As the release date for Logan comes closer, my fear grows. It’s a legitimate fear because what India’s Certification Board did to Deadpool. So, in order to calm myself down I take on the 2nd movie in the James Mangold+Hugh Jackman trilogy. Before this I have reviewed Kate and Leopold and it’s like a follow up to Jackman’s (apparently) last outing as Wolverine.
The Wolverine is Hugh Jackman’s 5th outing as the titular character(6th, if you count First Class). Here we follow Logan who is currently living as a hermit due to the events of The Last Stand and is trying to get over the death of Jean Grey. During a bar-fight, he is confronted by Yukio. She informs him that she has been tracking him so that she could take him to Japan and fulfil Yashida’s last request. Out of mutual admiration, Logan agrees to travel to Japan only to find that Yashida wants Logan’s healing powers. On rejecting his offer, the Viper secretly poisons him in order to make him mortal. Before he can make sense of the situation Yashida’s grand-daughter is attacked by her father, Shingen’s men and now Logan should protect her from all kinds of danger.
On a 3rd viewing, I have started to notice the cracks in this movie. So, I’ll start with the pros 1st. James Mangold does a pretty fair job and brings in a rather new take on the Wolverine by making him mortal. That automatically increases the stakes and Hugh Jackman elevates that with his performance. One thing every comic book or comic book movie fan should agree is the casting of Hugh Jackman as the Wolverine. He just owns it and in this one he looks Hugh Jacked-man. I was afraid that one of his veins will pop out. Hiroyuki Sanada gives another heartfelt performance.
Even though the movie has an all over dark tone, mainly because of Logan’s mortality, there are some really funny moments in the movie. The fight sequences are just mind-blowing, especially the bullet-train scene. By the way, do you know that this movie is rated UA? I think this should have been rated R because of that scene with Yukio mowing down the ninjas and spray painting the houses with blood!!
The cinematography and camera-work was amazing. It was good that the writers decided to delve into the psyche of Logan with the help of flash-backs which made for some great transitions and some effective cuts. I also really liked that the movie was set in Japan. The rich legacy of the ninjas and samurais gave a sense of mysticism to the background of the story.
Now, onto the cons. As I lauded the removal of Logan’s healing factor, I noticed one major mistake. Logan’s claws come out of his hand and when he retracts them the skin heals back. Due to the absence of Logan’s healing power, his knuckles should have been bleeding all the time but it doesn’t. That’s a major technical mistake.
The run-time of the movie is very long and it starts to drag because the writers wanted to jam in a love-story amidst all this tension. It was extremely unnecessary and could have been easily avoided. Judging by the skill level of the Yakuza, the writers could have rushed the capture of Mariko and got on with the rest of the movie. Another major gripe that I have is the insertion of so many different angles. The son-in-law part, even though it was funny, could have been cut off. Harada’s angle was also unnecessary and it could have been only the faithful and faceless ninjas who were striving to retrieve Mariko for Yashida. All these side-plots were really irritating and brought down the movie a bit. Acting wise everyone else’s performances were a bit irritating. Maybe it’s the writing or maybe it is the performance but everyone other than Sanada and Jackman really got on my nerves.
I really don’t want to go into the continuity errors in the franchise that is created by the mid-credits scene. That’s a whole different can of worms.
FINAL VERDICT – Who am I kidding? Definitely watch this movie. Watch it for Hugh Jackman and the amazing fight sequences. He does make it worth your time. So I raise my imaginary glass to Hugh “Wolverine” Jackman and may his legacy live on forever. I hope I get to see a fully uncut version of Logan and bring this trilogy (that I made up) to a close.
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