Richard Roeper Blog

REVIEW: “The Wolverine”

I’m Richard Roeper and coming up next, Hugh Jackman is all sideburns, claws and abs as “The Wolverine.” My review right now.

What when happens when the Wolverine is rendered nearly human and declawed? He becomes much more interesting.

44-year-old Hugh Jackson man is so ripped he’d blend in among NFL prospects half his age at a scouting combine, and he kills it in the action scenes—but this Wolverine is more than just gruff growling and big brawls. He’s got a heart.

Working from the blueprint of a popular comic book story arc from the early 1980s, “The Wolverine” finds Logan out of the soldiering game, still reeling from having to kill the love of his life, Jean Grey, played by Famke Janssen.

Logan is living more like a wolf than a man in the Yukon–but he’s pulled back into action when he’s asked to say his goodbyes to the most powerful man in Japan, whose life Logan once saved.

Soon Logan is rendered nearly human even as he tries to save the old man’s granddaughter from the Yakuza and he finds a new romance along the way. Further complicating matters is Viper, the sultry, evil vixen with the toxic breath.

Director James Mangold nimbly walks the tightrope between authentic, sometimes dense exposition, and first-rate action. This is a serious, sometimes dark and deliberately paced story. It’s only in the final 15 minutes or so when “The Wolverine” gets kinda ridiculous.

As to whether you should stick around after the initial round of credits for a bonus scene with some applause-inducing cameos: of course you should.

I give “The Wolverine” a B.

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