“The Wolverine” was directed by James Mangold and based on the Frank Miller comic book series of the same name. Although it is a sequel to 2009’s “X-Men Origins: Wolverine” and the 6th film in the “X-Men” series, it is mainly a direct sequel to 2006’s “X-Men: The Last Stand”. The film sees Hugh Jackman reprise his role as the titular character. The main cast include Hiroyuki Sanada, Tao Okamoto, Rila Fukushima, Will Yun Lee, Svetlana Khodchenkova and Harihiko Yamanouchi. Famke Janssen would also reprise her role as “Jean Grey” from the previous films.
Following the events of “X-Men: The Last Stand”, Logan (Jackman) is living in the Canadian Rockies with the guilt and grief over killing Jean Grey (Janssen) and is haunted by her presence. Meanwhile, Logan is visited by a mysterious mutant, Yukio (Fukushima) who has the ability to foresee someone’s impending death. Yukio informs Logan that she works for Mr. Ichiro Yashida (Yamanouchi) who is an old friend of Logan. Back in 1945 during the bombing of Nagasaki, Logan saved Yashida from the fallout. Now, nearly 70 years later, Yashida has arranged to meet Logan one last time before he succumbs to his cancer. Rather than say goodbye, Yashida offers Logan a way to end his suffering by stripping away his healing powers for himself. However, Logan declined the offer. While in Japan with Yashida, Logan meets Mariko (Okamoto) the granddaughter of Yashida and Shingen (Sanada) Yashida’s son and Mariko’s father. Logan also meets Dr. Green (Khodchenkova) Yashida’s head nurse and special doctor. That night Logan has a strange encounter with Dr. Green who is revealed to be the toxic mutant known as “Viper”. After Yashida’s passing, Logan accompanies Mariko, Shingen and Yukio to the funeral only for it to be an ambush by the Yakuza, a Japanese mob. Logan steps in but for some reason, his powers are weakened and not quite working properly. Logan and Yukio do their best to stop the mob for kidnapping Mariko. As eventually catches up with Markio and the 2 hide out until the mob disappear. With Logan protecting Mariko, a dark and twisted scheme is planned by Viper and others to find them. For some reason, Logan feels as if he was bought to Japan for a specific reason other than saying goodbye. Logan must do all he can to protect Mariko but how can he if isn’t healing anymore?
Coming off the disasters that were “X-Men Origins: Wolverine” & “X-Men: The Last Stand”, this film’s projection was very low but gained a bit if momentum after 2011’s “X-Men: First Class”. This was actually a great film. James Mangold did a fabulous job with taking Wolverine to one of his iconic stories and bringing it to the big screen. Hugh Jackman nails it once again as Logan and gives a better performance than his previous 2 outings. The majority of the cast give amazing performances. The Viper character was a bit over the top but still serves as a secondary villain. Where the film falls apart however is the final act. This was a cliche and predictable storyline that nearly stops the film dead in its tracks. There’s one scene in particular in which Logan fights Shingen. That scene was beautiful and was a call back to some old school samurai films. Everything that follows is pretty much bad all the way around. Some movies can be ruined by bad endings and here is a prime example.
After “The Wolverine”, in a post credit scene, Logan is moved in to 2014’s “X-Men: Days of Future Past”, which brings both the new cast and the old of the franchise. Hugh Jackman would reprise his character in 2 films before his “curtain call” with the masterpiece that is 2017’s “Logan”. James Mangold was return for “Logan” as director along with Jackman and Patrick Stewart.