Jackman claws his way through another superhero outing
At this point in the current summer of blockbuster doom, “The Wolverine” will be exceeding expectations if it doesn’t tank right out of the box. And it may not. The movie is a serviceable superhero exercise that does a number of things right. Most wisely, it sets its story in the immediate aftermath of the 2006 film “X-Men: The Last Stand,” happily ignoring the existence of the piffling 2009 film “X-Men Origins: Wolverine.” In “The Last Stand,” you’ll recall, the grumpy mutant Logan/Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) was forced to terminate the love of his life, Jean Grey (Famke Janssen), after she succumbed to the dark side of her own mutant nature. Now we find him sleeping alfresco in the Canadian woods and marinating his sorrow in an ocean of whiskey. Soon enough, though, super-duty once again calls.
Working from a script by Christopher McQuarrie, Mark Bomback and Scott Frank, director James Mangold (“Walk the Line”) attempts to expand upon the genre format — for a while, anyway — with infusions of corporate intrigue, Bondian exoticism and occasional interludes of quieter narrative downtime. The movie opens in Nagasaki in 1945, in the midst of the American A-bomb drop, with prisoner of war Logan outrunning the mighty blast (a ridiculous impossibility, as the late Roger Ebert often pointed out) and saving the life of a Japanese soldier named Yashida, who is most grateful.
Jumping forward to the Canadian woods, we observe some business with a bear and then a bracingly nasty barroom smack-down, in which Logan unsheathes his fearsome knuckle blades and then is suddenly extricated by a red-haired katana-wielding Japanese woman, named Yukio (Rila Fukushima). She has a plane waiting to fly them both to Tokyo, where the aged Yashida (Hal Yamanouchi) is waiting. Yashida has become a wealthy electronics titan; he’s now dying, and he wants to bid Logan an appreciative farewell. He also offers the miserable mutant a technological escape from his immortality — the chance to live a normal life and eventually die a normal death. As we soon learn, what he really wants is to siphon off Logan’s undying powers for his own life-extending purposes.
If you have any technical difficulties, either with your username and password or with the payment options, please contact us by e-mail at email@example.com