Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Wolverine

The Ackman in this movie is big. How big? Why it's huge!

Just one of the many so-called jokes virtually mandated around casa 'strom.

It's Wolverine with Hugh Jackman and Famke Janssen reprising the roles (of Wolverine and Jean Gray, respectively) they originated thirteen years ago! That's kind of impressive. Especially since Jean Gray's been dead since 2006's X-Men: The Last Stand. (I didn't see it but it seems to have been subtitle "Up Your Bryan Singer For Abandoning The X-Men For Superman".)

The story is that Wolfie is moping around (Man of Steel style, kinda), seeing Jean in his dreams, coaxing him to die (he killed her in The Last Stand) when an old pal contacts him to come to Japan to say goodbye.

Important setup info that might be confusing if you don't know: Wolverine is immortal and indestructible, and has been since at least WWII, when he saved this Japanese guy from the A-bomb. In current day, said Japanese guy is old and dying and wants to offer Wolfie the opportunity to transfer his immortality to him.

(The given of any Hollywood movie about immortality is that the immortal will be seeking death.)

The other big trope this movie uses is robbing the hero of his powers (since it would be too easy otherwise). In this case, it's the insidious Viper who poisons him and weakens his regenerative strength.

The ending of this movie is obvious almost from the beginning. And it's not great. But.

Overall? This movie is really solid, avoiding most of the problems that plagued Man of Steel. The scale isn't save the world stuff, but more traditional hero with crisis saves day, finds love, handles personal crisis. That gives you a shot about caring what happens.

It's not super-heavy on the CGI, either, relying more on traditional stunts and choreography which, by-and-large is more interesting.

Acting is solid. Jackman is really good in this role. Janssen is ridiculously beautiful as she closes in on 50; if she's had any work done, she's escaped looking like a frozen-faced alien. I suspected CGI was used at points but I think maybe it's just good old-fashioned makeup and lighting (and good genes).

Tao Okamoto and Rila Fukushima play the young Japanese girls, the former as the love interest and the latter as the sidekick, and they do a good job. Fukushima is sort of odd looking, like Devon Aoki, which I found somewhat distracting.

Svetlana Khodchenkova plays the evil viper and, thinking about it, the main characters, except for Wolverine himself, are females. All different character types, too.

The use of Japan as the setting was cool, too. The whole thing, really, was more enjoyable than a lot of the more bombastic summer flicks of the past few years, I think because it focused more on one man's struggle—less the super and more the hero—than on cataclysmic consequences.

We both liked it, The Boy more than I. I found the obviousness of the ending somewhat detracting from my enjoyment of the proceedings. Still: One of the summer's better comic book flicks.

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