Movie Review: The Wolverine – The X-factor is missing.
The X Men franchise reached a peak with its last movie “X Men- First Class”. Though that was a complete rewind of the entire series, this takes the story one step ahead from “X-Men: Last Stand” where Wolverine reluctantly killed, the love of his life, Jean. And somehow in this world where you see just a couple of Xtraordinary beings, there is not too much fun. Just a lot of brooding…
What’s it about?
Wolverine is now a recluse. Being an immortal has its curses. So everyone else has passed away, but he still lives a life of a vagrant. He has regular nightmares and hallucinations about Jean. And then an old friend from Japan summons him as his dying wish. So, Wolverine shaves and cleans up to meet him! This friend is the most powerful businessman in Asia and he wants from Wolverine the one thing he does not have – immortality. Will Wolverine grant his dying wish and end his guilt-ridden life? Will he be able to forgive himself for killing Jean? What will happen if Wolverine actually becomes mortal? Now that’s what the movie is all about.
The director - James Mangold focuses totally and completely on Wolverine. And it’s Hugh Jackman’s charisma that keeps you glued to the screen. Be it the relentless brooding, or his guilt-ridden nightmares, or his angry outbursts, Hugh is in terrific form. Plus the fact that Wolverine is vulnerable, adds a lot of anticipation into the screenplay. You continuously want to know what is going to happen next. And then there is the action sequence on top of a bullet train! This takes the iconic scene from Mission Impossible one step ahead.
Well, X Men has always been about the amazing powers that these mutants have. And there is this tension between humans and mutants that causes a conflict which takes place over a huge scale. Just to see these Xtraordinary beings collide is so much fun. But Wolverine, is about him alone. Though he does battle with a bunch of Samurais, this film is more about him battling his own demons. And that’s what makes this film a bit of a bore. The director deliberately keeps the story mysterious and just keeps dragging the screenplay. You have this nagging feeling that you know what is next, but the screenplay is so slow that it takes an eternity to reach there. You expect a lot of action, but all you get is dialogue and brooding.
The lack of a compelling background score accentuates the boredom and though this film is far better than “X Men Origins : Wolverine” in terms of production value, it still feels like the director had to make do with substandard stuff along the way. All in all, it doesn’t really feel like you are watching a SuperHero film!
To see or not to see…The movie is worth a watch for Hugh Jackman and him alone. But do not go to the theater with expectations of a lot of fun or amazing action. Wolverine here is not the SuperHero you expect him to be. He is vulnerable, he bleeds and he broods. Frankly, the X-factor is missing.
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