The Wolverine follows Logan to Japan where he is summoned to meet a friend from the past. Little does he know the physical and personal conflicts that are ahead of him will show him not only what it is like to be mortal, but they shape who he is destined to be.
Going into The Wolverine I didn't really know what to expect. I knew it was a sequel to X-Men: The Last Stand and has Logan isolated after the X-Men disbanded and Jean Grey was killed. I also knew it took place in Japan. That was about it.
The film begins in WWII at the Nagasaki bombing where Logan is being held captive along with other American POW's by the Japanese. He saves the main villain, Yashida, from the blast and is later summoned by him to return to Japan when Yashida is an old, dying man. He tells Logan he wants to give him a gift of mortality and an ordinary death in exchange for the healing powers Logan possesses. That is the basic set up of this movie. As far as the plot goes I thought it was decent. Basically a man who was saved by a mutant became obsessed and wanted the power for himself. Pretty standard but solid. Everything else was just a bump in the road for Logan.
Acting wise I thought everyone did a pretty good job. Hugh Jackman, of course, did a great job as Wolverine. I don't think he will ever shake this role as long as he is able to do it. The only character I thought was a bit dumb was Viper, the poisonous mutant who was basically a biochemistry genius. Yashida uses Viper as a means to obtain Logan's healing powers and produce Adamantium.
I did like the flashbacks to Jean Grey, though. I thought they weren't overdone and they served a really nice purpose. It shows the struggle Logan has been dealing with.
There were things I didn't like, though. The main one was the ridiculous train sequence with the Yakuza trying to kill Yashida's granddaughter. I thought it was overdrawn and a bit ridiculous. Another was the whole Yakuza subplot in general. It gave Yashida's son, Shingen, a potential God complex in basically predicting everything that happened was going to happen before it even happened and placed precautionary measures years in advance. I really hate that in movies and it was very prevalent in The Wolverine with quite a few characters. The love plot between Logan and Mariko was forced, too, and Yukio's character and mutant abilities were severely underdeveloped.
Overall it was good despite the hiccups. Well, it was better than X-Men Origins. I wouldn't say this was a great movie but it did its job. Similar to the Hulk, I just think Wolverine is one of those characters that works best in an ensemble piece and not by himself. I have loved Wolverine in each of the X-Men films but when he's put out there by himself it just isn't the same.
There is one spoiler alert regarding an after credits scene, so click the jump to read on.
One thing I also have to mention is, like a moron, I didn't stay for the after credits scene. From what I have read it's basically a set-up for X-Men: Days of Future Past. Logan's consciousness is taken by Professor X from the state after The Wolverine and is transported into his previous body after an encounter with Magneto.