There’s plenty happening at the movies this week, but Peter Travers knows you only really care about the big one: The Wolverine. Of course there’s certain to be some pause about another solo Wolverine film following 2009’s total stink-fest, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, but Travers is happy to say The Wolverine stays out of the scum bucket.
Based on a 1982 comic that Frank Miller had a hand in creating, the movie finds Wolverine in Japan, out of his element and falling in love. While some might complain that there’s a bit too much exposition and not enough action, Travers says he was pleased with both the script and director James Mangold (Walk the Line, 3:10 to Yuma). “He knows what he’s doing, and he gets a lot of juice out of Hugh Jackman,” says Travers, who praises Jackman’s performance as his best turn as Wolverine.
In the film, Wolverine ends up losing his powers, including his immortality, and while we know he isn’t going to die, Travers says, “It’s nice to see Wolfie taken down a little bit of a peg. It’s also nice to see him fall in love with this Japanese girl who is lovely and who gives the movie another kind of quality.” Travers explains that while Wolverine may have killed his great love Jean Gray in X-Men: The Last Stand, Famke Janssen reprises her role as a ghostly presence to help tie the movie together.
While Travers is bummed by anticlimactic final third of The Wolverine, “where it’s just all action, all banging metal, just what destroyed the end of Man of Steel,” he gives the film a pass. “I’m not saying it’s the greatest X-Men movie, but I’m saying it’s not the worst. There’s still a little life in this baby yet.”