The movie and story begins as American bombers approach the doomed city of Nagasaki, Japan. The year is 1945 and the cargo those planes carry is one atomic bomb. As the planes creep eerily closer one Japanese officer releases American POW’s so they can seek cover. Then he goes to the solitary pit in the ground the holds the man who will become known as the Wolverine. The Wolverine having seen the kindness of this one Japanese officer pulls him into to the deep bunker to save his life. The bomb is dropped, the Japanese officer and the Wolverine emerge together and witness to utter devastation wrought upon Nagasaki. Fast forward to today.
The kind Japanese officer has grown into Japan’s number one industrialist and he is near death. For some mystical unexplained reason the Wolverine is eternal. The dying industrialist wants some of what the Wolverine has and that becomes the pivotal point of the film.
This is another offering from Marvel and therefore reality is pretty much whatever they want it to be. Along the path of this fantastic fantasy the Wolverine portrayed superbly by Hugh Jackman befriends a wildly cute red haired Japanese martial arts super star Yukio played by the emerging talent Rila Fukushima. He also becomes enamored with the industrialist’s lovely daughter Mariko played by Tao Okamoto. As the story is told a dark nemesis The Viper as played by the lovely Svetlana Khodchenkova causes havoc on a regular basis before inevitably being vanquished.
The is, of course, a happy-ish ending after a two hour roller coaster ride of action, adventure and highly entertaining fantasy. It also was shot it seems mostly in Japan which on a personal note evoked some very happy memories for me having spent as I did a bit more than a year of my life in that truly amazing country. The Wolverine is a pure fun fantasy film perfect for a hot summer day. It is not likely to get much notice from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences except perhaps in special effects which are fantastic. But all that said The Wolverine is well worth your time and money.
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