a couple hundred pounds. Without the healing factor to repair his fatigued muscles, that's a lot of weight to carry around.
    • Several of the thugs fighting Logan in their various encounters learn it's not a smart move to punch a guy in the face when he has a metal skeleton.
    • Building a huge mountain fortress and buying enough adamantium to build a 10-foot cyborgsuit with giant thermal-charged katanas can put even a major corporation in serious financial debt.
  • Record Needle Scratch: When the long-haired, bearded Logan is presented to Yashida's servants, the background music stops with this.
  • Recycled Title
  • Red Herring: Will Yun Lee (Harada) was promoted to have rigorous sword training but throughout the film, most of his action scenes involved archery. If you're familiar with the comics character, one might be surprised that in this film, Harada is NOT the Silver Samurai.
  • Reptiles Are Abhorrent: Viper, the reptilian-themed Baroness.
  • The Resenter: Lord Shingen hates the fact that his father prefers his own daughter over himself. He tries to kill her over it.
  • Resistance Is Futile: This is the reason why Logan did not join the Japanese freed prisoners that were running away from the explosion that was about to happen, and preferred to stay in his pit. They can't escape from the near-ground zero of an atomic explosion.
  • Revealing Skill: Two examples in the stinger. The metal stuff flying to the air announces, for those who realize things quickly, that Magneto is back and with his power restored. The people frozen in their tracks, a stunt from X-Men 2, announce that Xavier is alive again.
  • Revival Loophole: How Logan beats his predicted death; he dies but his newly-restored Healing Factor rectifies that problem a minute later.
  • Ronin: Ichirō invokes this to describe Wolverine metaphorically. The latter's "lack of a master" translates to "a lack of purpose," and this turns him into an immortal drifter. note  This doubles as Fridge Brilliance because Logan's strong reaction to Professor X's supposed death in X-Men: The Last Stand, the post-credits airport scene (where Wolverine only cares about what Xavier has to say, not Magneto), and the 2023 portion of X-Men: Days of Future Past prove that Charles is essentially his "master."
  • R-Rated Opening: The film begins with the atomic bomb being dropped on Nagasaki, along with several Japanese generals committing suicide and Wolverine getting his skin blasted, setting the darker tone for the movie compared to previous X-Men movies.
  • Rule of Drama: Wolverine's regeneration is established throughout all of the X-Men movies to take only seconds, but in the final fight with the Silver Samurai, his severed claws don't grow back until he prepares to strike the coup de grace. Somewhat understandable for the ones that had only been cut off a few moments ago, but one hand had been clawless for several minutes. It's justified by the fact that lacerations heal much faster than bone breaks, let alone bone regrowth.
  • Samurai in Ninja Town: Wolverine is technically a Ronin, and a clan of Ninjas serve as antagonists in the movie, therefore...
  • Self-Surgery: Wolverine inserts his hand into his chest to remove a bug that's killing his healing factor.
  • Seppuku: The Japanese military leaders preferred to die with honor rather than in the atomic explosion that was coming.
  • Sequel Goes Foreign: Takes place almost entirely in Japan.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Smug Snake: Viper, both figuratively (overconfident) and literally (that forked tongue!).
  • Soft Water: Noburo gets thrown a dozen hotel floors into an outdoor swimming pool yet after he lands, he's still moving.
  • Spared by the Adaptation: Mariko Yashida, who was killed in the comics, but survives till the very end of the film. This is also the case for her fiancé Noburo.
  • Standard Female Grab Area: Played with Mariko, it seems mostly effective until she decided to fight against her Yakuza kidnappers, where she lands a few blows until she escapes with Logan.
  • Status Quo Is God: Pleasantly and surprisingly averted. Taking quite a bit of adamantium from Wolverine's claws right before a major installment coming up takes some balls from the creators. However the movie also plays this straight. Magneto is confirmed to have regained his powers, while Professor X is back. And in the wheelchair. And promotional images for the next film reveal that sometime in the future Logan gets his adamantium claws back.
  • The Stinger: Two years later, Magneto is shown to have regained his mutant power and Xavier is revealed to be alive, they both meet with Logan and ask him to join them fighting the new weapon that the humans have created to destroy the mutants.
  • A Storm Is Coming: Foreshadowed in The Stinger.
  • Superhero Movie Villains Die: Silver Samurai and Viper are killed in the climax.
  • Super Strength: Logan tosses people far when he gets the chance. Having to lug around an adamantium skeleton for years is going to make you a fair bit stronger than a normal human. Popular Science has made the observation that getting punched by Logan is like running face first into metal scaffolding. That's very appropriate.
  • Takes One to Kill One: Wolverine's adamantium claws are severed by a superheated adamantium blade wielded by the silver samurai.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: Harada and Viper. While the two supply a healthy dose of intel to each other during the film, they cannot hate each other more. A scene shows them having an argument of ethics and honor, with Viper spraying minor poison on Ken's face and slamming him into the ground as a retort.
  • Television Geography: Wolverine and Mariko flee on foot from the attack on the funeral held at the Zojoji Temple, located near Tokyo Tower, and Mariko then says goodbye at Ueno Station. Which means that they ran for about 7 kilometers, while at the same time passing by half a dozen other train stations on the way, from where they could've ridden directly to Ueno. Not only that, they go , which is about 7 km from both endpoints, meaning that they travelled almost 14 kilometers in the space of a couple of minutes.
  • That Man Is Dead:
    • When Yukio tells Logan it's an honour to meet the Wolverine, he mutters, "That's not who I am anymore."
    • Later in the movie, Logan says to Mariko that he killed the "kuzuri" that she calls him when he killed Jean Grey.
  • There Is Only One Bed: Logan and Mariko are on the run from Yakuza thugs when Logan suddenly declares they'll hold up in the nearest hotel. Unfortunately it turns out to be a love hotel and there aren't any empty rooms adjacent to each other. Mariko asks where he's going to sleep; Logan says curtly, "I won't" and stands outside in the rain, presumably his version of taking a cold shower.
  • The "The" Title: The Wolverine.
  • Tin Tyrant: The Silver Samurai sports a suit of silver-colored armor, in this case a suit of Powered Armor.
  • Title Drop:
    Shingen Yashida: What kind of monster are you?
    Logan: The Wolverine!
  • Traintop Battle: A bullet train, to make it that much crazier. Logan and the Yakuza have their work cut out just holding on and are almost flattened by the wind resistance, to say nothing of the low-hanging arches that fly by regularly.
  • Trap Is the Only Option: A picture of where the bad guys have taken Mariko is impaled in the chest of a dead mook, with COME AND GET HER written in blood on it. He does, but is at least smart enough to have Yukio infiltrate by a less obvious route.
  • Undying Loyalty:
  • Unexpected Successor: Shingen Yashida thought he would inherit his father Ichiro's corporation after the latter's impending death. Then Ichiro snubbed Shingen by naming Shingen's daughter Mariko as his sole heir in a new will. Mariko isn't happy about this either, since she never wanted that much power and authority in the first place. Ichiro was plotting to cheat death all along by stealing Wolverine's Healing Factor. The reason he named Mariko his successor instead of Shingen was because Shingen would never be content to be a puppet with authority in name only.
  • The Unfavorite: Multi-generational one. Shingen claims Ichiro never considered him a worthy son, instead favoring his granddaughter, Shingen's daughter Mariko. Whether he is telling the truth or not, however, is left up to the viewer. Given subsequent revelations about his father, he might also have simply been mistaken; Viper implies that Ichiro chose Mariko as his successor because she'd be easier to manipulate than Shingen.
  • Ungrateful Bastard:
    • Zig-Zagged with Ichirō Yashida towards Wolverine. He wanted to acquire Wolverine's Healing Factor to achieve eternal youth, but he claims that it's for Logan's own good since that what he (Logan) really wanted. Nonetheless, Ichiro still seems genuinely thankful to Logan for saving his life back in WWII. He also wants to protect his legacy, which includes his granddaughter. He redirects his sword when Mariko gets in front of it to protect Wolverine. He was also trying to get it peacefully by asking Wolverine first, so this was more out of desperation than outright malice and ungratefulness.
    • Shingen shows nothing but open contempt for Logan throughout the movie. He never once acknowledges or thanks him for saving his father's life, if not for which he wouldn't even exist.
  • Unrobotic Reveal: Wolverine rips off the Silver Samurai's head to reveal Ichirō Yashida inside.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Shingen Yashida, after Viper scarred him. He losses all composure and fights Wolverine like some berserker.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?:
    • We never do find out how the three men from the start end up dying together in the same truck. Not even in a stinger.
    • Noburo isn't seen or mentioned again after his apparently nonfatal nosedive into a swimming pool.
  • Who Wants to Live Forever?: Exploited by Ichirō Yashida to convince Logan to accept his "gift" of growing old and dying so he can live beyond his natural life span.
  • Wolverine Claws: Wolverine's weapons of choice are still the metal claws that pop out of his hands.
  • Wronski Feint: Upwards variation: the Traintop Battle has Wolverine and the Yakuza mooks jumping and ducking to avoid the overhead signs above the train. At a certain point, Logan makes it like he's going to jump... so the other guy does so and gets struck by a higher up sign.
  • Yamato Nadeshiko: Mariko Yashida is introduced caring for her grandfather in a family compound that values tradition (Yukio changes into a yukata when she arrives, Wolverine passes by a kendo match, etc). She demonstrates the 'core of iron' when targeted by kidnappers and confronting her evil grandfather.
  • You Monster!:
    Ichiro: Kuzuri.
    Wolverine: Kuzuri, what does that mean?
    Ichiro: Monster.
  • Your Cheating Heart: While Mariko is missing, Noburo Mori's partying with hookers, something that greatly angers Logan. Though it's more because this behavior reveals that he's involved in the plot against his fiancée.
  • You're Insane!: Mariko to her father when he's about to kill her.
  • Zettai Ryouiki: Yukio has a grade B when she first confronts Logan in the beginning.

X-Men: First ClassFranchise/X-MenX-Men: Days of Future Past
X-Men Origins: WolverineCreator/ 20 th Century FoxX-Men: First Class
Running on All FoursImageSource/Live-Action FilmsNot Wearing Tights
X-Men: First ClassFilms of the 2010sX-Men: Days of Future Past
X-Men: First ClassSuperheroX-Men: Days of Future Past

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