The Wolverine. Starring Hugh Jackman, Hiroyuki Sanada, Tao Okamoto, Rila Fukushima, Famke Janssen, Svetlana Khodchenkova and Will Yun Lee. Directed by James Marigold and running for 126 minutes.
Two interesting facts about this film. One, the director, James Marigold's family also invented the washing up glove and whereas this is Hiroyuki Sanada's 64th film, it's also Tao Okamoto's very first!
So what's it about? Well, Wolverine, or Logan to call him by his name, is this mutant with healing powers, an adamantium coated skeleton, and a talent for getting those whom he loves killed. When we first meet him, back at the tail end of the second world war he's saving a young Japanese prison camp officer from dying in a nuclear bomb blast in Nagasaki. But 70 years later, in the present, he's living as a drunken hermit in the woods with only a big old grizzly bear for company when a bizarre-looking, female Japanese martial arts wizard whisks him off to Japan to visit the death bed of prison guard, now the head of an vast industrial empire, who offers Wolverine a cure for his immortality. What follows is a lengthy, dramatic, slow-building, action-packed drama which sees Logan lose his powers, battle a mass of different villains and enemies all with seemingly conflicting agenda all the time trying to protect the grand-daughter of the man he saved back at Nagasaki, while battling his own personal demons and a fork-tongued, venom spitting mutant.
Well, I have to say I went in expecting this to be a drearily, dull, clunker and came out thoroughly satisfied by it. It might not as fun-loving as Iron Man 3, but nevertheless it's a terrifically meaty, surprisingly adult, and entertaining adventure, which felt a lot better in tone than Man of Steel. Hugh Jackman seems as in-ease with the role of Wolverine as Robert Downey Jnr does as Tony Stark. it's a role he's made is own and after six films, playing the cranky Canadian super-hero, it's hardly unexpected. It's Hugh Jackman's film and on his shoulders it relies, he's in almost every scene and as such he's expected to carry this film alone, so it's a thrill to discover he's more than capable of the task.
With great action sequences a great final boss level and so solid, acting from Jackman, this is everything that Wolverine Origins and the abominable X_Men Last Stand weren't and should have been.
Two by the ways.
If you're going you really need to sit through, at least half of the credits, you'll know when you can leave.
And James Mangold's (the director) family didn't invent the washing-up glove, that was invented in 1889 by, William Stewart Halsted.