THE WOLVERINE: Review, Absolutely No Spoilers, Not even crucial characters or sub-plots revealed, so as safe as Dettol, to read, and as difficult as a mountain trek for me, to write, very difficult indeed!
First things first, the post-credits scene is THE awesomest Marvel has ever come up, IS AS IMPORTANT AND GOOD as the entire movie. So folks, no options, you have to watch this one, completely!!!
What do you do when the opportunity you have been waiting for since tens of decades is suddenly given to you? Do you grab it or you give your isolated life a second chance…
I was going to give this awesome-opportunity-screwed-up movie a little more than 2 and half or perhaps just 3 stars and surely not more, but then the post-credit scene comes, shakes me like a Japanese earthquake (the movie is based there) and bingo, the rating jumps to 4!!!
What do you do when the very power you considered a gift becomes a curse? What do you do when the person whom you loved more than your own life gives you nightmares? What do you do when your past haunts you like hell and spoils your present and is sure to ruin your future? What do you do when are done with doing? Do you hide your powers and become a recluse or you say “I am a soldier; I have hid long enough now”? What happens when the very person whom you saved spends all his life waiting to thank you and then backstabs you? You wait for that one moment which will give you resurrection. That is what Wolverine is all about.
Continuation from the 2006 X-Men: The Last Stand, this ‘mutant’ story takes us forward in the life and through the journey of Logan. The story is set mostly in Japan, begins and ends there itself. The Black Clan fights with arrows would make you feel there are tons of clones of Hawkeye and the ninjas would make you feel bullets are such a passé. The villains are the same in the comic book series, so mentioning them here would be playing spoilsport to the first timers.
At times there are roles and characters which seem to be created and exist just for that one person. Like Jack Sparrow for Johnny Depp. The role of Wolverine is just apt for Hugh Jackman. The ferocity of the beast, the restrain of a human, the grudge of a lover, the repentance of a sinner, the revenge of the injustice! This is one guy who can play one role and yet exhibit such diverse emotions and expressions, all in one character. And yes, his physique would put Zack Snyder to shame!
This is NOT your typical X-Men movie where you see a lot of mutants, where they test their powers against each other. Neither do you find humans against mutants, the essence of the actual X-Men concept. And for someone like me, who even remembers which mutants are of which class, this movie is a rude shock. As the title goes, the movie concentrates only and only on Wolverine. There is intense focus on his life, his relations, his relations’ relations (phew!) and his madness. While story telling is necessary everywhere, viewer engagement also needs to be considered! The antagonists may be many including a few amongst our own side here but thankfully, the script manages to separate the good from the bad. Slightly slow as it concentrates on building the story of our lone crusader and his struggle against life, it throws more light on how has changed and his goals now.
What is missing is the high octane action and the brilliant mutants vs humans/mutants fights which we all relished in the earlier editions. And the VFX. Nowhere would you feel that this is an X-Men movie or even that the lead character is a genetically differently abled creature. Couple of really brilliant scenes raises your adrenaline level real high but that’s it. You wait for it to continue or something equally good to happen later but alas.
But the basics of the X-Men fundas are really tested here: Does Logan love anyone other than Jean, does he take every promise seriously, about Wolverine’s regenerative power, can it ever be stopped, if at all its stopped by any means can it be restarted, how much admantium is actually there, can admantium really fight admantium? Does carbonadium really harm him? ARE X-MEN DEMI-GODS?
The brilliant brand equity of Wolverine and the terrific script has tons of potential and could have done much, much better. More than a couple of scenes showed depth of emotions but its necessity there is surely questioned. What James Mangold had to remember was don’t play around with stuff, act on every direction he is taking the characters to and most importantly, action is crucial for every movie of this genre and even a fabulous story cannot compensate for lack of it. If expectations are set high by the previous versions, do justice to it or don’t do it at all. But we need to consider that this movie shooting/production had a long list of setbacks too. And 3D being done in post-production seriously affects the quality of some scenes, especially if your 3D glasses are not squeaky-clean.
4 stars: Watch it only and only for Hugh Jackman, the ways he fantabulously metamorphoses from Logan to Wolverine and for the post-credits scene which will change the way you thought X-Men are, post the original trilogy. And will surely bring back the charm for which X-Men was always known for.