#646 – Review: The Wolverine
When The Wolverine was first announced I had high hopes because Darren Aronofsky was attached as its director. However, as often happens, Aronofsky had to bow out of the project and it passed hands to James Mangold. While I wasn’t as excited for Mangold, I still felt he was a capable director who could potentially deliver a movie worthy of one of the greatest super heroes.
While The Wolverine wasn’t the greatest super hero movie ever, it did justice to Wolverine and his journey as a lost soul after the death of Jean Grey. As Chris Bumbray pointed out at Joblo.com, The Wolverine was a much smaller super hero movie that had its protagonist tackling a problem without planet-altering consequences. The smaller feel was perfect to examine Wolverine’s pain at the loss of Jean, as well as the realization that he can’t hide from a world he has protected and needs to continue to protect.
I enjoyed The Wolverine. As far as I’m concerned Hugh Jackman is Wolverine, so much so that when I saw Les Miserables I thought, “Hey, Wolverine is singing show tunes.” Jackman plays the role to perfection and shows that there is more to Wolverine than claws and killing. While the movie felt smaller and more intimate, the action set pieces were great, especially the fight on top of the train.
I love Wolverine and was thoroughly entertained by The Wolverine. It wasn’t the perfect Wolverine movie, but it explored the character more deeply and he still chopped up a lot of dudes with his claws.
Below are some thoughts I had while watching The Wolverine.
Before watching The Wolverine this weekend I rewatched X-Men 3. The only other time I had seen X-Men 3 was in the theater at a midnight showing. I was so disappointed that I didn’t want to watch it again. The years have dulled the pain, though, and I was able to accept X-Men 3 for what it is: a mediocre movie that couldn’t live up to the promise of its predecessors. One of the best parts about the original X-Men trilogy, including X-Men 3, was the relationship between Logan and Jean Grey. The movies nailed that relationship so well that it was easy to believe the loss of Jean would send Logan into a tailspin. Losing loved ones is a part of life, some losses more tragic than others. However, whether or not our lives are founded on Christ will dictate how we deal with those losses.
For Logan dealing with the loss of his loved ones is especially difficult because he’s practically immortal and will outlive everyone he ever loves. As the movie unfolds, though, Wolverine is given the choice to give up his immortality and live and die as a mortal. I could see the draw that mortality would have for Wolverine. If we gained immortality we would lose one of humanity’s essential characteristics. Knowing that we are all going to die some day is part of what makes us human. Knowing that death is somewhere out there pushes us to live life now and make the most of every moment. If I knew I was going to live forever I might just end up sitting on the couch, watching every series Netflix has to offer. Why read a book or spend time with friends when I literally have the rest of my unending life to do those? Mortality, though, is the fire beneath our feet that motivates us to make a difference today because tomorrow may never come.
Early in the move someone calls Logan a soldier, to which he replies, “Not anymore”. Logan was a soldier, was made into an even deadlier soldier by the Weapon-X program and helped protect humanity as a soldier of the X-Men. In the movies and in the comics he lived his life in order to fight for those who couldn’t fight for themselves and protect those who needed it most. In The Wolverine, because of his heartache over losing Jean and his role in her death, Logan has given up his calling as a soldier. As he learns, though, it’s not easy to run away from his calling. Unfortunately, the same isn’t true for us. God has placed a calling on each of our lives yet so many of us choose to ignore it and go the opposite direction. God is calling us to the life for which we were created, it’s simply up to us to listen to his voice and respond.
I liked The Wolverine and can’t wait to see his claws in action again in X-Men: Days of Future Past. Aside from all the action and slicing dudes up, I really appreciated the development of Logan’s character and how, even as a super-powered mutant, he addressed his humanity.
What did you think of The Wolverine?