Cast: Hugh Jackman, Liev Schreiber, Danny Huston, Will I Am, Lynn Collins; Director: Gavin Wood; Producers: Hugh Jackman, John Palermo, Lauren Schuler Donner, Ralph Winter; Screenwriters: David Benioff, Skip Woods; Music: Harry Gregson-Williams; Editor: Nicolas de Toth, Megan Gill; Genre: Action/ Fantasy/ Sci-Fi; Cinematography: Donald McAlpine; Distributor: Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation; Location: Otago, New Zealand; Running Time: 107 min.;
Technical Assessment: 3
Moral Assessment: 3
CINEMA Rating: For viewers 14 and above
In 1845 Logan and Victor (played as adults by Hugh Jackman and Live Schreiber) are shown as mutant half-brothers. Witnessing the murder of his father in their own home, the boy Logan discovers the deadly blades sprouting out of his knuckles and in his rage uses them for the first time, killing his father’s assassin. To dodge the murder charge, the two boys go on the run. Their closeness is demonstrated over the years as they fight side by side in the Civil War, World Wars I and II, and Vietnam. Booted out of the army in Vietnam, Logan and Victor are recruited into an elite team going on a secret operation led by army honcho Gen. William Stryker (Danny Huston). In Nigeria, however, Logan gets repulsed by the by Stryker’s atrocious methods and breaks away to lead the quiet and hidden life of a logger living with his lover Kayla (Lynn Collins). He is nonetheless found by Stryker who recruits him anew for a clandestine plan to create a Mutant of Mutants who will have all mutant powers. Meanwhile, Victor feels betrayed and abandoned by Logan and now turns into Logan’s enemy.
The action sequences in Wolverine are entertaining to watch. Like with all fantasy/sci-fi movies, if you wish to get your money’s worth, you need to suspend disbelief and to just savor the joy ride. Never mind if the movie doesn’t explain how the human body can manufacture steel blades that heed the command of anger. (Oh, we forget he’s a mutant.) If they can spread the technology it could come handy in the kitchen where you may want to chop firewood, or in the garden—to trim the hedges. But Wolverine is more sophisticated than that so this contraption is used to slice a helicopter’s rotor blades. Movie buffs who go for this genre will be thrilled to watch the adventures of this superhero; who cares about logic when what you seek is nonstop fantastic action? On the more serious side of movie making, Hugh Jackman serves as the redeeming factor of Wolverine: despite the fact that he is basically a tool in the action sequences, he takes his role seriously, as though he believed it could be real. That’s good for an actor, especially since the muscleman Jackman enjoys the support of countless female fans like the ones we sat next to in the theatre who would giggle, swoon, sigh, squeal or squeak every time the camera focuses on the actor’s physique.
We wonder, why the title? A wolverine is not a wolf, and Logan is not a werewolf. A wolverine, according to Encarta, is a “strong, dark-furred, usually solitary carnivore of the weasel family…” That harmless? Hmmm, maybe because “wolverine” just sounds nice. As we said, forget about logic. Anyway, the only saving grace CINEMA sees in yet another superhero is: this one refuses to be brutal without a cause. Now, that’s something. He would not work for a megalomaniac because he cannot stomach hurting innocent people—human beings who are simply counted as “collateral damage” by warmongering world powers. Despite his good heart, however, Logan/Wolverine registers as a pathetic idealist who is simply overpowered by evil elements around him. Superheroes need their memory, too, so what happens when they lose it?