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.