For starters, this is not a prequel to X Men. That part was covered by X Men Origins : Wolverine directed by Gavin Hood. It starred Live Schreiber and of course Hugh Jackman. It is in fact based on a limited edition comic series by Chris Claremont and Frank Miller (300).
The story begins way behind @ Nagasaki where Logan has been trapped by the Japanese and shunted into a hole. Of course, most people fear him to no end. But when the Americans decide to convert Nagasaki into an even bigger hole, a soldier, Yashida (Hal Yamanouchi) decides to seek shelter in the same hole along with Logan – after some persuasion from Logan and refusing to commit Seppuku.
Many moons later – nearly 70 years I would guess – Logan, who has now decided to stay in the Yukon jungle gets a visit from a young Japanese girl Mariko (Tao Okamoto). She asks Logan to come with her to Japan to visit an old friend who is dying and wants to say goodbye in person. No points for guessing who this old friend is.
A very old Yashida tells Logan about why he has called him across the Pacific. He believes that there is a cure for Logan’s near immortality. One that has put our hero through a lot of pain. He also believes that the trait can be transferred. But before Logan can reply, Yashida kicks the bucket and leaves behind his whole empire (yep, our man is rolling in billions now) to his grand daughter – Shingen (Rila Fukushima).
James Mangold has several good movies to his credit in the past such as Girl, Interrupted! & Walk The Line. But he also has duds such as Knight & Day and average movies like Kate & Leopold to his credit. Wolverine falls somewhere in the middle of this pendulum of performances from a good director.
The action sequences are good. They are well shot. Atypical Wolverine style actually. Add to that some Japanese Kendo and Ninjas and you have a really solid action movie. Now, I haven’t read the limited edition comic book but the story on screen gets quite soppy. Full louv shouv happens between Shingen and Logan while the latter is protecting her from several people who are trying to send her up above.
Unfortunately, it is not the kind of romance that you have seen in previous X Men movies. This one was ill placed, not required and extremely mushy. For a bit, I was wondering if I was in the right hall. Barring those few minutes, Wolverine is a good watch for X Men fans and non-fans alike. Definitely worth a watch. 6 on 10 but could have been much better.
Watch the movie on http://www.imdb.com/video/imdb/vi2302846489/?ref_=tt_ov_vi