For those who remember the days when X-Men was first adapted into film back in 2000 by Bryan Singer, you may remember how seriously they took the source material and made as many nods to the fans as humanly possible. The first X-Men film really nailed that with a great selection of mutants and nods to the original series, and X-2 took it several steps further with a more engaging story and moments that left the fans begging for an encore. Then The Last Stand arrived, this time by Brett Ratner, and you know what hit the fan rather quickly. Sure, there will nods to the original series and some cool moments, but was it really necessary to go as far as it did? Tarnishing the Phoenix character? Killing Cyclops and Professor Xavier (who later came back)? Watering down the Juggernaut to nothing more than a walking penis? Well, that's what we were greeted with, and it's something that can never be forgiven. We won't even talk about X-Men Origins: Wolverine, which doesn't deserve a description, let alone deserve to be italicized or called a film. Seven years after The Last Stand, a sequel finally came out that served to deliver justice by being a stand-alone film outside of the world of mutants and into the mind of one of the series' most recognizable characters, the Wolverine. A steady departure from all the sloppiness that was The Last Stand (and the two great films before it), James Mangold's The Wolverine strived to become a continuation of the series by digging further into the personal quandaries of the Wolverine himself. After suffering from constant nightmares from manifestations of his former lover, Jean Gray, Logan (his self-adopted name) is invited to Japan to say a final farewell to the man he once saved from utter obliteration during the Nagasaki bombing. Yashida looks to spare Logan's pain by offering him a chance at becoming mortal, and finally being able to step outside of his immortal shoes and live a mortal life. Of course things don't go as planned and Logan finds himself embroiled in not only a power struggle between the Yakuza and Yashida's company, but at grips with his own mortality as his powers are slowly being taken away by an unknown force, making him vulnerable and utterly mortal. Amidst it all Logan must also deal with his inner struggle of death and wanting to let go of everything, as inspired by Jean. It's an overall exceptional story, and one that explains Wolverine better than Origins ever could. It was tightly told piece of yarn that really sold on the Wolverine character and his plight after the events of The Last Stand. And with a well-told story comes great moments that become memorable and talked about, moments that give the film this visceral aura of awesomeness. The Wolverine has exactly those types of moments, five as a matter of fact that make the wow the audience and possibly put the biggest grins possible on the fans. As part of the audience and a great fan, I was wowed and I most certainly grinned at what I saw. But along with great moments come moments that aren't so great, preferably moments that tried to sell a great illusion but didn't get the job done as expected. Every film has flaws, even The Wolverine, but most are minor. However, there is one big mistake that must be brought up and explained in full detail. It doesn't ruin the film for me, but someone else probably caught wind of it and had their enjoyment taken away instead. I'm issuing a Spoiler Warning in this article, which gives away crucial plot points and moments in the film. Be warned if you carry on with reading. Let's begin with the thing that were most effective, starting at #5.
Ryan Glenn is an amateur writer in pursuit of a career in both the writing and graphic design fields. He currently attends the Art Institutes of Illinois and looks to go back for a degree in journalism. A reader of an exhaustive library of books and an adept music and video game lover, there's no outlet of media that he isn't involved in or doesn't love.