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The Wolverine

Released

Latest Home Video

Dec 03, 2013

MPAA Rating:

PG-13


Run Time:

126

Director

James Mangold

Cast

Hugh Jackman

Will Yun Lee

Tao Okamoto

Famke Janssen

Studio

2013 Twentieth Century Fox

Official Website >>

Still shot from the movie: The Wolverine.

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Reviewed by

Overall C
ViolenceD+
SexC+
LanguageD+
Drugs/AlcoholC
Run Time126

Making the Grades

Slicing and dicing his way through another action adventure, Hugh Jackman personifies the Marvel Comics character known for his bladed knuckles and immortal body. Yet that ability to survive any battle and have your wounds magically heal is one that is weighing on Jimmy Logan (Wolverine’s “real” name). He has lived through years of sorrow whilst grieving the loss of his love Jean Gray (played by Famke Janssen in multiple flashbacks) and wishes that life could come to an end one day.

In the meantime he’s taken up residence in a cave in his northern home and native land, with only a bear for a friend and dressing in leftovers from Grizzly Adam’s closet. His depressing existence gets even worse after a group of thugs kills his bear (think of it as a big dog), so he pulverizes them in the local bar.

Then a strange turn of evens appears to offer Logan his death wish. Yashida (Ken Yamamura and Hal Yamanouchi), a former Japanese soldier who was once his captor in Nagasaki during World War II, sends a neon-haired woman named Mariko (Tao Okamoto) to bring the Wolverine back to Japan. Now a wealthy high-tech businessman, the POW camp guard was saved by Logan’s immortal being during the moment the atomic bomb was dropped on the city. Yet rather than counting his blessings for a life recovered, the aging Yashida has dwelled on the possibility of claiming the chemical that powers Logan’s endless life for his own benefit.

To bring his plan to reality, Yashida somehow employs the mutant Viper (Svetlana Khodchenkova) to remove Wolverine’s Get Out Of The Graveyard card and transfer it to him. (She has a tongue long enough to do an effective tonsillectomy, but the mechanism required to take our hero’s magical powers and transfer them to the dying old guy who is lying on a high tech bed of nails is just one of many plot points obscured in darkness.) Meanwhile Yashida’s daughter Yukio (Rila Fukushima) is positioned to take control of his massive corporation. She also seems to be a love interest for Logan—although the script once again muddles this possibility with more Jean Gray flashbacks. It also doesn’t help that Fukushima looks like she has just graduated high school while Jackman is starting to resemble your father’s Oldsmobile.

Lighter on action than some may expect, our brooding protagonist still gets plenty of opportunity to show off his blades and insert them into a variety of opponents. Add to this a bevy of Samurai swords and other weapons and you have good reason to expect confrontations resulting in deaths and injuries, often with detailed bloody effects. Overall it feels darker and more violent than other X-Men episodes. Jackman also gets to boldly use the token sexual expletive in this film (is this expected after his cameo in X-Men: First Class?), along with a few other profanities.

Of course this violence will likely be the biggest barrier to considering this film’s appropriateness for teen viewing. But there’s another consideration that seems to be an advancing plague in the superhero universe: Dull, brooding scenes devoid of the tongue-in-cheek humor that was once a subtle mainstay of this genre. First we saw Tony Stark get way too serious in Iron Man 3, then an agonizing Clark Kent in Man of Steel, and now we have Wolverine sadly soloing through a series of knife fights with the expectation of serious cinema. Really? Screenwriters everywhere, remember these characters fly with funny looking capes and soar in iron suits. Sure watching a superhero deal with his inner-demons is part of the genre, but when former CIA ops are having more fun than a guy with hairy bladed-knuckles, it’s time for a un-reality check.

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Discussion Ideas After The Movie

Teaching ideas and topics to discuss about The Wolverine.

Wolverine’s blades are made from a fictitious material called adamantium. According to the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe, “Adamantium is a virtually indestructible man-made steel alloy which does not occur in nature…. Adamantium is not an element: its properties do not qualify it for any known space on the Periodic Table of Elements.” What super material do you wish you could create? Do we have any materials similar to adamantium? Can you think of any real inventions inspired by fiction?

Why do you think superhero movies are becoming more serious? Is this trend more or less in keeping with the original comic book stories?

Trailers & Clips

Canadian Movie Ratings

BC
SK
14A Violence.
AB 14A Violence
MB 14A Not Recommended For Young Children, Violence.
ON PG Violence, Language May Offend, Not Recommended For Young Children.
QC 13+ Violence.
NB
NS
NL
PE
14A

Canadian Home Video Rating: 14A

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Details on home video releases of The Wolverine...

Home Video Notes: The Wolverine

Release Date: 3 December 2013

The Wolverine releases to home video in 2 packages:

The Wolverine: Blu-ray/DVD/Ultraviolet Combo Pack

- Theatrical (rated) version of the fillm

- Alternate Ending

- X-Men: Days of Future Past Set Tour

- The Path of the Ronin - an immersive feature following the journey of a hero without a past

- Theatrical Trailer

The Wolverine Unleashed Extended Edition - 3D: Blu-ray 3D/Blu-ray/DVD/Ultraviolet Digital Copy

- The Wolverine Unleashed (Extended, Unrated Cut of the film - advertised as, “More violent and hardcore than ever before.”)

- Alternate Ending

- X-Men: Days of Future Past Set Tour

- The Path of the Ronin - an immersive feature following the journey of a hero without a past

- Theatrical Trailer

- Audio Commentary by Director James Mangold

- Sync with The Wolverine Second Screen App for an interactive Second Screen experience

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