After turning the X-Men into what you could basically call “Wolverine and The X-Men, and a flop of an origins film, this was the Wolverine movie fans deserved to say the least.
Not to say it was the best movie ever, but as a Wolverine movie it did not disappoint. Love him or hate him because of his overexposure in films, they got him once for a change. That you have to give Mangold props for. You got action, gore, intensity, accuracy as much as you could ask for and more. It stays true to the comics and is entertaining enough for all ranges of audience. I mean this tops and Wolverine Origins and X-3 which was something this movie needed to overshadow and it surely did. Views of this may still be split based of expectations, but even with them this was a shocking success. Maybe the biggest shocker of the summer because based on the trailers alone the general consensus was that this movie would flop and that this would be it for the Wolverine franchise.
While some may have been disappointed that Wolverine’s healing factor again was the center of attention, that really was not the case in this movie. They took advantage of it and made sure that they could approach Wolverine from a perspective in which he has to face his own mortality. You could say it was cliche that he of course regrets the thought of living without his healing, but at a point you also have to realize that he has to reach a point where he accepts it and becomes the hero we like more. You can only hope that from here they can only do more with his character because this was just another stepping stone for Wolverine to become more and more like his comic counterpart.
My only issue with the story was Logan dreaming of Jean. Personally it was something I never cared for during the X-Men trilogy and that did not change in this as well. It just felt thrown in and what I really wanted to see was the relationship between him and Mariko blossom because that is what readers expect them to pull from the comics. Yeah you can argue that seeing Jean and confronting that loss was important to this story, but the connection to that movie still leaves a bitter taste.
For what they could do with these characters this was great. Hugh Jackman’s best performance as Wolverine as well as the supporting cast who were believable in their roles. For what they could do with a superhero film, the female characters really stood out. Mainly Yukio and Viper who I must say really stood out on their own as characters who might I say kick ass. Yukio I think walked out as the favorite of this film because while she may be the least known of the bunch, she surely was one who stole the show as someone who fought as much as Wolverine and if not more. She had something to prove and that gave her depth that you can appreciate. While not possible to get the same Viper that we see in the books, that doesn’t stop this Viper from being just as cunning and devious. Svetlana Khodchenkova really brings out this side of her and that is what made me excited for her character before watching this film. None were dependent on anyone and really brought some energy to a dark tale.
Like I said this was the Wolverine movie that fans deserved. A compelling story that had a real focus on Logan and his troubled past which seems to always come back to haunt him. Even though this took place after the events of X-3, it took enough influence from different aspects of his being and nothing distracted from the central storyline. As a stand alone film and one which didn’t rely on other A list characters this was a brilliant display which sets the tone for films like this to be self-contained. It also is worth mentioning the post credits scene that somewhat makes you excited for Days of Future Past. This is all despite the ending which you actually could call cliche.