The Wolverine: Movie Review
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The Wolverine is the sixth film in the X-Men franchise. It tries to take a deeper look at one of the most popular mutants, Logan, the self-healing, immortal Wolverine. The movie's somewhat of a mess – story-wise, character-wise, morally and theologically.
Taking place after the events of X-Men: The Last Stand, The Wolverine begins with Logan living as a filthy mountain man in the Canadian wilderness. Logan is still haunted by the fact he had to kill his "girlfriend gone evil," Jean Grey. Logan now wanders around aimless and depressed, with no purpose. Until, however, he's approached by Yukio, a young Japanese woman sent by her boss to find Logan. Her boss is Shingen Yashida, a man whose life Logan had saved in World War II and is now one of Japan's most powerful captialists. Yukio was sent to bring Logan to Shingen so he could say one last goodbye to Wolverine and thank him for saving his life. (For more of the plot, including spoilers, go to movieguide.org.)
The Wolverine tries to show a deeper, darker and more emotional side to Logan. Sadly, the filmmakers fail to do this on almost every level. Logan's character arc fails to show any substance or value that can inspire the audience. Also, the villain lacks logical motivation for his actions. Hence, his character becomes too incomprehensible. To make up for these character deficits, the movie simply relies on colorful visuals and intense action sequences. It thus fails to live up to the standards of the previous X-Men movies, which are much better and were often awarded by MOVIEGUIDE(r) at our Annual Faith & Values Awards Gala & Report to the Entertainment Industry.
Set in Japan, The Wolverine contains a lot of Eastern mysticism, showing Buddhist rituals and Eastern traditions. All this ultimately promotes a pagan worldview. Some of the plot elements rely on the idea of the transmigration of the soul and a Japanese woman who sees the future. Also, the main characters make immoral, illogical decisions. Logan doesn't seem to have any moral code other than, "Don't hurt my friends." This lack of immorality is shown when he sleeps with the woman he's trying to save, for no reason at all. Worse than that, he dreams of Jean when he is with the other woman.
That said, Logan is always willing to fight the bad guys and even risk his own life to do so. This aspect of heroism does align with the biblical worldview of standing and fighting for others, but it's ultimately marred by some gruesome and even graphic violence, implied sexuality and foul language. So, extreme caution for The Wolverine is advised.
NOTE from Dr. Ted Baehr, publisher of Movieguide Magazine. For more information from a Christian perspective, order the latest Movieguide Magazine by calling 1-800-899-6684(MOVI) or visit our website at www.movieguide.org. Movieguide is dedicated to redeeming the values of Hollywood by informing parents about today's movies and entertainment and by showing media executives and artists that family-friendly and even Christian-friendly movies do best at the box office year in and year out. Movieguide now offers an online subscription to its magazine version, at www.movieguide.org. The magazine, which comes out 25 times a year, contains many informative articles and reviews that help parents train their children to be media-wise consumers.
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