|Logan struggles to stay on bullet train|
THE WOLVERINE (2013). Director: James Mangold.
Logan, the mutant Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) from the X-Men, is determined to give up his violent ways after being forced to kill Jean Gray in X-Men: Last Stand. But this is a vow he has trouble keeping when he's summoned to Japan to say goodbye to a now-aged Japanese man, Yashida (Hal Yamanouchi) whose life he saved in Nagasaki during WW2. [Wolverine's healing factor keeps him forever young.] Yashida has studied mutants, and Wolverine in particular, and wants to steal away his immortality if he can. Wolverine is aided by a young lady with psychic powers named Yukio (Rita Fukushima) and tries to protect Yashida's grand-daughter, Mariko (Tao Okamoto), from attacks by the criminal organization, Yakuza, and a nasty lady mutant called Viper who has a literally poisonous tongue and can suck away men's life forces with a kiss. Late in the movie what appears at first to be a robot Silver Samurai shows up to engage Wolverine in battle. The Wolverine is a fairly standard action/super-hero movie with little new in it, and is not as good as the character's first solo feature nor such films as X-Men: First Class. It has one near-thrilling sequence when Logan has a battle with an assassin atop a speeding bullet train and the two engage in some nifty acrobatics while trying to kill one another, but the rest of the movie isn't on that level. There's a post-credit sequence wherein Magneto (Ian McKellen) and Professor X (Patrick Stewart) make an appearance [presumably leading into X-Men: Last Stand]. Jackman has nailed the character perfectly and turns in a very good performance, and the supporting cast, especially Svetlana Khodchenkova as Viper, are generally arresting.
Verdict: If you've seen one Wolverine, you've seen them all. **1/2.