Movie Review: The Wolverine (Mangold, 2013)

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Movie: The Wolverine
Production Companies: 20th Century Fox, Marvel Entertainment, Donners’ Company, TSG Entertainment
Director: James Mangold
Producers: Lauren Shuler Donner, Hutch Parker
Scriptwriters: Mark Bomback, Scott Frank
Main Cast: Hugh Jackman, Hiroyuki Sanada, Tao Okamoto, Rila Fukushima

Release Date: July 26th 2013 (US)
Running Time: 126 minutes
Certificate: 12A


Now why would we be reviewing this then? It couldn’t possibly be because the second trailer for Deadpool and Wolverine dropped a few days ago… Anyway, assuming that Jackman is going to continue the Ric Flair approach to retiring Wolverine, we thought we’d look back at his second solo outing: The Wolverine. When compared to the garbage fire that was X-Men Origins: Wolverine, The Wolverine was a marked improvement with particular emphasis on Jackman’s performances, the visuals and aesthetics. So without further ado let’s get into our review of the film now.


The Wolverine follows a depressed Logan (Jackman) after the events of The Last Stand where he had to kill Jean Grey in order to save the world. After receiving an invitation to Japan from a man who owed him a life debt, he asks Logan if he will give up his immortality given Logan sees it as a curse. However, when Logan refuses he is mysteriously poisoned and pursued by Viper and the Yakuza throughout Tokyo as Logan fights to maintain his immortality. Eventually, Logan is forced to confront the man who he saved at Nagasaki who now goes by the name of the Silver Samurai.


Hugh Jackman’s Performance in The Wolverine

As mentioned in the introduction, The Wolverine marks a welcome return to form for Hugh Jackman as Wolverine. Considering how bored and disinterested he looked in X-Men Origins, this performance is streaks ahead of its predecessor. That may have something to do with the script actually giving him half decent material to work with. A perfect example of this is how the film shows Logan’s shift in stance over his immortality. Whilst initially because of the trauma he’s developed, Logan seems open to the idea of giving up his gift but he doesn’t want it to go to an already old man because it’ll prolong his life and bring him nothing but pain.

However, after he gets poisoned, Logan begins to see how much his gift has kept him alive and he begins to appreciate how special it can be. What a special and violent gift indeed…. Also, it probably helps that the script allows Logan to develop better emotional connections with the women in the film which allows him to play into the trauma from The Last Stand. Overall, if his performance in Deadpool and Wolverine is anywhere near as good, it’ll be an incredible watch.

Fight Scenes in The Wolverine

Now whilst on a whole the action scenes in the film are pretty excellent the finale is a notable exception. Mostly because it’s a jumbled mess which shows the sheer amount of rewrites and changes the script went through. However, that messiness aside, some of the other fight scenes are gorgeous. Take as an example, the fight scene on top of a train.

And do we love it because it looks like something that came out of an anime or comic book? Absolutely yes because the idea of Wolverine fighting a group of yakuza members on top of a moving train is the definition of comic book films. Also, the general choreography of said fight scenes are solid as well, especially by Marvel standards. Another huge positive to take away from the fight scenes is how much energy and urgency they add to the film as they reinforce how urgent it is for Logan to recover his healing factor.


To summarise The Wolverine, this is a solid second solo outing for Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine with good fight scenes and a solid lead performance. Whilst the finale is a bit ropey, the film does more than enough to offset this with some wonderful fight scenes. Now here’s to hoping Deadpool and Wolverine is a(nother) fitting sendoff for Hugh Jackman as film’s angriest, shirtless man.

Overall Rating: 6.5/10 – Okay
Target Audience:
Content Warning:
Mild Sex and Nudity, Moderate Violence and Gore, Moderate Profanity, Mild Alcohol, Drugs and Smoking, Moderate Frightening and Intense Scenes.