Tuesday, July 30, 2013

The Wolverine

I wanted to love this movie.  I love the comic book character, I love the X-Men comics, and I love the notion of taking the Wolverine character to Japan.  Hugh Jackman has juiced himself to a huge size and carries off the part pretty well, so I was prepared to love him as the Wolverine.  I fell for Rila Fukushima in the first trailer and could happily watch her read the yellow pages. 

I was ready to fall in love.

Instead, I had a good time and enjoyed the film, but I didn't love it.

Like almost all of this summer's blockbuster action flicks, The Wolverine focused almost entirely on fights and effects and moving characters here and there so they encounter interesting locales and difficult foes.  What the movie lacked, what so many of them have lacked, is an internally consistent story that makes sense and in which characters behave the way they really would.

I realize that the writers seem to be the least significant people working on major films, but I wish Hollywood would reconsider that approach and give us both great action scenes and superb stories. 

I also lament what appears to be the common wisdom these days about fights:  The way to make a fight better is to make it last longer.  No, that doesn't always work.  It really doesn't.  When you realize that you're fidgeting a bit during a fight that feels like it has just gone on too long, and when you further realize that the rest of the audience in the theater is doing the same, you have to question whether in fact the fight simply isn't too long.  Each major action sequence in The Wolverine suffers from this problem. 

Having said all that, I have to return to my earlier summary:  I enjoyed the film well enough, and I recommend it to those who like the Wolverine character.

I just wish I could have loved this movie.

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