Hugh is back as the clawed mutant with an attitude of a lion and the heart of teddy. The movie steps forward from the array of prequels and origins and as such is a sequel of the fantastic finale to the trilogy X-Men: The Last Stand in which Logan is forced to kill Jean to save everyone.
The film begins with a tortured Logan having discarded his Wolverine side and being haunted by Jean’s (Famke Janssen) image and what he did to her. We are also shown that Logan was present in Nagasaki when the atomic bomb exploded and saved a man named Yashida. More than 50 years later, Yashida sends for Logan to bid him farewell before he dies. But instead of a peaceful dying man, he is faced with the choice to become mortal and eventually die like any human being. He finds himself perplexed into family affairs, assassinations, samurai warriors and lethal women.
First of all, let me say how much I love how non-white this movie is. It actually feels and breathes like Tokyo, hearing the native language and of course the best part is that they actually speak Japanese to each other. It is not concerned with Westernising anything. Well except for the fact that the whole idea is a Westernised notion of Japan anyway. But the film speaks more like an original Japanese film, rather than an American blockbuster. Tao Okamoto as Mariko, Logan’s love interest is as fresh as the movie, making the viewer long for Wolverine to move on with his life with this beautiful and kind girl. Famke Janssen, a sexual and vocal temptress as always, offers the great comparison between the past and the future, between Logan’s ghosts and his reasons to live. Svetlana Khodchenkova as Viper is a walking menace that even the macho-est man will fear. And finaly Rila Fukushima as Yukio becomes a great companion to Logan and an amazing friend and, well, bodyguard. She makes the unthinkable possible and breaks through the tough exterior of this troubled man and becomes a companion unlike any. Their age difference doesn’t do other than compliment the unlikely relationship between the two. I really hope there is a place for Yukio in the new film.
Secondly, the emotional journey of the Wolverine is an amazing rollercoaster. In this film prepare to see a broken man, who has given up on life and immortality. It’s only when he loses that immortality that he starts to see what is there worth living for. He, along with Jean, turned to ash and in this film he is able to be reborn as a new man, a man with a terrible, haunting past, but also a bright future. Logan is able to put his past behind him and embrace himself as what he is. A hero!
Everything in the story is flawless, seamless. All except for the mastermind behind this whole game. I found that watching the last scenes, I already knew what was going to happen, who was behind it all, and what it was really all about. Nonetheless it impressed me, made me relate, made me laugh out loud, made me jump with pain and horror at things happening to Logan and in the end walked out of the cinema wanting to be him.
As if the film wasn’t enough, we are treated with X-Men sweet surprises as Patrick Stewart and Sir Ian McKellen make a swift and brief appearance at their titular X-Men roles and give us a taster of the epic that’s about to happen with Days of the Future Past, the new film in the X-Men series, out in cinemas in 2014.