The Wolverine character has been very kind to Hugh Jackman with the popular Marvel Comics hero catapulting him to movie-stardom. The Wolverine marks his fifth full-length screen appearance in his 2nd solo outing. A more solid effort than X-Men Origins: Wolverine, the savage hero’s latest adventure successfully captures the essence of what has made him enduring.
Travelling to Japan to escape his past, Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) seeks solace. He meets Shingen (Hiroyuki Sanada), a crime lord and head of a powerful group of assassins. Learning true vulnerability as he faces new opponents, the ways of the Samurai become important combat tools. Battling these dangerous foes, Wolverine questions his past while fighting for his future.
Tough, fast and packing punch The Wolverine is a compact blockbuster. It also has plenty of depth with its tale of someone thirsty for normalcy. As Wolverine attempts to live his life free of forced heroism, his demons always appear ready to drag him down. How he deals with them provides interest amongst the spectacle. James Mangold directs the expected mayhem with a steady eye on a story more involving than usual.
Whilst Jackman’s acting limitations are still apparent, he equips himself admirably in the action sequences. These see his character and others partake in many gravity-defying escapades. In spite of them being completely over the top, they are excitingly executed. That’s the main aim of any comic-book inspired film and one should be grateful the decent cast and crew provide the eye-popping scenes with skill.
The Wolverine is a strong slice of cinematic fluff most should enjoy. Using Japan’s locales to great effect, the steel-clawed hero receives an energetic vehicle on which to display his mighty abilities.
Reviewed by Patrick Moore
Rating out of 10: 7