Hugh Jackson is back to reprise the role of , which is the sixth movie featuring Marvel’s famous antihero. The Wolverine is a spin-off of the trilogy but it doesn’t bring something new to the franchise.
The Wolverine comes after the disappointing X-Men Origins: Wolverine. The movie is a step forward for the character. He is fighting with his inner demons as ninjas chase after him. The screenplay by Scott Frank and Mark Bomback is based on the comic book arc set in Japan by Frank Miller and Chris Claremont. Director James Mangold incorporates elements of corruption, family fights and corporate greed in his movie.
Director Mangold manages to keep the silly aspects of the movie until the third act. The Wolverine is declawed as he roughs it up with staged fight sequences that utilize less CGI. It shows The Wolverine’s human side as the indestructible hero loses his self-healing powers.
The story takes place after the dissolution of the mutant hero group in X-Men: The Last Stand. Logan hides in the Canadian mountains with only a grizzly bear to keep him company. He is haunted by the memory of killing his former lover Jean Grey (Famke Janssen). She appears in his dreams wearing a sheer negligee. This is the reason why the gift of mortality is something he accepts.
Yukio (Rila Fukushima) is an assassin who accompanies Logan to Tokyo to meet with Lord Yashida (Hal Yamanouchi), a former Japanese soldier who Logan saved at the end of World War II. He is a rich industrialist who wants to live forever.
Moving the setting to Japan is a good move. It distances The Wolverine from X-Men Origins: Wolverine. It is a standalone film that is free from the distractions of other Marvel heroes. The studio does give a sneak peek into the upcoming X-Men: Days of Future Past that is set to be released next year.