The Wolverine ★★

I was a huge fan of the Marvel comics in the late 80’s, so therefore I feel compelled to watch all Marvel films, even though most of them suck. So when buying tickets to the new ”Logan” movie I realized I hadn’t seen ”The Wolverine” (2013), so I had to cancel my purchase, go back home and set things straight.

”X-Men Origins: Wolverine” (2009) was a complete piece of junk, but knowing that ”The Wolverine” takes place in beautiful Japan (my paradise on Earth), I felt this could be worthwhile.

Dilemma: Should film adaptations of comic books be realistic or should they follow the style of the book no matter what? Also, do these films tend to get away with cheesy content because they’re ”comic book”-movies? I’d say the tone of the film decides. The tone in ”The Wolverine” is overall serious, and it works fine for me as long as there’s no action (eh...). Obviously, this being a Marvel movie, the tempo escalates and culminates with the same old action scenes (this time James Bondish!) we’ve seen a thousand times before. Good thing is there aren’t tons of mutants all over the place, like in the other Marvel flicks. Wolverine, Yukio and Viper - I believe that’s it. Still, it’s nothing more than a standard flick.

However, since I worship Japan, this was a joy to watch. Great settings of Nippon shrouded in darkness and rain, mixing oldschool traditions with newschool hi-tech, just as I’m used to from my travels. To be perfectly honest, I’m not sure if I liked this because I’m a sucker for Japan or because it’s a fairly decent Marvel movie. I mean, it features torii gates, kimonos, zen gardens, ryokan, tea ceremonies, ninjas, swords, Pachinko halls, Shinkansen bullet trains, love hotels, chopsticks, temples, samurais, onsen baths, the Yakuza, robots… What’s not to like?

So, compared to ”X-Men Origins: Wolverine”, this was pretty cool. Looking forward to seeing ”Logan” now. I hear it’s by far the best of the three.