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Film Review – The Wolverine

Director: James Mangold
Screenplay: Mark Bomback, Scott Frank
Cast: Hugh Jackman, Rila Fukushima, Tao Okamoto, Svetlana Khodchenkova
Genre: Action adventure, Fantasy
Rating: ****
Venue: Ster Kinekor Maerua Mall, Cine 2

Our favourite mutant returns as the samurai without a master in Wolverine. Facing a mid-life crisis our hero struggles with his immortality and winds up vulnerable for the first time when he has to face his ultimate nemesis in an ultimate battle for life and death.
Wolverine lives alone in the wilderness as he battles with the guilt of murdering Jean Grey (Famke Janssen) and is found in a bar by Yukio ( Rila Fukushima) who takes him to Japan to pay his last respects to a dying Japanese tycoon he saved when he was in a Japanese concentration camp outside Nagasaki.
The stunts are indescribable – death defying stunts that leave one gasping and clapping because they are so good. The film is fast paced but has that slow element to it which makes it easy to keep track of the storyline. It is not fast for too long and neither is it too slow for long and the characters complement each other to deliver great action scenes and dialogue with a few funny punch lines here and there.
This is the best movie that I have seen with Hugh Jackman as Wolverine. His portrayal of one of the best X-Men action heroes is delivered with such ease and precision. I really enjoyed myself through out the entire movie because every scene is so creative. A scene that deserves a congratulatory message and a standing ovation is the train scene where Logan has to fight with one of the Yakuza thugs on top of a 300km/h speed train. This scene is not only awesome it is thrilling. It is nothing but solid action that leaves one wanting more and desiring to be part of the chases, stunts and thrills. Much as it was computerized it is really believable. I found myself dodging railline panels and jumping with the Wolverine as he fought for the life of his life and that of Mariko’s, with uniquely thrilling momentum. My neck and a head were in a buzz as the movie slowed down and I must say I enjoyed every moment of the ride.
It is refreshing in the sense that our hero discovers new ways of defending himself when he becomes mortal all thanks to a new mutant on the horizon, Viper. She is played by Russian actress Svetlana Khodchenkova who is as canny as she is witty. The cast is not all-star but the acting is well choreographed and has a good flow to it. Fukushima is a rising starlet and she makes a strong impression. Her portrayal as Yukio is great. One can’t help but fall in love with her sweet shy girl character that turns in to a bad ass female samurai in a heart beat.
This is finally the movie that all Wolverine fans have been waiting for. It is the answer to most comic book movie that failed to deliver in the previous Wolverine editions. Totally worth watching and worth every cent.


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