Thursday, 31 July 2014

Wolverine (5 Stars)

We don't all have claws.

As always, Marvel films need time to grow on me. On first viewing I'm always critical, usually because of deviations from the comics in relation to the costumes and powers of the super-heroes. Then I need to wait a while. On second viewing I'm able to accept the film in its own right, rather than seeing it as a cheap imitation of a comic book. Today is exactly one year since I watched "Wolverine" in the cinema. Now I have the Blu-ray Disc in my hand, which I bought online for £4.99 (including postage). And today my impression was overwhelmingly positive.

So much about the film overwhelmed me today, the second time I saw the film. I love Japanese culture, past and present. I often watch Japanese films, but in none of them does the camera linger so seductively on the Japanese scenery. I can understand why. Japanese films are made for Japanese viewers who know Japan, so there's no need to emphasise the background. That's all it is, a background. For an American director making a film for (primarily) American viewers, it's all about the atmosphere, so the background becomes the foreground. The big cities, the small towns, the bullet train, the temples... it's all important. These settings make the film unique.

The story is poignant in showing Logan's way back. He begins the film as a nomad, stricken with grief after killing Jean Grey in "The Last Stand". Defending Mariko, the granddaughter of his old friend Yashida, helps him to become a hero again. Japan is the country of his rebirth.


  1. This film worked quite well for the most part. I do have my own regard for Japan but perhaps lack the thorough connection you do - still time for that to change potentially.
    Hugh Jackman is just the perfect Logan and he seems to have good chemistry with most co-stars in his movies. This was a much better story than the Origins film (which I still did enjoy unlike so many). The ending could have been a little more believable though, and left some big questions dangling. A solid 4 from my perspective.

    1. I wouldn't say that I have a "connection" to Japan. A better word is "fascination". I admire Japan from afar. Something about the Japanese culture draws me to it. The way people sit, sleep and eat, the way they greet one another. I've never been to Japan, and the chances are that I never will, but it's the one foreign country that I would like to experience. And when I say experience, I mean more than just visit. Being a tourist in a country doesn't tell you much about it. To get to know a country you have to live there for months, getting to know the people.

      I also think that this is a better film than "Origins". I've watched "Origins" a few times, and it's gradually starting to grow on me. I agree that Hugh Jackman is perfect for the role. What will they do when he retires?

    2. P.S. One little piece of "Japaneseness" that's so cute because it's so different. As shown in the film "Emperor" that I just reviewed, when General MacArthur visited Japan the soldiers lining the road turned their backs as he passed. This was to show their respect, because it's considered impolite to look directly at an important person.

  2. Aha, only just got back to look at your replies. Yeah the furthest I have traveled is China and it was a very impressive fortnight - really wish I had months and months like you say,


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