Slasher and sushi
Yes, I admit, it is tad bit unfair to relegate sushi to everything Japanese. But in all honesty that is what I was waiting for at the end of The Wolverine. The movie threatened to be dodgy enough with the tag line - The hero. The fugitive. The warrior. The survivor. The legend - but for a shirtless Hugh Jackman - you can pretty much forgive anything. Even Mangold for such a bad sequel to X-Men Origins: Wolverine.
The Wolverine opens with Logan (Hugh Jackman) living the life of a recluse after the death of Jean Grey (Famke Janssen) in X-Men: The Last Stand. He lives up in the mountains, surviving on whiskey and nightmares of Jean and Nagasaki. For those oblivious with Wolverine’s story, he was once a prisoner in Nagasaki when Fat Man dropped in 1945 and he saved a Japanese soldier from getting killed.
All these years later, that Japanese soldier - Yashida (Hal Yamanouchi) sends for Logan on his deathbed to repay the debt of a life saved. Red haired and fiery Yukoi (Rila Fukushima) comes for Logan, spouting some Jap Samurai sword wisdom she whisks Wolverine off to Tokyo. Oh, she can also foretell death.
Once the emotional rigmarole is over, one gets to know that Yashida, now the owner of the biggest software giant in Japan, wants to take Wolverine’s immortality away from him so as he can live forever and Wolverine can get the regular, ordinary, boring death he pines for. Alternately he also wants him to protect his granddaughter Mariko (Tao Okamoto). And then there is Jean Grey who keeps on appearing in his dreams asking him to come to her.
While the good part about the movie is that you can’t quite keep a finger on the real villain, the other sub-plots clash and collide with each other in a fight on top of a bullet train, a bunch of crazed black ninjas, a father who wants his daughter dead and Viper (Svetlana Khodchenkova). She is probably what one would get by mating Mystique with some lethal toxin, or with Nightcrawler.
Poisoned by Viper, Wolverine cannot heal after bullet injuries he sustains when Mariko is kidnapped by the Yakuza (Japanese Mafia - thank you Mafia Wars!). With Yukoi in tow Logan needs to rescue Mariko from Viper and fight off the Silver Samurai as well. And they lived happily ever after. End of story.
The Wolverine has nothing new to offer. No delectable insights into Logan’s past - X-Men Origins: Wolverine provided enough it seems, we could have lived without the Nagasaki story. Really. Jackman is in his mutant elements - he has the role of Wolverine ingrained in his genes by now, Janssen irks you with her role of Grey as she keeps asking Logan to kick the immortality bucket. Woe me! I thought Grey would have a tad bit more integrity after killing Cyclops. The rest of the movie tastes like rubbery bits of fish in a Makizushi.
We give it one star for the teaser post the movie and one for Jackman. The movie connects you to X-Men: Days of Future Past - and thank god for that! The movie will make absolutely no sense to you if you have not followed the X-Men saga in every available form. Take your call.