Director: James Mangold
Starring: Hugh Jackman, Tao Okamoto, Rila Fukushima, Svetlana Khodchenkova, Hal Yamanouchi, Famke Janssen
Rated: PG-13 (but go for the Unrated cut)
Today is not my day
Up front, forgive me if this winds up being short because I've written about this one a few different times in a few different places. This film first caught my attention aside from being an X-Men project because Darren Aronofsky was attached. This was going to be his foray into big budget blockbuster filmmaking. He had originally tried to get onboard with Batman Begins and then also Man Of Steel as well. But he ended up dropping out of this one and the reigns got passed on to journeyman James Mangold, who I have nothing against, but was a little disappointed being a big fan of Aronofsky's. I also worried that this wasn't going to be the vision it once was.
I really enjoyed this film when I saw it in theaters, but have since grown even more fond of it with the extended and unrated cut that came out on Blu-ray. It was nice to see an X-Men film that wasn't overcrowded with mutants, and was a more personalized and total one-off character story. How refreshing was it that the stakes in the film were on a personal level as well? No "Oh man, the world is going to be destroyed if Wolverine doesn't save the day!" Although, it does stray from the film's sort of mission statement with its tone in the climax by remembering its a comic book superhero movie and falling right into the traps of it. But, I still think it works and even though its not very balance, its not even approaching damaging any of the work in the first two acts.
I gotta mention that the bullet train sequence in the film is down right awesome and one of my favorite action sequences of 2013 (that wasn't in Fast & Furious 6). This little piece of action is just an absolute thrill and joy to watch. Its well choreographed and I think the CG is done well enough to keep it grounded and dangerous looking. Wolverine also gets into some cool violence with his claws in the film, and if you've got the extended cut you get some blood too. But, a lot of this film is Wolverine doing some detective work and battling personal demons. Its actually really well balanced and brings a unique story to the X-Men franchise we hadn't seen until.
The Wolverine was my favorite comic superhero film of 2013, just edging out Iron Man 3. With every watch I enjoy it more and more. I'm growing quite fond of the film. I know, you may be wondering where some topics are that I missed in this piece. As I said above, I've written about this movie multiple times, and as it is, I'm one who doesn't take joy in repeating myself. So, if you're new to the Naptown Nerd, you can trace back to stuff I've written regarding the film by following the links below.