LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - THV 11 Film Critic Jonathan Nettles sharpens his claws on The Wolverine.
The Wolverine is the, well, I've lost track of how many X-Men movies there have been. It starts with a flashback to a Japanese POW camp in World War 2. Two bombers are seen in the distance and we hear air raid sirens going off. Then we see our hero, Logan aka Wolverine in a pit that is covered with a heave steel lid. As the bombers get closer, a young Japanese soldier begins to release all of the prisoners so they can find refuge from the inevitable bombing run. He releases Logan, and when the bomb drops, we see that it is the Atomic bomb that is being dropped on the village of Nagasaki. Logan throws his former captor into his former cell and shields him from the blast.
Fast forward to decades later, years past the events of X-Men: The Last Stand and Logan is struggling to come to terms with his past and the loss of Jean Grey. He's living in the Alaskan wilderness. He's tracked down by a young Japanese girl who tells him that the man whose life he saved is dying and his last wish is to see Logan again. Reluctantly, Logan travels to his bedside and the man offers him the chance to become mortal. Logan doesn't get much choice in the matter as he learns that his powers have been suppressed during a kidnapping attempt on the man's daughter. The rest of the film shows us what would happen to an Adamantium clad, warrior who was previously unstoppable but is now very vulnerable. We also learn of a much more sinister plot to take Logan's powers forever.
The Wolverine is a much better film than X-Men Origins: Wolverine and while it's important to know the story of that film, it's not overly important to have seen it recently. It's also a good idea to be familiar with the key events of X-Men: The Last Stand. This movie has a lot of action but it also has a few scenes that drag. In the marketing, it's been billed as "The Wolverine movie fans have been waiting for" but I'm not sure that's exactly true. I always want more from these movies but only because I like them so much. It's a really good movie but you do have to remember that it is a comic book movie so you have to forgive a lot of things.
It's rated PG-13 for violence and a couple of sexual situations. I took my 12-year old son and there weren't any uncomfortable moments. There are a couple of scenes with scantily-clad women that did raise an eyebrow but it wasn't anything that most 12-year old boys haven't seen.
Stick around for a mid-credits scene that ties The Wolverine to the next X-Men film, X-Men: Days of Future Past.