William Tallman’s review published on Letterboxd:
Decided to re-watch The Wolverine before I saw Logan because I truthfully hadn't seen this movie since I first saw it back around the time it originally came out on DVD. Because when this movie came out back in summer 2013, I actually opted out of seeing it in theaters. After X-Men Origins was so bad, I guess I just wasn't in the mood for another stand-alone Wolverine movie at the time. Yet for some reason, despite the overall positive reception the film got from critics and fans, I still didn't go see it originally and just waited until I could rent it. But once I did eventually see it, I did enjoy it but never really had the urge to watch it again anytime after that, and I don't exactly know why. However, from finally watching this movie again, I think my original thoughts have changed a little bit. Because I personally think The Wolverine is a really solid superhero film and another worthy addition to the X-Men film series.
Let me just start off by saying that this is not by any means a great film and does have its share of flaws. The third act gets a bit silly and sadly loses the great quality the first two thirds of the movie had going for it, and I honestly don't think Viper is a very interesting villain. But even though there are some problems with this film, I do think there are some really good aspects to this film overall.
This film I think stands out among most of the films in the series for being much different in tone. While most of the films that came before it were mostly fun comic book films that helped to make the genre so popularized in film, this is a much more serious, personal and almost melodramatic story (despite the third act losing that focus) that showed us a side of Wolverine we really hadn't seen before from its predecessors. The main plot of the film may not be as investing as some of the other films. But it's what Wolverine is going through and the current state that he's in that helps serve the story well and I find it really interesting.
The whole Japan setting I also think really adds in giving this film a cool, unique style to it as well. Because the visuals, art direction, set design and cinematography all make this film so aesthetically interesting for me.
Before we got Logan, this was really the first film in the series to push itself into showing us what the character of Wolverine is truly like in all his hardcore, brutal and badass glory. I mean there are some truly awesome, well-staged action set pieces in this film that James Mangold directs very well. They're intense, thrilling, a lot more entertaining than I remembered them being, and if you watch the "Unleashed Extended Cut" it's an even better experience with even more blood and violence.
So overall, I feel like The Wolverine has grown on me a bit. It does have its faults and is not by any means perfect. However, I think there's a lot more to this film than I think some people give credit for. Hugh Jackman is once again in top form in a film that helped us get to where we are today with R-rated comic book films being made exactly how they should.