Thursday, August 1, 2013

The Wolverine

I saw this in the theater the other day, and I think I liked it.

That is to say, I liked most of it, was annoyed by part of it, and was generally confused by all of it... but it was fun and exciting and worth checking out. Hugh Jackman is just fun to watch as Wolverine, and since this is his 20th time appearing as the character (or however many times), he's got it down to a science. I'd even go so far as to say this is a very nuanced acting performance, and certainly one of the best you'll ever see in a Summer comic book movie. I'm not saying he should win an Academy Award or something, but I will predict that who ever does win the Academy Award for Best Actor probably won't have put in the kind of work and effort and energy Hugh Jackman put into this role.

In other words I guess I'm saying he should win an Academy Award or something. Who knew?

Jackman was let down storywise, however, since this film had no script. I know some people were credited with writing a screenplay, but I don't believe it. I think everybody just showed up on set every day, improvised a bunch of stuff, then some poor editor had to try to make sense of all the footage and turn it into a movie that could be released for an audience. Now that editor should probably win an Academy Award or something! Seriously, since whoever it was managed to make something entertaining and exciting out of a story that, frankly, made no fracking sense at all. I have no idea what was going on, who were the real villains, what anybody's motivations were, or what happened at the end.

I also give credit to director James Mangold, who does not deserve an Academy Award, but he did do some stellar work crafting a film that was compelling and fun even though its story was completely inexplicable. There was a subplot where Logan (aka "the Wolverine") lost his healing factor and maybe was about to die, but when he was revived and stood up, it was a real heroic moment that made me want to stand up and cheer, even though the scene leading up to it was one of the dumbest things I'd ever seen and that exact moment was totally predictable and cliche. But Mangold is a good enough director that he managed to take a confused, cliched story and make it work and fun. I guess he does deserve an Academy Award too. I dunno.

And hey... if I keep saying this film deserves Academy Awards, why did they go with that mediocre pull quote for the poster?

There were some other actors in this movie, but whatever. I liked that one girl with the redhair, but nobody else really stood out. I thought that blonde lady was super hot, but that was about it. Who was she? I don't mean the actress, I mean the character. Viper was maybe her name? Was she in the comics? I don't remember.

There was no on screen credit for Chris Claremont or Frank Miller -- or at least none that I saw -- but that's probably ok because other than a couple names or the fact that it takes place in Japan, this has nothing to do with their miniseries. There are ninjas in it though, and Logan fights a bunch of samurai. Hell, he even fights a twenty foot tall robot samurai! And he has a super cool fight on top of a train. And there's actually an attempt at some subtext dealing with Wolverine's fear of being immortal and yet not having any love to make an eternal life worth living. Or something. I dunno.

Anyway, I guess I liked it.


Justin Garrett Blum said...

Sometimes the movies that actually do win Academy Awards are only films that I think I liked, so maybe it's not so crazy to suggest this movie should win some, too.

The trailers looked pretty cool, but cool in a way that you had to kind of assume it would be annoying and predictable.

Donald said...

It's predictable in the main story themes, but the little details will have you going, "What the fuck?!"

capt.naps said...

you liked that train fight?? i thought it was goofy as hell. He's on the train...then the guy is hanging on with a knife and then he's jumping and then they have another guy with a knife...its just odd. It was like "jeez this movie has no fights...lets have him fight on the train"

That being said I did enjoy the film , it was awfully subdued for a summer comic book movie which is a nice change of pace. Most of these movies go like this: joke, explosion, joke joke explosion, emotion, joke, one last giant explosion....after credits joke