The most famous X-Men hero goes to Japan. Not too interesting journey.
Director: James Mangold | Stars: Hugh Jackman
Budget: 100 million | Box office: July 24
Despite being the most famous X-Men hero, Wolverine it seems is not lucky in it‘s own movies. The first film X-Men Origins: Wolverine became infamous for being leaked online in very early production version, the film was trashed by critics, but at least it was quite successful financially. And there was some really high points in the movie and new interesting things, like Ryan Reynolds‘ hero Wade Wilson/Deadpool.
There was a lot of buzz around this next installment of Wolverine. It had to be directed by Darren Aronofsky – that might have been really interesting – but after his departure, 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan, the film production has been halted. It was renewed later with another unusual director fro such movie – James Mangold, whose diverse filmography includes romantic dramas, horror movies, westerns and award winning films like Girl, Interrupted and Walk the Line.
The main attraction point of the new Wolverine is, of course, Japan itself. The story starts in WWII Nagasaki, then after a brief boring introduction of lost hero (it’s connected to events of X-Men: Last Stand) fast forwards to modern Japan. Logan is invited by the guy he saved during Nagasaki bombing, by pretence to thank him. But of course the old billionaire has other goals.
Despite the beauty of varied Japanese landscapes and a few cool scenes (like the fight on speeding bullet train), the problem of new Wolverine is that in essence here is nothing new. The first film at least showed how he became the hero, but this is just a disconnected episode without any further impact for his or other heroes’ stories. The villains are not inspiring too, even ninjas manage to look boring. I won’t even go to plot details as I’m afraid everything just brakes apart if you start to analyze it. Too much annoying dreams and flashbacks anyway.
The only person to praise probably would be a production designer Francois Audouy (Spider-Man series and many other big movies), at least for the cool metallic changing bed, which is shown in the trailer so no point of going to cinema for that.
The film is presented both in 2D and 3D. I have seen 2D version and I doubt there is much promise in stereo viewing, especially because it’s converted to 3D and not filmed like that.
It’s a bit strange that the studios chose such way of developing Wolverine, maybe they had a really interesting vision with Darren Aronofsky, but now it’s just an ordinary movie without any lasting impact. Thankfully Wolverine is not alone carrying the legacy of X-Men – the First Class film for me was absolutely great, I could say even the best of all the six titles so far. The sequel next year will unite old and new X-Men cast and hopefully will be great too.