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Review: The Wolverine

Something a bit different this time around; a movie review.  It is difficult not to admire Hugh Jackman’s physique as he takes on the titular role here, flexing his Adamantium finger nails in a story that steps away – for the most part - from the normal super-hero fare.

The extended edition of The Wolverine is available as a digital download with the Blu-ray disc based version available on Wednesday 27th of November.

I’m somewhat of a X-Men novice, sticking (shock horror!) more to the DC line of comics and movie tie-ins (which, as Hollywood runs out of other script ideas, are becoming prolific), however The Wolverine has – in my opinion – always been one of the more nuanced of the mutants.

Less about a requirement to save the world this movie tackles a more individual sojourn.  Logan [Jackman] has abandoned his Wolverine identity and taken to the lone-wolf life with a daily existence consisting of foraging by day and dreaming of his time with Jean Grey [Famke Janssen] by night.

He is found by Yukio [Rila Fukushima] a fellow mutant with presence of the death of others.  Her mission to bring Logan back to Japan to meet up with Yashida, the dying head of a giant electronics giant, and as a young man, a Japanese soldier saved by Logan when the A-Bomb dropped on Nagasaki.

The movie explores the depression Logan has fallen into being immortal, while those he gets close to ultimately are hurt.  

The ailing Yashida offers Logan a way out, by exchanging his immortality with him.  Logan considers, but rejects the offer only to be affected by the draining breath of The Viper [Svetlana Khodchenkova].

Overlaying the emotional struggle are the machinations of Yashida’s son Noburo [Brian Lee] and his granddaughter Mariko [Tao Okamoto].  As is the want of any super-hero tale, the weak must be protected from the evil, in this case Logan must fight to ensure the safety of Mariko as she is hunted by her jealous father in the wake Yashida’s death and will to pass the corporation to Mariko.

In this Unleashed Extended Edition fans will get extra Wolfie goodness with extended action scenes, in particular plenty of ninja battles involving lots of leaping sword play.  These are the best comic-book style scenes with the later more, obligatory, climactic action descending into sequences that go on just a bit too long.

Visually the DHD version looks beautiful on a home cinema set-up, despite the amount of dark action scenes.  Audio is crisp and only slightly over the top with some clichéd sword swishing at times.

Logan takes a beating in this film, and the action is punctuated with more softer moments than the genre would normally allow.

At 126 minutes, I feel the standard edition of The Wolverine would get the movies message across in a length more befitting the content.  But for those looking for extra hairy action, check out the Unleashed Extended Edition.


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Mike Bantick

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Having failed to grow up Bantick continues to pursue his childish passions for creative writing, interactive entertainment and showing-off through adulthood. In 1994 Bantick began doing radio at Melbourne’s 102.7 3RRRFM, in 1997 transferring to become a core member of the technology show Byte Into It. In 2003 he wrote briefly for the The Age newspaper’s Green Guide, providing video game reviews. In 2004 Bantick wrote the news section of PC GameZone magazine. Since 2006 Bantick has provided gaming and tech lifestyle stories for iTWire.com, including interviews and opinion in the RadioactivIT section.