The Wolverine (2013)

Oh my god. Wolverine was once ripped in half - IN HALF - by the Hulk, crawled several miles across snowy mountains and put his pelvis and legs back on. He then survived decapitation. Understand how resilient this superhero is supposed to be. He is shot in the gut once in this movie, and he couldn't do anything while the woman he was protecting was taken away. We are supposed to believe that a small hunk of tech attached to his heart fundamentally altered every goddamn cell in his body. And the goal was to kill him. If you can take away his healing factor, why not just have the tech kill him, too?

So, this takes place entirely in Japan, but a large portion of the dialog is in English. Why? Because the makers know that most people want to watch a movie and not read it. Now, the character in the comics has spent a lot of time in Japan, and he is supposed to have samurai training. This movie presupposes that he has some innate fighting power that matches and/or beats traditional martial arts training.

Hugh is still in good shape, and he plays the angry, ethical, and violent character the exact same way he has in all of his previous efforts. I am reminded of the interviews Toby McGuire gave when he was on the farewell tour for Spider-Man 3. He said that he was happy to have done the movies, and he was happy it was over - you can't do a whole lot with the character that essentially never changes. Hugh hasn't yet figured out that he isn't breaking any new ground with Wolvie.

What's worse is that they seem to take initial direction from the comic books, and then they dumb it down and lose the parts of the story that are too complex. I know there are a lot of people who figure Comics aren't that complicated, so what's the big deal, but it is like when they made The Firm and changed so many things that the movie is a vague shadow of the book more than anything. There is just so much nuance lost that the result shouldn't have the same name.

So, let's just agree that everyone in Japan somehow knows how to fight instinctively. Now, we also have mutants left and right who have powers that are either A) inconsequential to anyone at any time unless very specifically worked into the storyline or B) more than enough to overcompensate for the significant powers of our hero.

Adamantium is the indestructible metal that lines Wolvie's bones and makes up his claws. We know two more things about it: A) It's hard to manipulate to the point that only two people on the planet (including Magneto) can make it into something and B) It's pretty damn rare. So, the odds of someone being able to make a 10-foot-tall suit of armor out of it are pretty low.

I know the basics about metal. I know, for example, that heated metal is weaker then tempered metal. For some reason, we are expected to believe the opposite. We are also supposed to believe that the apparatus that can heat this metal that can survive - intact - the heat of a volcano can be put inside the handle of a sword, and the resultant heat does not instantly spark all flammable materials around it.

This movie is about the action, and the action is good.
Direction is pretty good.
Story has significant issues.
Acting is good.
Dialogue needs some work.
CG is good in some spots and horrible in others.

3.0/5

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