‘The Wolverine’ Reviews: Film Opens To Mixed Reactions From Critics
The Wolverine marks Hugh Jackman’s sixth turn as the mutton-chopped lupine superhero. It follows Logan, the Wolverine, to distant Japan at the behest of an old friend where winds up battling ninjas and coming face to face with his own inner torments. Framed by the aftermath of World War II, Logan is still reeling from the loss of Jean Grey (Famke Janssen) when he’s summoned to Japan. Once there, he finds himself embroiled in a massive family feud and falling for his dying friend’s granddaughter.
Directed by James Mangold (Walk the Line), and adapted for the big screen by Mark Bobback and Scott Frank, The Wolverine has met with both praise and nuanced criticism from movie reviewers.
"The last couple of Wolverine movies provided their share of undying grief as well, the wrong kind, the mediocre movie kind. The Wolverine won't change anybody's mind about the character, or about what Jackman can do with it. It's simply a more focused scenario than usual, full of violence done up with a little more coherence and visceral impact than usual."
Michael Phillips, The Chicago Tribune
"The popular X-Men teammate with the razor claws, scalding temper and deep-seated angst is presented with a substantial story line, one that at least initially prefers character and narrative depth over nonstop action. […] The fresh setting and family feuding serve the Wolverine saga well and set the stage for a well-defined culture clash. […]But those higher ideals never get fully realized. While director Mangold handles the drama with ease, he's less assured with the action sequences; no huge surprise, considering his resume. "
Randy Myers, San Jose Mercury News
“The Wolverine, competently directed by James Mangold is a serviceable superhero movie, one that might be thrilling if special-effects pictures came along four times a year instead of four times a month. As it is, I found myself spending most of it thinking, ‘I guess this is going to be a fight scene. Here comes a chase. Another fight. Another chase. Aren’t these villains falling like dandelions versus a weed whacker? Why is Wolverine impervious to a sword through the heart but captured when a bunch of arrows hit him in the back?’”
Kyle Smith, New York Post
"Although Fox's The Wolverine is a big summer movie it's also a smart one, and other studios could take some tips. For one thing, although it's a big-budget film, it wasn't insanely expensive (it reportedly cost half of what The Lone Ranger did) and every dollar is on the screen […] And — unlike, say, After Earth — the film both gives us something fans haven't seen before (the Wolverine dueling with samurai swordsmen? I'm there!) and a character they already have a lot invested in, facing both new challenges and some old guilty feelings."
Stephen Whitty, The Star-Ledger
The Wolverine, rated PG-13, opens in theaters Friday, July 26. Tao Okamoto, Rila Fukushima, Hiroyuki Sanada and Svetlana Khodchenkova also star.
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