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The Wolverine

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Click for larger ImageThe Wolverine is yet another chapter in the life of Logan as the strong-as-granite Wolverine with the long claws of steel. Based on the Marvel Comics series, we find Logan (the mutant Wolverine) on a journey to Japan where a visit to his past is a road to his future.

Recalling his past, Logan has a vision of when he was a prisoner in Nagasaki during World War II. He sees in his mind the image of the atomic bomb exploding and when he threw himself on top of a Japanese soldier and saved his life.

That soldier is Yashida (Hal Yamanouchi), an eccentric and wealthy industrialist who controls those around him. When he sends a delegate to fetch Logan, he is curious to find out what Yashida wants from him. He unborrows himself from his snowy shelter and makes the journey.

Yukio (Rila Fukushima), Yashida’s stand-in body- guard, fetches Logan from the airport. She becomes a huge part of the story not only emotionally, but physically. Fukushima does a great job in bringing this character alive.

When Logan learns that Yashida wants Logan's immortality in exchange for his death, Logan is surprised. Yashida understands that Logan has rarely had any peace in his chaotic life and assures Logan death with bring him peace. Logan refuses and the plot is set in motion. Family issues arise as Yashido is facing death. Who will inherent his empire – his partner or his cultured granddaughter Mariko (Tao Okamoto)?

When grandpa dies, Mariko’s life is in danger right away. At the funeral procession dozens of samurai sword-swishing yakuza and ninjas come after her and Logan. Logan really has his work cut out for him. Yukio is right beside him or working defense close by. Their choreography is amazing.

The movie is one fast thrill ride, with Jackman leading the parade and seemingly more comfortable as Wolverine than each time in the past. He certainly looks the part and one can only wonder how many trips to the gym he made to be so buffed up.

Another interesting character in the film is Viper (Svetlana Khodchenkova), who is immune to toxins, has a past history with Logan and has snake-like qualities. She's a real threat throughout the movie but extremely vivid and funny in Logan's battle with the big robot.

Director James Mangold does an excellent job here and all the hundreds of others involved in the filmmaking definitely earned their pay- check. Whether a returning Wolverine fan or a newbie, neither will be disappointed with The Wolverine.

Reel Facts

The Wolverine

Studio: 20th Century Fox

Gazette Grade: B+

MPAA: “PG-13”
for violence, foul language and sexual situations

 Who Should Go: Fans of the series.

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