action movie freak
"Nothing is without meaning."
(26 July 2013) Director: James Mangold
The Wolverine's visuals were really good—It was a mix of:
Seeing all the pain that Logan has gone through, we go in to this movie already invested. When I saw it, even though it had been out for a week already, the theater was packed and the anticipation was palpable as the excited murmuring built until the feature presentation started.
IMMORTALITY: A GIFT OR A CURSE?
A huge part of why this movie works so well is because we know The Wolverine's history and understand what he is going through. The opening finds him keeping to himself, still mourning the loss of Jean, and hiding from life. Through the history of how he saved Yashida at Nagasaki in World War II, we see a kind of inverse life experience to Logan's. As Yashida lays dying, he sends for Logan. Yashida has built an empire for his family, but money can't buy immortality, so Yashida tries to steal it. (I love how he tries to 'sell' Logan on the idea that eternity is a curse, and that making Logan mortal would be a 'gift'.)
They never really explain how what makes Logan immortal could be 'taken', or what is passing from Logan to Yashida at the end when Yashida goes from old to young (and back again). No matter. Apparently it could have been taken because only killing the Silver Samurai's power stops Yashida. Would Logan have died and then revived yet again? We don't know. We do know that Yashida turned out to be evil. This surprising turn of events galvanizes Logan. Combined with falling for Yashida's granddaugther Mariko, suddenly Logan has something to live for again. (How incredible is this thing?! The look of it and the construction and movement of it in the movie were flawless!)
The events in this movie heal Logan's soul, and bring him back to who he is. His strong value system, which was never gone, is reinvigorated with purpose by seeing his 'gift' of immortality nearly fall into the wrong hands. Instead of seeing being The Wolverine as a curse, he comes full circle to embrace his powers. "What they did to me, what I am, can't be undone." Indeed, not even by The Wolverine. He figuratively rips his 'heart' out, when he removes the 'bug' implanted by Viper. This is symbolic of getting Jean out of his system. Logan dies, and The Wolverine is reborn.
A particularly painful moment was when Logan's soul was laid bare. John Rambo came to mind as Yashida tried to influence Logan:
"You're a soldier, and you seek what all soldiers seek: An honorable death, an end to your pain."
have been Logan's state of mind, but
it was not his wish. The journey
of the character and our
investment in it are the
infallible success formula for
this movie. The rest is gravy.
(Here are some of the beautiful
cars and a very picturesque
Same thing with The Wolverine. The only thing taking me out of the moment was that when they weren't in a close up, they either hardly showed the claws, or the effect seemed really weak (blurry). That minor thing is really all I noticed because I was too busy enjoying absolutely everything else.
Can't get enough of The Wolverine? Movie Fanatic's got it covered, including interviews, featurettes, and a gallery.
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| Chad Stahelski + David Leitch