What a relief I had viewing this film. “X-men Origins: Wolverine” was the most disappointing film I have ever seen, and it soiled the X-men’s pride and joy character. I could honestly go on forever telling you why it was so bad, but instead I’ll just say “The Wolverine” is the redemption that humanity and I desperately needed to regain faith in X-men films.

Rather than be the over reaching cliché adventure which I’ve complained about in movies like “Man of Steel”, “The Wolverine” focuses almost exclusively on Wolverine and his struggle with near immortality and the past in conjunction with the family feud at hand. Like the previous Wolverine film, a look into Wolverine’s past during wartime makes for a great introduction, but here it is more relevant to the story. There’s a post traumatic romance you can see coming, but the rest of it is unpredictable enough with a twist which might keep you guessing for a while too. Wolverine as always, is a smart-ass.

Japan as a scenery makes for an exotic breath of fresh air, with more interesting character dynamics than any previous Wolverine engagement. Wolverine’s killing of Jean in X-men’s third installment hangs over him in somewhat “Inception” fashion, but it works, and it makes Wolverine’s story much more compelling. The action sequences, as expected, are really fun. Throw in some Ninjas and Yakuza gangsters and you’ll do fine with just about anything. It’s a pleasant departure from expected mutant fighting. I’m not sure they quite nailed how to finish out the film, but I suppose it’s a cliff hanger in appropriate Wolverine loner style.

While “The Wolverine” isn’t a masterpiece or even worthy of “Avengers” like blockbuster, it is the perfect excuse for Hugh Jackman and Marvel in the future to keep giving the fans what they like–more badass Wolverine and whoever else wants to tag along. As long as this is the low benchmark for what constitutes a decent film, then by all means plug along in the name of more wild profit!

*Don’t miss the scene after the first credits*

8.3/10