The Wolverine – Released in Korea today

Every time I see Hugh Jackman, I can’t help but spare a thought for poor old Dougray Scott.  “Dougray who?” I hear you ask.  Exactly. You see, Dougray Scott was originally scheduled to play the Wolverine in the first X-Men back in 2000.  Not in a “he was in the running” way, but the gig was his.  However, scheduling conflicts led to him having to choose between playing dress up in X-Men or playing the main villain in Mission Impossible 2.  He chose MI:2 and the rest is history.  Hugh Jackman has gone onto to star in numerous Hollywood films, been nominated for an Oscar and made a ton of cash playing Wolverine in four X-Men films (OK, OK, Sorry Nerds.  Five films if you count X Men: First Class).  Jackman is returning to the character once again in the mutants second standalone film, The Wolverine, directed by James Mangold.

In an effort to distance themselves from the critical and commercial failure of X Men Origins: Wolverine, the film is set AFTER the events in X3: The Last Stand, where Logan has travelled to Japan.  There he faces his greatest battle after he loses his ability to heal and is forced to come to terms with his own mortality.  Deadly assassins, numerous ninjas and one of his greatest foes, the silver samurai await.

At one point, Darren Aronofsky was attached to direct and that had me very, very excited for the film.  Black Swan, The Wrestler and Requiem for a Dream are some of my favourite films so I would have loved to have seen what his take on the superhero genre would have been.  Family reasons were cited for his decision to leave the project and the director  of 3.10 to Yuma was brought on board. However, the word that sprang to mind after viewing the latest trailer was “meh”.  It consisted of several shots of Wolverine doing his signature scowl and that move where he tenses his muscles and flicks his claws out.  Basically, much of the same.

A lot of people blame studio interference for the lack of vision and quality in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, and I have no doubt that that was a factor.  Reports were rife of “suits” on set continually disagreeing with most of the decisions made by the director. However, I think the critical failure could also have something do with the fact that Wolverine, without the other X-Men, is just a little boring.

Of course I’m going to see the film, but to me, it is simply a teaser until X Men: Days of Future Past arrives.

original

(First published in July’s print edition of Groove Korea)

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Categories: Previews

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