Thursday, Nov 21, 2019
 
search SGN
SERVING SEATTLE AND THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST FOR 37 YEARS!

click to visit advertiser's website


Javascript DHTML Drop Down Menu Powered by dhtml-menu-builder.com

Last Weeks Edition
   
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website




 
 

 

 

[Valid RSS]

click to go to advertisers website
to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, July 26, 2013 - Volume 41 Issue 30
Character-driven Wolverine bares its claws
Arts & Entertainment
ALL STORIES
  next story
Character-driven Wolverine bares its claws

by Sara Michelle Fetters - SGN A&E Writer

THE WOLVERINE Opens July 26

Saying The Wolverine is better than 2009's X-Men Origins: Wolverine is in most respects damning with faint praise. Let's be frank, that movie was more or less terrible, and other than a couple of terrific moments (most notably the imaginative opening credits - how bad must your film be if that's the most memorable aspect?), there's not a lot to talk about as far as that comic book superhero flick is concerned.

Still, director James Mangold (Walk the Line; 3:10 to Yuma) and writers Mark Bomback (Unstoppable) and Scott Frank (The Lookout; Out of Sight) have done a grand job of making this particular mutant worthy of caring about again, presenting a streamlined, emotionally charged thriller that's more about character than it is about spectacle. Using Chris Claremont and Frank Miller's classic four-part 1980s comic book set in Japan as their jumping-off point, the filmmakers have taken the character back to his roots and in the process reinvigorated him, crafting a movie that's far more fun, and in most respects entertaining, than it arguably has any right to be.

RETURN FROM EXILE
Logan (Hugh Jackman) has not gotten over the events that led to the death of Jean Grey (Famke Janssen). Living in isolation in the deepest recesses of the Yukon, he is approached by the diminutive Yukio (Rila Fukushima) with a request. Her boss and protector, Yashida (Haruhiko Yamanouchi), is in ill health, and it is his wish to see the man who once saved his life during World War II one last time before he dies.

Flying to Japan, Logan finds himself embroiled in lethal corporate affairs involving the Yakuza, Yashida's duplicitous son Shingen (Hiroyuki Sanada), his loving granddaughter Mariko (Tao Okamoto), his lethal mutant doctor known only as Viper (Svetlana Khodchenkova), and a mysterious ninja, Harada (Will Yun Lee), who appears to be both friend and foe, sometimes at the exact same time. Wanting to be left alone, the former X-Men operative must reconcile the actions of his past with his potentially heroic future, embracing the soldier within to save the lives of those he cares about while also securing himself a path he'll be content to walk along afterwards.

It's all a bunch of nonsensical hooey - that goes without saying - but Bomback and Frank present it more in the vein of a '70s-style political thriller (think 3 Days of the Condor) mixed with a Kurosawa samurai flick (Yojimbo comes to mind) than they do anything else and that's a very good thing indeed. They keep things intimate, personal, and close to the vest, everything revolving around Logan's battles with his inner demons above all else. The movie isn't interested in the big or the audacious, instead choosing to turn inward at almost every turn, in essence making it one of the more anachronistic Marvel superhero epics to grace the multiplex up to this point.

KEEPING IT REAL
Better, Mangold stages the action much like he did in Copland and 3:10 to Yuma, meaning he eschews digital trickery as much as he can (considering one set-piece is atop a speeding bullet train, this is obviously not entirely possible), allowing our hero to take on his opponents in-camera most of the time. This has the effect of making the brutality of Logan/Wolverine's fighting style hit home like it hasn't before - an added punch contributed to the mixture giving things an extra oomph it otherwise would not have attained.

All the same, at 126 minutes the movie has a tendency to wear out its welcome, and while I respect the director's restraint it does take forever for the narrative to hit its stride and proceed down its not altogether surprising track. A final battle with fan-favorite villain The Silver Samurai is slightly on the anticlimactic side, while the revelation about who is pulling the strings and why isn't exactly a shock.

But overall the movie works, sometimes spectacularly, and I'm almost loathe to admit this but The Wolverine could be my favorite foray into this particular Marvel universe since 2003's X2 (easily still the best film in the entire series), a statement that includes X-Men: First Class, an energetic prequel I very much enjoyed. Jackman rips into the character in ways he hasn't in ages, ethereal surrealistic conversations between he and Janssen filled with devastating emotional subtext that continually slices the jugular. This is a Wolverine fans have been waiting to see for quite some time, the Les Misérables Oscar nominee delivering in ways he hasn't been allowed to previously.

There's not a lot more to say. Mangold and his team take charge of the character and his story with confidence, showcasing a streamlined scenario of regret, betrayal, rebirth, and honor befitting him. They treat their audience with respect, never belittling their intelligence, and why things don't go places entirely unexpected there are a few tricks up the sequel's sleeve I can't say I saw coming. It's a fun ride, nothing more, and certainly nothing less, The Wolverine a late-summer superhero sensation worthy of going a tiny bit berserk about.

Tell a friend:

Share on Facebook  Share on Facebook

Post to MySpace!Share on MySpace!

    Share on Delicious

Share on StumbleUpon!

High seas hijinks - 5th Avenue's Pirates revival is pure pleasure
------------------------------
Join the circus - without running away from home!
------------------------------
Bringing sexy back - The 11th annual Seattle Erotic Art Festival offers something for everyone
------------------------------
Vancouver Pride - Make it a weekend, not just a day
------------------------------
Fiercely feminine - Rapture, Blister, Burn explores women's issues in a deep and engaging way
------------------------------
Jealous again, wasted & again - Black Flag's triumphant return to Seattle
------------------------------
Shakespeare light - Taproot's musical Illyria is a perfect summer concoction
------------------------------
Not so badass - Courtney Love rises to the occasion but fails to transcend it
------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------
Just call him 'Sir' - Paul McCartney delivers an epic Seattle concert
------------------------------
Character-driven Wolverine bares its claws
------------------------------
Just do it - Funny, feminine To Do List is a promiscuous pleasure
------------------------------
Race matters - Tragic Fruitvale Station is an emotionally explosive exposé
------------------------------
Refn's Only God is frustratingly hard to forgive
------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------
Northwest News
------------------------------
Letters
------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

click to visit advertiser's website

click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
Seattle Gay Blog post your own information on
the Seattle Gay Blog
 

gay news feeds gay news readers gay rss gay
http://sgn.org/rss.xml | what is RSS? | Add to Google use Google to set up your RSS feed
SGN Calendar For Mobile Phones http://sgn.org/rssCalendarMobile.xml
SGN Calendar http://sgn.org/rssCalendar.xml

Seattle Gay News - SGN
1605 12 Ave., Ste. 31
Seattle, WA 98122

Phone 206-324-4297
Fax 206-322-7188

email: sgn2@sgn.org
website suggestions: web@sgn.org

copyright Seattle Gay News - DigitalTeamWorks 2012

USA Gay News American News American Gay News USA American Gay News United States American Lesbian News USA American Lesbian News United States USA News
Pacific Northwest News in Seattle News in Washington State News