The Wolverine: I…probably wasn’t expecting that…

Mhm...Hugh Jackman... Did I ever say I was watching this except to drool...? :p

Mhm…Hugh Jackman… Did I ever say I was watching this except to drool…? :p

That caption says everything, doesn’t it?

I didn’t think The Wolverine was quite as bad as many critics made it out to be. Certainly, there were elements of cliche, including the identity of the mastermind and that fact that Logan and Mariko ended up becoming an item, so-to-speak. Of course, X-men fans already knew that this was how it would turn out, but I’m not amongst them – it was only after I’d seen this film that I found out that Mariko was meant to be one of Wolverine’s most well known romantic partners.

The unfortunate issue for director James Mangold, however, is that there have been many other fantastic superhero films in recent years. I know I’ll keep coming back to this, but Chris Nolan raised the bar to an almost impossible height with his Batman trilogy. You could probably say that Batman Begins single-handedly resurrected this film genre. Following closely behind, The Dark Knight really got to the core of Bruce Wayne; The Wolverine just doesn’t quite succeed in doing the same for Wolverine. Intellectually, I understood that one of his greatest challenges is that he is practically immortal; anyone he cares about will pass on long before he does. Knowing that, how could you let yourself get close to anyone? But emotionally, I’m not entirely sure it connected with me. It wasn’t that the performance was lacking – I found Hugh Jackman to be intense as always – but rather that the villains just could not compare, neither to The Joker nor to Wolverine himself.

In sum, whilst I’d still be interested in seeing the next X-men film, just for completion purposes, I’m not entirely sure I’ll even be fussed enough to watch it at the cinema…

About karice
MAG fan, freelance translator and political scientist-in-training. I also love musicals, travel and figure skating!

5 Responses to The Wolverine: I…probably wasn’t expecting that…

  1. HoshiKira says:

    It’s most likely the difference between Marvel and DC and how they handle their products. Marvel has been doing a slow but good job at tying together it’s characters for the Avengers, which was the massive hit comic book nerds have been waiting for. While the new Batman movies reviewed that one franchise, many DC fans, including myself, felt like it was another moment where a director took a character and did whatever they wanted with him. While Batman is an ever evolving figure in the comics, the most consistent version many of us are familiar with are The Animated Series, Justice League and the Arkham Games. One of the main reasons for this is Paul Dini’s writing, he has a way to capture the essence of DC’s characters like nobody else can. And sadly he declined working on the script for a live action JL movie.

    Of course Nolan wanted a different approach and in that he did succeed, but I have to disagree with setting the bar high. As far as trying to tell a realistic story and exploring character depth, maybe, but for comic adaptations, Avengers and Marvel movies are far ahead (Man of Steel had a pretty bad reception compared to the Avengers for the fact that people found the latter more realistic). Except for, well, X-Men. I hope they eventually make up for it.

    Personally I’m sort of sad that the Batman I love was never given a chance on screen, but I am glad Bruce Timm and Dini did an excellent job with the animated versions. The Return of the Joker remains one of those movies that still makes me uncomfortable during a certain scene. I remember thinking “this is for children… right?” If you ever have lots of time and feel like it, check out the aniimated series. I would say that while it’s different it is at least as good as the Nolan movies, which is surprising for a cartoon show. I remember having a hard time adjusting to it’s gritty tone after the Adam West series and Burton’s… strange take.

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    • karice says:

      but for comic adaptations, Avengers and Marvel movies are far ahead (Man of Steel had a pretty bad reception compared to the Avengers for the fact that people found the latter more realistic).

      That might be it. I guess I’m coming from a very different space to yourself and other fans of the comics (like my younger brother); the fact that I don’t follow any of the comics, and thus don’t really think about what their characters are meant to be like in said comics means that I can’t appreciate it when a studio might try to stay closer to that. I like Nolan’s Batman because he made him believable for me – perhaps if I read the comics, I’d be disappointed. Though I wouldn’t bet on it personally, knowing how I feel about ‘superhero’ stories; I’ve never really liked live-action superhero stuff… However, the animated series does sound like something I would probably like…except I’m not sure I’ll ever have the time to watch it. Still haven’t seen the Avengers, which my brother gave to me about 5 months ago!

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      • HoshiKira says:

        Can’t blame you, the series is very long and the comics, even I have trouble picking up stories, there are so many. And there are a lot of other things I like to do, like movies, books etc. so it’s hard to find time. I just had luck with the series itself, that it was on when I was a kid.

        I can understand why you would like Nolan’s Batman. For me it’s more about having been a fan almost from the day I was born. It’s true that Adam West was my first Bats and I got around to the less silly versions later on, but I grew up with the character and I got attached to him. Another one I liked was Wonder Woman. The role for the Superman vs. Batman film has been cast, and at this point, I’m just gonna wait and see what comes out of it. My only personal wish is that the actress buffs up for the role. WW is a character who is easy to get wrong, so I’ll try to have no expectations.

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      • karice says:

        Yeah, Batman (and any comic book hero, really) is something that a fan would have to choose as their one dedicated fandom in order to cover everything! And being a fan from childhood is possibly the only way. This is likely to be one of the reasons I prefer watching Asian stuff (gotten into K-drama recently too), because the bulk of the series have a story that begins and ends, rather than continuing on through several seasons.

        Hm…I’m not following the Batman vs. Superman film that closely (at this point, I’m mostly wishing they’d change the title!), but it’ll be interesting to see if they can make it well.

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  2. Pingback: A few brief words on my first forays into the Marvel Cinematic Universe… | HOT CHOCOLATE IN A BOWL

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