The Wolverine (2013)

This film was very different from the first Wolverine solo movie, in a good way. Rather than spend its time needlessly filling continuity gaps, it crafted a fairly standalone story of its own. It had a solid, cohesive character arc for Wolverine. It feels silly to say, but just having baseline competence in the script affects these sorts of action movies so much.

The Japanese setting was a really enjoyable part of the film; it added a lot of style and novelty to the franchise previously mired in North America. The film isn’t overloaded with action setpieces either, there’s plenty of breathing room and character moments. Jackman has chance to shine both in terms of his body and action, but also in dialogue and quiet character moments.

Honestly, the only part of the film I didn’t enjoy was towards the end of the third act, when it devolved into the kind of mindless action scenes that marred earlier entries in the series. I also felt the final villain wasn’t built-ups sufficiently, a shame, since I can see the idea behind the reveal.

Overall, this wasn’t an enormous triumph like “X:Men: First Class”, but it was definitely a triumph for this haphazard series. Just a smaller one!

I give it three atomic bombs, and a katana.

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