tek's rating: ½

The Wolverine (PG-13)
20th Century Studios; IMDb; Rotten Tomatoes; TV Tropes; Weta Digital; Wikia; Wikipedia
streaming sites: Amazon; Disney+; FandangoNOW; Google Play; iTunes; Movies Anywhere; Vudu

Caution: potential spoilers.

This came out in 2013, but I didn't see it until 2017. It's the second movie set in the X-Men film franchise to focus on Wolverine himself, rather than the X-Men. While it came out after four years after X-Men Origins: Wolverine (which was a prequel to the X-Men movies), it's not a direct sequel to that movie. Instead, it's set sometime after the events of the third movie in the original X-Men trilogy, X-Men: The Last Stand, which came out seven years before this movie. Confused yet?

Anyway, it starts out in 1945, when Logan (aka Wolverine) is being held by the Japanese as a prisoner of war. (I'd love to know the backstory on that.) The U.S. drops an atomic bomb on nearby Nagasaki, and it's clear that Logan knows the nature of the bomb. While most of the Japanese soldiers die, Logan saves an officer named Ichiro Yashida. He then wakes up in bed with Jean Grey; he'd been dreaming about his past experience in Japan. But of course Jean had died in a previous movie. So, Logan wakes up for a second time, in the present. He's now living as a hermit in the Yukon. (Though throughout the movie, he'll have hallucinations of Jean.)

Not long after that, Logan is contacted by a young Japanese woman named Yukio, who had been sent by Yashida (who is now an old man, and head of a major tech company), to tell Logan that Yashida is dying, and wants to say goodbye in person. At first, Logan doesn't want to go to Tokyo, but of course it's not long before he relents. Oh, and btw, Yukio is a mutant with precognitive abilities. Anyway, when they get to Tokyo, Logan meets Yashida's son, Shingen, and granddaughter, Mariko. Also, Dr. Green, who is treating Yashida. The day after Logan's arrival, Yashida dies. At the funeral, a group of Yakuza try to kidnap Mariko, but Logan rescues her. During their escape, Logan is shot, and his healing power doesn't work, for a reason I won't reveal. But anyway, um... I want to mention that Logan has to fight some Yakuza on top of a bullet train. Like, the whole "battle on top of a moving train" thing has been done a lot, but I'm fairly sure this is the first time I've seen it done on a bullet train, so that was pretty cool.

And... it's hard for me to know what else I should say. Um, so like, Mariko is supposed to marry a guy named Noburo Mori, though it's an arranged betrothal, and she doesn't love him. She actually loves a guy named Kenuichio Harada (Will Yun Lee), who is a member of a ninja clan. He wants to protect Mariko, but it's kind of complicated, because... I think he's sort of working for the people who wanted to kidnap (or kill) her in the first place. (I didn't get around to writing this review until a few days after I watched the movie, and now I don't remember whether or not I ever understood why he was working with them.) Also, we learn that Dr. Green is actually a mutant called Viper, and she's the main villain behind this... or is she? There's actually a twist near the end of the movie... but I kind of suspected it.

So anyway, Yukio (who is Mariko's adopted sister) turns out to be kind of a badass, and helps Logan protect her. And Mariko herself isn't exactly defenseless. And of course Harada also helps. And Logan eventually figures out why his healing power wasn't working, and manages to fix the problem. And... lots of other stuff happens. There are plenty of awesome fights throughout the movie, and drama, and of course the good guys win in the end. Logan and Yukio leave Japan, though we don't know yet where they're going. The end.

There's a mid-credits scene set a couple years later, when Logan returns to the U.S., and is greeted by Erik Lehnsherr, whom of course he doesn't trust. But then someone else shows up, someone whom Logan is shocked to see, and tries to convince him that all mutants need to work together to face a coming threat....

Well, I feel like I am not saying nearly enough about the movie. I wish I'd been able to write this review much sooner, but there's a good chance I would have forgotten details even if I had done. So whatever. Anyway, I just want to say I thought the movie was pretty cool. And stuff.


comic book movies

X-Men franchise
X-Men * X2: X-Men United * X-Men: The Last Stand * X-Men Origins: Wolverine *
X-Men: First Class * The Wolverine * X-Men: Days of Future Past * Deadpool * X-Men: Apocalypse * Logan