To say that Wolverine has had it hard in the X-Men franchise is an understatement. With X-Men: The Land Stand and X-Men Origins: Wolverine being hopelessly horrible, how could The Wolverine change things for everyone’s favorite angry Canadian?
Truth be told, this is probably what Origins could have been. Hugh Jackman again puts on the claws and faithfully (to my knowledge) continues to play the title character. The film takes place after the events that took place at the end of X-3 and we find Logan having a hard time trying to deal with his emotions and demons, so much so that he is living in the wilderness and has taken an oath of nonviolence. However, he learns from a messenger Yukio (Rila Fukushima) that a Japanese soldier, Yingen Yashida, who he saved during the bombing of Nagasaki, is dying and he wishes to thank him personally. From there, Logan runs into pretty much all the members of the Yashida clan who start to create a boatload of problems for a supposed goodbye.
While this movie succeeds on some fronts such as action pieces and humor, it fails on others. There were many points in the movie that were unbearably cliché (which I’ll let you find out as opposed to me spoiling them). Possibly the most annoying portion of this movie was the continued inclusion of Jean Gray (Famke Janssen), who visits Logan in nightmares that have plagued him since he killed her in X-3. Every time I saw her I found myself saying, “get off the screen please, you are ruining the movie.” While these visions were supposed to serve as a form of introspection, they just got stale and boring. Why not include a flashback to the incident itself in the beginning of the movie and have her voice plague Logan’s dreams as opposed to a scantily (not really) clad Jean Gray?
This movie does manage to get Wolverine off of the life support that Origins and X-3 put the character on, but just barely, due to the various clichés and annoying features that plague this film.