SILVER SCREEN - The Beast That is The Wolverine

There's no contest to it that my favorite marvel hero is The Wolverine. I remember when I was four or five years old, every Sunday was X-men Day. I would watch the X-men animated series on the local TV Channel and watch Wolverine and the other X-men battle Magneto and the brotherhood. So when the first X-men movie came out in 2000, it was a dream come true. And instantly, Wolverine was my favorite. Hugh Jackman really gave life to the animated character that I have always known.

2 more X- men movies after, X-men origins: Wolverine was released. Here, we saw how James Howlett became Logan and how he got his adamantium claws. We also saw a few other mutants who would be his X-men buddies such as Cyclops, Professor X, and Gambit.

Now, in The Wolverine, we see Logan, possibly a few years, after X-men 3: The Last Stand, being hunted by his past. He has resolved into hiding and away from his peers. Logan has been living as a nomad but little did he know that someone has been shadowing him. The shadow, named Yukio, has been looking for Logan under the orders of Logan's old acquaintance. Logan is engulfed in a conflict which then makes him face demons from his past. The Wolverine stars the insanely talented Hugh Jackman, with Tao Okamoto, Rila Fukushima, Hiroyuki Sanada and Svetlana Khodchenkova. I watched it on its first screening day last night and here is what I thought about it:

The Wolverine

Directed by: James Mangold
Written by: Mark Bomback, Scott Frank and Christopher McQuarrie

Hugh Jackman as Logan/Wolverine
Rila Fukushima as Yukio
Tao Okamoto as Mariko Yashida
Hiroyuki Sanada as Shingen Yashida
Svetlana Khodchenkova as Viper
Hal Yamanouchi as Yashida

The story of The Wolverine was based on the Japanese Saga of the original Wolverine comic books. Though there are bit of changes, it was pretty much the same background and the same characters. However, you know when you follow a TV series or a comic series and the character goes for a little side trip and meets someone. That's how the movie feels like and I think that's what it just really is. However, I don't think the story of the The Wolverine has any deeper connection to the whole point of X-men saga. It's just his personal troubles and maybe that's also the reason why there was no X-men in the title unlike the his previous X-men movie (X-men Origins).

In The Wolverine we see a more bulky Logan, possibly because he's working with Asian actors who are not as tall as he is which makes him look bigger and stronger. Also, Hugh Jackman said, he really beefed up for this movie, even asking Dwayne Johnson, for tips on how to be gain more muscle. it may also be that they intended for Logan to look bigger possibly to indicate that Logan is more beastly when it comes to fighting his own demons.

Hugh Jackman returns as our favorite claw-wielding, metal boned, mutant. This time he battles personal demons on a side trip to Japan. He meets new friends, new enemies and new love. The last wolverine sighting we had was in X-men first class where a young Charles Xavier and Eric Lehnsherr were recruiting the first members of the X-men. I was excited to watch the Wolverine since I know Days of Futures Past will possible be in another year. I missed the brawny and bad ass Logan that was always tough and menacing. The Logan in this movie was more vulnerable and showed a bit more emotion, possibly due to the troubled past we have seen in the previous movies.

As I've said before, Hugh Jackman is insanely talented. Not just because he can act well, sing and dance too but because of the range that he can do. Every role he plays, he does it so well. From being a adamantium-clawed mutant in The Wolverine, to a suffering Jean Valjean in Les Miserables, even when he portrayed the Music legend, Peter Allen in the Boy from Oz. Though there is something in every role Hugh Jackman plays. It's like he puts a touch of himself in each role that you know it's a different character but it's still Hugh Jackman. And I think it's a trademark.

I also liked the whole Yukio-Logan relationship. Yukio, who in the comic book is a ninja assassin and has no special powers develops a liking to Logan. Although it was not noted in the movie, there is chemistry between the two. And Logan also made it clear that Yukio was his friend. Yukio, who was played by Asian supermodel Rila Fukushima, was such a bad ass. The red hair helped make her look like she stepped out of an anime and into the real world. I do like this relationship better than the Logan-Jubilee team up in the original animated series or the Logan-Rogue relationship which was featured in the first X-men movies. Maybe because Yukio is not a damsel in distress and can really be a useful sidekick for Logan.

Mariko Yashida, played by Tao Okamoto, was also not the average damsel in distress, since in the story she was trained in martial arts and knife throwing. However, her skills was not entirely utilized in the movie. maybe because two bad ass girls in one movie is too much. Though Logan falls in love with Mariko, we all know his heart still belongs with Jean Grey.

The other nice thing about this movie is the after credits clip. I won't say what it was because it was definitely worth watching but I will guarantee that X-men Days of futures Past is really happening. This is one of the most exciting stories in the whole X-men Saga.

The Wolverine opened last July 25, 2013. Catch it on theaters near you!

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