This summer movie season Hugh Jackman reprises his iconic Marvel comics superhero role as Logan AKA ‘The Wolverine’. Fans got a sneak peek this past Tuesday evening at AMC Theater in Altamonte Springs. The story begins with Logan still tortured by memories of Jean Grey (Famke Janssen), telekinetic mutant and his lost love. He has chosen to become a solitary man cut off from society, living off the land in Canadian backwoods country. “He’s someone who has always marched to beat of his own drum but at the beginning of our movie he’s probably more isolated than you’ve ever seen Wolverine,” explains Jackman. “He’s disaffected with the world, because he was created as a weapon and he’s rebelling against that – and he feels that he is a danger to society.”
Conflicted by his ‘ inner wolf’ he has committed himself to a life of non violence, until he is faced with the need to set things right. His only ventures into town are for the occasional batteries for his radio, and this is where he’s spotted by a feisty kick- a*s girl named Yukio (Rila Fukushima). Yukio is on a mission to bring Logan back for a final visit with her dying boss Lord Yashida (Haruhiko Yamanouchi) whom Logan saved from the atomic bomb in Japan.
After some coaxing Yukio is able to urge Logan to return to Japan with her. Upon arriving Logan realizes Lord Yashida has another motive for wanting his return, he wants Logan’s immortality. Logan also meets a new love interest Mariko (Tao Okamoto) Yashido’s beautiful granddaughter. Desire for immortality and ultimate power sets off an epic battle of brains and brawn (mostly brawn), and soon puts Mariko,Logan, and Yukio in danger.
One key factor missing in many action flicks these days is too much focus on the action, and not enough character driven storytelling. Thankfully this is not the case for this latest installment of ‘The Wolverine’ . Director James Mangold says “What interested me about The Wolverine was doing something quite different from the standard superhero movie, where it’s about stopping a villain’s diabolical plot. In this story, the action and suspense are built more on character, and are woven into a world that makes for a completely different kind of experience, one that you haven’t seen before.” Mangold has achieved his goal of giving viewers “something different” with great characters who draw you in from the start of the film, and make you want to root for their victory! In this story Wolverine faces a formidable new enemy played by Russian actress Svetlana Khodchenkova as the beautiful green-eyed Viper, a cunning and treacherous mutant. The climactic ending features the Wolverine facing a towering Silver Samurai.
Shot in 3D the effects were a bit jumpy at times, but always exciting and well placed. Wolverine was filmed on an 80-day shoot between Japan and sound stages at the Fox Studios in Sydney, Australia. Setting much the film on location in Japan made for some very beautiful and authentic scenery. Mangold says he embraced the opportunity to take Logan directly into the heart of present-day Japan, which is as full of sleek, high-tech modernity as it is rife with deep traditions and hidden codes of honor. “This story takes Logan into a kind of fever dream of today’s Japan, full of Yakuza, Ninja, Samurai, Industrialist crime, mystery and mysticism,” the director explains.
Be sure to stay until the end, or you’ll miss crucial cameos’ by actors Ian McKeller and Patrick Stewart as Magneto and Professor Charles Xavier. If you love great characters and lots of action this movie is for you! ‘The Wolverine’ 3D opens in theaters everywhere, check your local listings for showtimes.