Wolverine’s second outing is markedly superior to the first, in most respects. The first solo entry was noted for its mess of a script and ludicrous finale, though it was steeped in style and visual flair. This story swings widely between dazzling action sequences, somber expanses of introspection, and quiet dialogues between two characters. This wolverine is deeply, emotionally damaged, and the film traces his path back to society from self imposed post Jean Grey death exile.
It might be difficult to convince some non-fanboys to see any comics based property, but The Wolverine might actually be the best example of an accessible story. In fact, this story’s a lot closer to James Bond than it is to most comics adaptations. Only the final show down truly reaches Spider-man 3 levels of absurd action set pieces, and even this one feels more like 50’s science fiction, updated with some modern Japanese mise-en-scene.
This story takes place almost entirely in Nagasaki, Japan. The bombing has prominence in the story, and we’re quickly introduced to a Telemundo soap opera collection of characters. Thankfully, though there are a lot to keep track of, each eventually has a purpose to the story, and devices used early on pay off later. These characters are likable. It’s easy to care about them, and several fight sequences are all the more thrilling because of it. Another nice touch was the inclusion of several strong female characters, and even nicer, the men aren’t surprised by their skills – perhaps an homage to martial arts films, where this has long been the practice.
With it’s extended, impressive action sequences, and above average character development, Wolverine might prove to be one of the summer’s bigger success stories. Be aware Logan has a potty mouth, and his stories have always featured a higher level of violence than many superhero movies. STAY FOR THE CREDITS. In true Marvel tradition, there is some juicy shawarma during the end crawl. It’s good.
Check out the trailer here, or hit the jump for a couple of cool clips from the film!
Here’s a teaser from the bullet train sequence:
And here’s a helping of clips and out takes from the production: