Friday, September 13, 2013

You only live twice, bub: The Wolverine mini-review

It was either this or The Lone Ranger on the boat back from France. Sorry, Johnny...

The Wolverine exceeded my low expectations by not being as terrible as expected. 

Jackman is - if not the best of all possible Logans - still a pretty good one, the direction is solid in a post-Bourne style, and the film stays for most of the time where it works best - at street level. Flashbacks to Nagasaki even manage a little skillful pathos.

But oh my sweet Kung Fu Fighting does it stereotype Japan to all heck and back. All the men are either samurai, ninja, yakuza or plucky peasants (in the only scene in which it homages Karate Kid 2 rather than You Only Live Twice). All the women
are either righteous mangafied ninja or outwardly demure kimono-wearing secret ninja.

There are bullet trains, there are love hotels, there's a high-tech mountain fortress. And at one point someone actually tells Jackman, "You wouldn't understand - you're not Japanese."

Perhaps that explains the otherwise incomprehensible plot? 

Or maybe, just maybe, perhaps it's just a bad film.


  1. I was in Japan this summer and went on the bullet train numerous times. NOT ONCE was I attacked by yakuza or ninjas. I don't understand.