The first time I became aware of Wolverine was when I was a six year-old school boy at St. Eugene’s P.S.
I found Wolverine at the bottom of a cardboard box during a jumble sale at the school. It was an event for pupils (now that I think of it, it was more for parents) to exchange their unwanted trinkets and toys for some currency.
With no more than £1 I managed to bag myself a fake spider, a book about dinosaurs and a Wolverine figurine. Myself and Wolverine, Logan, call him what you will, have been best friends ever since.
But all good things, even the strongest of friendships, come to an end.
My relationship with Wolverine was already on the ropes after X-Men Origins: Wolverine (a movie I liked more than most). Now after the horrifically boring The Wolverine, I have had to take an enforced break from my Adamantium-assembled amigo.
James Mangold, what have you done?
In 1945, Wolverine saves Japanese soldier, Yashida, from the atomic bombing of Nagasaki.
Years later and whilst living as a hermit in the hills of the Yukon, Wolverine is visited by Yukio (Rila Fukushima), who convinces him to return with her to Japan to say goodbye to his old friend, Yashida, who is dying.
Haunted by dreams of Jean Gray (Vamke Jansen) and after the death of his friend, Wolverine is forced to stay a little longer to protect his Yashida’s granddaughter (Tao Okamoto).
A power struggle ensues over who is to be the rightful heir of Yashida’s dynasty. Things aren’t as they seem and quicker than you can say ‘what an awful script’, Wolverine’s Adamantium claws are on the look out for some would-be amputees.
Wolverine is without question one of Marvel Comic’s most interesting characters. Like Batman, Wolverine is an anti-hero and refuses to adhere to the moral code of , say, Superman and Spiderman.
Wolverine represented everything I came to adore in a superhero: a reluctant team player, unapologetically violent and aggressive and forgive me... he drinks beer, smokes cigars and refers to the soon-to-be-departed as ‘bub’.
So, I ask you, how has director, James Mangold, managed to get it so wrong?
Instead of getting a character who slices and dices and asks questions later, we get a big soppy exoskeleton blanket of a mutant whose love life is more complex than that of a high- ranking Italian politician.
Mangold’s Wolverine would not have looked out of place in an episode of Dawson’s ‘I am misunderstood teenager obsessed with expressing every feeling I experience and I talk like an Oxford scholar’ Creek.
Then there’s Svetlana Khodchenkova’s Viper, who in my opinion, is one of the most pointless characters in a film ever, period.
Jessica Beale was rumoured to have been offered the part but after she turned down the role of Viper, Mangold et al decided to offer it to the Khodchenkova. Mangold could have done better had he cast Marylin Monroe’s corpse as Viper instead of the fist clenchingly mundane Khodchenkova.
The finale = awfulness squared!
Unfortunately, The Wolverine does not abide!
The Wolverine is currently showing at the Brunswick Moviebowl. For full cinema listings visit www.brunswickmoviebowl.com or telephone 028 71 371 999.
Verdict: 2/5 - I honestly can’t for the life of me work out how anyone can or could enjoy this film. It’s so mind- numbingly boring and instead of a slice-and-dice bloodthirsty anti-hero we get an emotional character who wouldn’t look out of a place on ‘Who Do You Think You Are?’ It’s not Jackman’s fault. The script and story are so bad they make the idea of letting your newborn child give his or her own take on the work of Shakespeare sound like a good idea. Wolverine needs saving!