Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Wolverine? Or just Logan?

Oh my, what has James Mangold done to this Marvel franchise. I suspect James Mangold is trying to do to Wolverine what Chris Nolan had done to Batman albeit with much less success. James Mangold tried to portray Wolverine’s humanity and explored the inner struggles of his violent animalistic side fighting against his humane vulnerability. But it just doesn’t cut it for me. Perhaps I had gone in with the wrong expectation about this movie. I was hoping for more action packed scenes with Wolverine engaged in fighting and combat scenes but instead, I see Wolverine struggling in his self imposed exile in the wild of Yukon territories, haunted by recurring nightmares of his beloved wife talking to him. And instead of being all powerful and invincible, he’s weak and vulnerable after having his healing powers stolen by the lizard girl. I was certainly not expecting to see Wolverine struggling in his human vulnerability; I wanted more of his superhero’s invincibility.

The only truly entertaining action sequence in the whole movie is the fight scene between Wolverine and the 2 yakuzas on the roof of the bullet train. That probably send my pulse racing a little faster than usual, and also not forgetting to mention, the opening scene when the atomic bomb was dropped, that was some pretty cool CGI. Other than that, the chase scene, and the fight scenes are remarkably dull. Although I know Wolverine is never known for swashbuckling kungfu fighting, but the fight choreography is a tad too simple and uninteresting. Alright, I probably should have the right expectation, because Wolverine is supposed to fight like a heavy weight boxer more than a kungfu master.

But I do like the Harajuku-girl, Yukio, who’s Logan’s sidekick. She has a certain quality and mystique about her that makes her very interesting, which I thought she will make a very good sidekick to Wolverine. But alas, Mangold doesn’t quite explore the chemistry that the two could have. And with such a superb cast in Hugh Jackman, he was probably the saving grace of the movie. Because the rest of the characters are just not strong enough to contrast the loner persona that Wolverine has, his chemistry with the rest of the characters did not create enough sparks in the movie.

And the other Japanese girl, Mariko, whom Wolverine tried to protect, she was just ok. Nothing brilliant but nothing bad about her, she was simply just “ok”. And I am not really going to talk much about that dying billionaire who was saved by Logan decades ago during the drop of the atomic bomb, and, who tried to summoned Logan back, in order to have him transfer his healing powers and immortality to him. It was a tad laughable when the head of the Silver Samurai was ripped off and there revealed a wrinkled looking old man, Harada, the dying billionaire. Maybe that’s just me. And, I have nothing to say about the supposedly villainous Viper. She’s just vampy and boring.

So I wasn’t thoroughly entertained nor did I enjoy the movie much. I know some reviews hailed it as the superhero film of the summer, but I mean seriously? Better than Iron Man and Man Of Steel? (I only watched the last 20 mins of Man of Steel, so can’t comment on that, btw it was a laborious and long 20 mins) And anyway, most of the reviews I read gave it pretty positive ratings. Maybe it’s really just me, going in with the wrong expectation, and coming out with a huge disappointment.

This movie is really more about Logan the man than about Wolverine the superhero. As usual, get the expectation right and you’ll probably enjoy the movie.

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