Four years after the redundant ‘X-Men Origins: Wolverine’ got the critical bitch-slapping it sadly deserved, star Hugh Jackman has buffed up for the sixth time and donned the mutton-chops for what movie-goers hope will be a better slice of this rich Wolverine tapestry.
Taking place shorty after the events of ‘X-Men: The Last Stand’, our reluctant hero Wolverine has become a nomad, suffering the immense guilt over the death of his beloved, Jean Grey (Famke Janssen). A reformed Logan is struggling to keep the Wolverine repressed when a mysterious Japanese woman (Rila Fukushima) intervenes, requesting his presence in Tokyo to say a final farewell to her master, Yashida (Hal Yamanouchi), a man Logan saved many years earlier. With promises to turn Logan mortal, a shifty oncologist, a power-hungry son and beautiful granddaughter in tow, Logan is thrust into a war against the Yakuza, all the while protecting Mariko (Tao Okamoto) with his powers mysteriously depleting.
Set in Japan, Jackman’s mother country, Australia, doubled as the foreign land during production (for the most part) - this cost-cutting exercise is a waste of Japan’s spectacular scenery, with the locations failing to impress as they simply look too much like what they are - film sets.
The film’s storyline is borderline incomprehensible, focusing on multiple secondary stories completely ignoring the point of the film, resulting in a patchy and, quite frankly, stupid conclusion. However, the film’s crowning glory are its fight scenes. There are more than usual, with the film focusing on short and hard rather than long and elaborate. While they may not be displaying anything terribly original, the Samurai element breathes a fun and visually exciting life into a character and idea we’ve seen so many times on the big screen before.