I am sad to report that this film was a shameful contribution to an already too slobbery Wolverine franchise. I usually respect director James Mangold for his visual decisions. I loved his 3:10 to Yuma, and Night and Day was just plain fun. Though not all great decisions, I did recognize some of his signature camera angles in this, his stunt tricks like killing off the same guys more than once, and his forced Christ-pose via tethered arrows. I was surprised at his choice to spare audiences the sight of blood, perhaps keeping it PG-13. The Wolverine’s 3-prong approach is usually a bloody business. Not here.
Perhaps we blame the cuts made on the editing floor – or rather the cuts that should have been made. The Venomous skin-peeler could have made fewer appearances, said almost no lines and still perfected her 80’s snake dance move at the end. Every scene took a mini-series pace. This movie made an episode of Downton seem rushed. Hugh Jackman, though I’m a great fan of his body…of work, could have left his one liners at the door and sung this. There’s an idea! Wolverine the musical!
Upon re-entry into Tokyo, it feels like a remake of The Karate Kid Part 2. Remember when Mr. Miyagi takes Danielson back to Okinawa? Ralph Macchio fights the angry cast off son, wins the girl who falls in love with him over a tea ceremony, and finally fights in the great battle at the end to the sound of spinning drums. It’s all here in this film. But I really missed that Peter Cetera song in this one. So, here you go: