Near the end of the new trailer for the upcoming summer, superhero extravaganza that is The Wolverine, one can hear the line “sometimes eternity can be a curse” uttered by someone who I’m certain wishes nothing but the best for our main character. Now, he’s talking about Wolverine, the individual– everyone’s favorite cigar-chomping, beer-guzzling, adamantium-claw sprouting, “bub” uttering, regenerating, immortal superhero. Yet, it does seem he could be talking about the problem with Wolverine, the character. The X-Men film series, until 2011’s X-Men: First Class, seemed to hang their emphases on Wolverine’s appeal, while never-failing to realize that the concept of him carrying his own film was a mere pipe dream. He’s invulnerable, taciturn, difficult to connect with and at times, kind of an asshole.
He’s a character that seems to work best, at least on film, when surrounded by other characters with whom he can interact. Of course, that knowledge hasn’t prevented the creation of X-Men Origins: Wolverine, 20th Century Fox’s eventual decision to refuse said film ever existed (The internet, huh. All those crazy rumors.), and the creation of a new Wolverine movie, creatively titled The Wolverine.
The first trailer released for The Wolverine was…less than stellar. It seemed to be all action, no plot. Now we have another trailer in attempt to stir up some excitement for the film in the hope that The Wolverine won’t just become the summer movie that’s not Man of Steel or Iron Man 3.
Check out the trailer here:
The trailer opens with Wolverine in bed with…wait for it…Jean Grey (Famke Janssen). Surprise! Except it’s a dream sequence, which considering she seems to really just be there to nag him, psychologically torment him, and then get stabbed by his premature ejaculating claws, he may be better off with her dead. Alas, the only thing keeping Wolverine warm at night is his fabulous, fabulous beard.
Next, we see a female, Asian ninja who convinces Wolverine to come with her by stating she’s looking for him, then slicing a chair leg and a beer bottle. Despite the fact that he cannot die and killing inanimate objects is hardly an impressive feat, Wolverine apparently decides to see what this crazy chick has up her sleeve. If only she’d used her sword to have off that Grizzly Adams facial hair, all would be well.
As it turns out, Crazy Ninja Chick’s employer wants to give Wolverine a gift. I know, I know. What do you get for the mutant who has everything (including massive brooding skills)? Well, fear not. This guy knows just what an unkillable mutant would want, what everyone always wants but is afraid to request: the icy, welcoming respite of the grave. Now, the twist? This guy’s doing this as a thank-you. See Wolverine saved his life once, and what better to repay that saving someone’s life than snuffing out your savior’s existence? A fruit basket? A cheese of the month club? Nope, it’s death or nothing.
I know this is based on Chris Claremont and Frank Miller’s storyline that was collected in “Wolverine” Nos. #1-4 (1982), but, I must admit, it’s a comic book unread by me, so I’m approaching this plot as a major, major novice. Maybe that disqualifies me from talking about this trailer effectively, but the film should appeal to viewers beyond the X-Men initiated, right?
Okay, don’t get me wrong. I know Wolverine’s been pretty down since he killed his beloved, uncontrollably psychotic Jean Grey (not to mention starred in a Brett Ratner movie), and seeing Wolverine mortal could add some interesting shading and much-needed vulnerability to his character. But it’s hard to buy that he’d be so willing to give up being invincible. I mean, come on. Later, though, he seems kinda bummed that he doesn’t recover from wounds the way he used to, so maybe he had second thoughts, but the trailer doesn’t make that clear. I think he may just be seriously over-emphasizing Jean’s awesomeness. She’s neither his first nor last love & she wasn’t that great. I know you killed her and all, but let it go. At the very least, it gives Hugh Jackman a chance to do his iconic scream, so it’s got that going for it. I’m beginning to think he screams like that every morning regardless, just out of habit.
After that, we get some fighting and explosions, followed by…some fighting and explosions, ooh but then we end with some…fighting and…well, you see where I’m going here. Then, we conclude with some fighting and- Holy shit is that a giant, metal, claw-wielding, robot? I guess it’s just a guy in a metal suit, but it sure looks like a robot, right?
What’s that I hear? Oh, it’s The Destroyer from the end of Thor calling. He says you’re freaking him out, and he’s staying in Asgard, if it’s all the same to Loki.
I may be coming off a bit snarky here, but don’t be fooled. I want this film to be good. I want every film to be good, actually. The world’s a better place when good films are plentiful. Hugh Jackman’s a likable screen presence, a likable off screen presence, and I root for him to have box office success. However, despite claims that lessons have been learned from the overwhelmingly, “We hate you guys!” vibe fans hurled at X-Men Origins: Wolverine like sharp, jagged rocks that crack skulls and leave abrasions, this film seems to be just more of the same. Prove me wrong, The Wolverine. Prove me wrong.
Update 07/30/13: As it turns out, I was totally wrong about this film. I liked it quite a bit. Check out my review here
So, what do you think guys? Am I being too hard on this film? Do you think it looks awesome? Let us know in the comments!