Forget about X-MEN: ORGINS, we finally have a Wolverine movie that gets it (mostly) right.
We find Logan off in the woods, doing what he does: being a bearded hermit/hobo and trying to forget X3. Dreams of Famke Janssen won’t let him forget that shitstorm. He finds the best way to get over his troubles is doing what he does best; and what he does isn’t very nice.
Soon after arriving in Japan at the request of dying man he saved as the second atomic bomb landed on Nagasaki in World World II, Logan gets embroiled in a slightly muddled narrative of kidnapping/assassinations/the-mob/business-scheming. Ideas like honor and family are bandied about, but are not followed through or straight up dropped.
While the plot might be mixed up, the rest of the film works outside a few small notes. Hugh Jackman continues to sell the character, giving a gravitas of man troubled by what he has had to do in the past. The rest of the perfomers do a great job, although Tao Okamato starts out shaky but comes through. The only misstep is Svetlana Khodchenkove (say that 5 times fast… I dare you) as Viper. PRETTY BLOND LADY SAY LINES! Where paycheck?
But this is an action movie – and action is where this movie kills it. The numerous sequences are well paced, inventive, and easy to follow. Even with a PG-13 rating, there is a very high body count accomplished through a variety of creative ways – great violence! Big props for having blood on Wolverine’s claws!
Best of all – the bullet train fight scene was high-speed, creative, and put a huge smile on my face. Even if the rest of the film was as bad as X3, this scene would still be worth it. Also worth it – stay during the credits for coda/DAYS OF FUTURE PAST set up that was welcome but a bit long for its purpose and a little too obviously sequel baiting. I could have used more of fighting in the snow but the way the scene ended was pretty damned cool.