"The Wolverine" came out over the weekend with Hugh Jackman reprising the indestructible, never-aging Logan for the sixth-time.
With so many other big blockbusters out this summer, we were originally going to wait for this one to come out on-demand. However, our eyebrows were raised when some were calling it the superhero film of the summer— better than "Iron Man" and "Man of Steel"— so we had to check it out for ourselves.
It was better than expected.
After nearly four years, we forgot how iconic Jackman's Wolverine character is onscreen. By the end, we were wondering why more people weren't excited for this film. Sure, it isn't without it's flaws, but it was definitely enjoyable.
Here's why it's worth checking out. (Warning: Spoilers do follow.)
1. Many thought it was going to be a continuation of 2009's origin story, but that's not the case. It tells a good singular "X-Men" character story.
After 2006's "X-Men: The Last Stand," fans never received closure on how Logan dealt with killing the love of his life, Jean.
Here, we see him grapple with that decision. Though the dream sequences of Famke Janssen in a white dress conjure images of Lori from "The Walking Dead," we needed to see that so it made sense for him to move on in the next film, "Days of Future Past."
2. The film never gets too serious.
This isn't a Warner Bros. D.C. Nolan film. Early on in the film there's a short bathtub scene where the Wolverine is being "disinfected" and cleaned up and Jackman shares that he feels violated.
Later, when he's weakened we see him look domesticated, struggling as a momentary lumberjack.
There's also another funny scene where Jackman stays at a Japanese "love hotel" and must select between a dungeon, nurse, and mission-to-mars themed room.
3. There are great fight sequences that don't overdo it — the train scene.
Before the film opened in theaters, we were hearing a lot about this anticipated train scene, so we had pretty high expectations.
"The Wolverine" didn't disappoint.
Not only does Jackman slash his way through a train car, but he then hangs from the side before flipping him and another body onto the vehicle's roof.
We've seen some cool train fights in "Skyfall" and "The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3," but those weren't on bullet trains flying 300 mph where the characters were flying through the air with timed precision.
Plus, the scene doesn't go on forever like the final battle in "Man of Steel."
Here's part of the scene:
4. Hugh Jackman's classic Wolverine lines.
We've gotten so used to seeing snarky Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) on screen as Iron Man that we kind of forgot Jackman first played a wise-cracking superhero back in 2000.
One example of this is when Jackman addresses Mariko (Tao Okamoto) who refuses to acknowledge she's being hunted down: "You can't pretend s--- isn't happening when it is princess."
There's also a great part where Jackman gives a guy an ultimatum to explain himself with nine words. When he doesn't give the response he wants, he punches him square in the face before tossing him out a window.
5. Its global appeal.
The majority of "The Wolverine" takes place in Japan giving it worldwide appeal at the box office. A lot of the film has Japanese subtitles or none at all — a rarity in summer blockbusters that are usually catered toward American audiences. (Yes, we know "Iron Man 3" added in some scenes in China.)
So far, the film has earned nearly double its gross overseas.
6. You probably forgot that other than all the slicing and dicing, the Wolverine is actually the ultimate superhero.
Bullets and a broken back could stop Batman, Kryptonite can be lethal to Superman, and Iron Man without the suit is just a man. However, The Wolverine is pretty unstoppable.
Other than the train scene, a funeral fight, and a showdown with ninjas, there's a scene where we witness the impressiveness of Logan's immortality — something he sees as a curse until the film's end — when swords are thrust through him multiple times.
7. There's an awesome scene after the film previewing next year's "X-Men: Days of Future Past."
Staying after the credits has not been a trend this year at the movies, but "The Wolverine" changes that.
Magneto (Ian McKellen) and Professor Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart) — who supposedly died in 2006's "X-Men 3: The Last Stand"— approach Wolverine for a mission after the credits begin to role.
"There are dark forces," says Magneto. "Human forces building weapons that could bring about the end of our kind."
The film comes out next May.
So far, this is all we know about the film:
"The X-Men send Wolverine to the past to change a major historical event that could globally impact man and mutant kind."
A viral site for the the movie was launched along with this teaser trailer:
It's not all perfect.
The film features a bow-and-arrow slinging ninja reminiscent of Jeremy Renner's Hawkeye from "The Avengers" which felt a bit stale.
Other than the Silver Samurai scene at the end which feels a lot like the Batman / Bane scene in "The Dark Knight Rises" (a slight "darkness is your alley" nod), the Viper villainess (Svetlana Khodchenkova) felt all too familiar.