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Hugh Jackman sharpens his claws for the sixth time to play “The Wolverine.”
The story picks up after the death of Jean Grey who turned into the evil dark Phoenix in the third X-Men film, “X-Men: The Last Stand.” Audiences new to Wolverine’s story may find themselves confused if they haven’t seen X3.
They may be even more confused if they watch the films as they were released, which are not chronological. The previous Wolverine movie “X-Men Origins: Wolverine” takes place decades before this one.
My best advice is to make sure you watch the others first, and it shouldn’t be too hard because they are on television every other night.
In “The Wolverine,” Logan, aka Wolverine, is hiding out from the world in guilt for his part in the death of Grey (Famke Janssen). He was in love with her, but killing her was necessary to stop her from harming others.
Grey and other aspects of his past haunt him as he decides if he wants to continue to be a hero. Such internal struggle is a familiar story arc in superhero movies.
Wolverine finds himself in Japan at the request of someone he once saved and ends up fighting mutants and ninjas to protect a newfound friend.
He faces the evil mutant seductress Viper and fights alongside sword-wielding Yukio. A few other villainous surprises await for those unfamiliar with the Marvel universe.
Bursts of action are followed by long periods of dealing with Wolverine’s psyche. He also had to face the reality of moving past his feelings for Jean Grey, who he sees often in his dreams.
This “Wolverine” is a grown-up movie with themes and scenes that might be inappropriate for a younger crowd.
It strays from the typical X-Men formula with little mutant interaction and could stand apart without the X-Men label if it didn’t build on previous X-Men plots.
“The Wolverine” really serves as a holding piece. It’s a film to get fans back in the mutant mindset to prepare for the release of “X-Men: Days of Future Past” in May. Jackman will play Wolverine once again in that film, which is teased in the closing credits.
Men will see this film for the action. Women will go to see Jackman. In a summer filled with comic book heroes, this one won’t be heralded as the best, but it also can’t be considered the worst.
Becca Owsley can be reached at (270) 505-1741 or email@example.com. For movie reviews visit her reporter page on Facebook at www.facebook.com/pages/Becca-Owsley/96924584861.