Does The Wolverine succeed at being a good Wolverine movie? Answer: It. fucking. does.
The Wolverine is a solo movie in the truest sense: It explores the character of Wolverine itself, showing him as both an animal (The start of the movie compares him to a grizzly bear, as an animal who hides in the woods and hunts his food, both are hunted, and multiple characters later on make reference to his animalistic traits) and as a masterless samurai without purpose, uncapable to commit Harakiri
(many times the movie calls him a Ronin), exploring his guilt, death wish and thrist for blood and how does that mesh with his sense of heroism. Should the Ronin live or die? Is there anything in his life besides suffering and blood?
The result is a insightful look into Wolverine (like the comics arc), humanized (literaly), shown as a fallible Death Seeker
on a journey that might lead to his honorable death or his redemption. Across this journey, we meet a tiny, adorable
, almost Ensemble Darkhorse
girl: Yukio, with some of the best lines, chemistry with Wolverine and is so damn AWESOME you wish for a spin off. Best character Wolverine aside.
The movie does a commendable effort at trying to Mariko, our Love Interest
, a deep character besides Damsel In Distress
, and while it doesn't fully succeed (I didnt think Mariko was interesting in the comics either), she becomes her own entity and a good enough pair for Logan.
As for the villains, that is a point of criticism: Too many villains, too many plans, and nothing is properly explained. You get lost amidst the Big Bad Ensemble
and their plans. Our most promoted villain, Shingen, is competent but lacks in screentime/characterization And dies Midway through
, Harada is a Flat Character
, Viper has more screen time and competency, but I didn't find her interesting enough to carry the movie. Ichiro Yashida/Silver Samurai, however, is a excellent villain, if lacking in screen-time, re-watching with him in mind will enhance the experience
. No Lokis here, sadly.
But that doesn't detract from the excellent writing and superb action that accompany us on this journey inside the mind of the Wolverine. 9/10.
PS (1): The post credits scene blew minds
PS (2): I want a Yukio solo movie, btw. More Yukio in general.