The Wolverine, sequel to X-Men Origins: Wolverine and the sixth at bat for Hugh Jackman, is an underplayed success. The buzz around this film claims that it is a mild let down, both in financial return and plot. This critic disagrees with both accounts. The Wolverine was a solid flick and no one is going broke.
We have learned (thanks to IMDB) that the film was made for roughly $100 million. This is the lowest budget when compared to its predecessors. X-Men Origins: Wolverine cost $150 million. The new band of characters picking up the torch in X-Men: First Class came in at $160 million.
In The Wolverine’s first three days, it grossed $55 million in the United States alone. It came in at No. 1 with no substantial competition. It appears to be a win in name only.
The foreign opening of the film did the best business out of the entire six-installment X-Men movie series. An $86 million dollar foreign box office opening brings the total up to $141 million. Everyone gets paid and no one goes home a loser. This flick is going to play well in the weeks to come, so don’t feel bad if you hear the grosses weren’t what studio execs hoped for.
I promise the math is done now. If you hung in there this long, you’re a real fan and we have lots to discuss.
The Wolverine works on several levels as both a film and a character. The most important being that Logan is a loner. The character lends itself to stand alone projects, making solo Wolverine movies possible. As the breakaway star in the original X-Men cinematic ventures, Hugh Jackman and Wolverine have formed a great rhythm.
For comic book fanboys like myself, the plot of this feature is perfect. This film follows Wolverine to Japan where he must confront several seemingly insurmountable terrors. The classic 80’s mini-series on which the film is loosely based defines the character. He finds love, honor, and purpose in Japan.
Jackman plays a character depressed and alone. Set after the events of X-Men The Last Stand, Logan is haunted by the memories of Jean Grey (aka Phoenix). Sunken from the deaths of friends and loved ones, he regresses to the wild. Wolverine returns to his feral state, living isolated from civilization. Like the Japanese Saga circa 1980’s, it is his trip to the Land of the Rising Sun that helps tame him again. Learning the honor of the samurai gives him focus. Falling in love grants Logan purpose and renews his belief in humanity.
What we have here is a solid flick that can stand on its own as a hit. Hugh Jackman makes you glad good actors are playing our superheroes again.
Furthermore, there are mutated goodies, some we knew of and others we never thought about. For example, Wolverine’s bone claws are coated in the strongest metal on earth. Thus, if sliced through the bone would be revealed…Interesting.
Do yourself a favor and check this flick out.
At the end of the flick there is a scene set two years from the close of the film you just watched. In that scene, our favorite hero with too much iron in his diet is walking through a metal detector. Waiting in line behind him is an old friend with a penchant for metallic things. Before too long, a long lost, “follicley”-impaired gentleman joins him. Without saying too much, it was awesome and leads into the upcoming installment X-Men: Days of Future Past.
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