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‘The Wolverine’ gets a great character right

POSTED: August 2, 2013 11:50 a.m.

He’s the best there is at what he does. Let’s get reacquainted with “The Wolverine,” now in theaters.
Wolverine (Hugh Jackman), a well-loved Marvel Comics character who is appearing in a sixth movie, is a genetic mutant who has heightened senses, heals from almost anything and works with The X-Men.
What stands out about him the most, however, are his claws. Wolverine endured a painful process against his will in which adamantium, the strongest metal in the Marvel universe, was coated on his skeleton, including the retractable claws that came with the rest of his mutant powers.
“The Wolverine” follows the events of the 2006 film, “X-Men: The Last Stand.” In that one, Jean Grey, the woman Wolverine loves, loses control of her mental powers. To save the world, Wolverine is forced to kill Jean. This is something that still haunts him. OK, I was rolling my eyes every time Wolverine had a weepy vision of Jean Grey, but it fit the story.
When the new film opens, we see an episode from his past. Long before he ever met the X-men or got his adamantium, Wolverine was an American POW at Nagasaki. In a fantastic sequence, we see an atomic bomb about to fall on the Japanese city. The tables are quickly turned as a Japanese captor releases Wolverine from his cell. As payback, Wolverine, who calls himself Logan, uses his remarkable physiology to save the life of the man. But no good deed goes unpunished.
Growing up, Wolverine was my favorite Marvel Comics character. He’s one of the original anti-heroes. His sense of loyalty and duty are strong, but that doesn’t mean he has to have a good attitude while he’s doing the right thing.
All that being said, I was not a big fan of his first solo film, 2009’s “X-Men Origins: Wolverine.”  That picture had a solid opening sequence that revealed the character’s origin, which is interesting because for decades no one knew Logan’s real name and birth place. Still, something was off for me, and I wasn’t happy with the effort.
That’s why “The Wolverine” was such a pleasant surprise. Finally, filmmakers got it right!
It was exciting to see the Silver Samurai, a major nemesis of Wolverine’s, on the big screen, but he's a little too monolithic, making him almost cartoonish.
However, one of the best things about “The Wolverine” is the Easter egg that comes in the middle of the closing credits. Can you say “X-Men: Days of Future Past?”
I’m a fan!

McBrayer’s column appears weekly. Watch reviews at www.coastalcourier.com.

 

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