It’s been another banner year for superhero movies and while DC has found its flagship film with Man of Steel, and Marvel continues its impressive streak with a revisit to the world of X-Men with the stand alone film, The Wolverine. While the first Wolverine stand alone film was successful, it was criticized heavily by fans for its veering off the path of the known origins of the character, even though I quite liked X-Men Origins: Wolverine. This time we get a story based on one of the most loved comic storylines involving the rugged Canadian in The Wolverine.
Hugh Jackman reprises his role as Marvel’s grumpiest hero in a story that finds him travelling to Japan to meet with a man whose life he once saved. Upon his arrival, Logan finds out he may be able to break his curse and finally live a mortal life, but the price may be more than he is willing to pay.
The Wolverine felt unlike any superhero film I have seen before. It has the look and feel of some sort of epic drama or character driven story, but just happens to be about a comic book character. The film could have actually worked just as well without the fantastical elements or set in a historical period and been about a lone samurai. The locations and sets within the film are beautiful to look and feel fresh and unique. Jackman is spectacular as usual in the role of Logan but this time out gets to really stretch the characters emotional boundaries and get a deeper more nuanced look into his psyche. But none of this is done at the sacrifice of action. The action scenes are quite impressive and incredibly choreographed. The rest of the cast are all excellent, especially Rila Fukushima as Yukio, a deadly fighter in her own right who ends up becoming somewhat of a sidekick to Wolverine. This is really an outstanding film that crossed genre borders and brings more than the usual elements to the superhero movie table. Highly recommended.
The Blu-ray from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment is stunning. Gorgeous deep colors, excellent detail and clarity throughout and a nuanced but very active surround track all add up to a stellar action release that will demand multiple viewings. The Wolverine is a different animal and a new bar setter for the genre.
Available now on Blu-ray and DVD.