I am not a comics fan. When X-Men was released in 2000, I stayed away from the movie. Later, I was hooked to the series after watching the excerpts on a long flight. The movie is about a group of misfits and teamwork. X-men are talented but it only makes sense when they are all working together. Among the X-men, Wolverine/Logan is the person who stands out because he hates teamwork. He can easily survive alone. With the unique talent of longevity that comes with self healing power, he has been doing that for centuries. So it is no surprise when the maker decide to create a spin-off from the X-men series featuring only the moody loner, Wolverine/Logan.
The role of Wolverine/Logan has been safe with Hugh Jackman for over a decade now. It is not only the physique but also the intensity brought into the role that has made us love Hugh Jackman's Wolverine/Logan. But the first outing, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, introducing the spin off was a letdown. Although it featured a lot of action scenes, it failed to connect emotionally. I thought the series was dead after the fiasco. When you are talking about Wolverine, all sins are pardoned when the next trailer is launched. Luckily, they have changed the director in the second outing.
This time, James Mangold is at the helm as the director. With him on-board, I hoped he would combine drama and action in this series just like how he did it in the remake of 3:10 to Yuma. Unfortunately for us, James Mangold infuses a lot of drama but fails in the action department. The movie starts off at an unspecified time after X-Men: The Last Stand has ended. At this point of time, Logan is a disillusioned warrior longing for Jean Grey(Famke Janssen). When the immortality has driven Logan into a recluse, Yoshida beckons him to Japan to bid farewell. Upon reaching Japan, Logan has to protect Mariko(Tao Okamonto) from Yakuza and Viper with the help of Yukio(Rila Fukushima).
To watch Logan struggle with his demons is interesting. It makes the character more human. In the end, a lot of fleeting appearances of Jean Grey at many places in the movie spoils the experience. When the director and the script writers focuses on Logan's struggle, they spend less efforts on bringing a strong villain to movie thereby forgetting the series is also about action. By moving the setting to Japan, it provides an opportunity to match Logan's adamantium claws with samurai swords. The only action sequence that stands out is the fight on top of the bullet train. The first action sequence during the funeral is also good. But the shaky camera and the 3D works against it. This movie would have been far more enjoyable if the makers had used the traditional approach.
The most exciting part of the movie is the post credits. Luckily you don't have to wait an eternity for this portion to come. This is when Professor X(Patrick Stewart) and Magento(Ian McKellen) shows up to set the stage for the next one. I advice you to skip this one and wait for the next instalment. The man who started it all, Bryan Singer, is back as the director. Moreover, the cast is a mix of the oldies (featuring some of Bryan's initial cast and Matthew Vaughn's cast from X Men: First Class. The next installment is worth waiting for.