The Wolverine

Struggling with his immortality and the loss of all those he loves, Logan, otherwise known as the Wolverine, may have found an answer to his unending pain.  Summoned to Tokyo to say goodbye to a man whose life he saved many years ago, Logan is presented with the possibility of living a normal human life.  Yashida, the man he saved in World War II believes he has a way to give Logan the gift of mortality, by transplanting Logan’s healing powers to himself.  Little does he know that this offer will be one of his greatest challenges of all.  Still wrestling with the death of the love of his life, Logan finds himself in the middle of a terrible manufactured family conflict.  Yashida is slowly dying and intends on leaving his fortune to his granddaughter Mariko, bypassing his son.  This makes Mariko a target for kidnappers and assassins and Logan feels compelled to protect her from the Yakuza crime ring and even her father.  Logan will come up against a fight he has never had before in a life or death conflict that will change him forever.

In The Wolverine, Hugh Jackman reprises his role as Logan, a mutant with the powers of keen animal-like senses and healing abilities.  He was experimented on and given a skeleton made of adamantium which accounts for the claws that come out of this hands.  This is the sixth film in the X-Men series and is sure to be a favorite of die-hard fans.  Directed by James Mangold, The Wolverine is a non-stop action parade.  The movie opens with three quite impressive action sequences including a blast from an atomic bomb and a fight on top of a bullet train going 300 mph.  Mangold brings the action to this movie but he and the writers do one better by bringing a conflict that Logan has never been through before and that is his losing his ability to heal.  A solid film that can stand on its own, it is more enjoyable to see knowing what has happened in Logan’s past to understand his future.  In other words, see the other X-Men movies before you see this one, though it is not absolutely necessary.

Hugh Jackman plays his role beautifully and takes on these new challenges for his character.  He not only dives into the physicality of Logan, but this time more emphasis is put on the emotional side of the character.  As a warrior with out a master (or a ronin) and looking for a cause, Jackman personifies this aspect of the wandering Wolverine and acts masterfully in this matter.  Another standout is the young woman sent to retrieve Logan and bring him to Tokyo, named Yukio played by Rila Fukushima.  This fiery little red head is a one-woman bodyguard to Logan and can fight with the best of them. She is clever and very modern. Tao Okamato, who plays Mariko, is quite a pretty face as she is a fashion model in real life.  She holds her own in her role opposite Jackman and her quiet grace is to be admired.  There have been many blockbusters this summer and many flops, The Wolverine falls in the middle of this spectrum which is not bad for the anemic-like summer the box office has been experiencing.  There have been high highs and low lows.  Be sure to stick around for at least the beginning of the credits to see a special tidbit of what comes next in the world of X-Men.

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