Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
'Thor: The Dark World' Director Alan Taylor Says His Marvel Experience Was "Particularly Wrenching" 'Thor: The Dark World' Director Alan Taylor Says His Marvel Experience Was "Particularly Wrenching" Watch: Anna Paquin Is Rescued In Clip From 'X-Men: Days of Future Past - The Rogue Cut' Watch: Anna Paquin Is Rescued In Clip From 'X-Men: Days of Future Past - The Rogue Cut' Kevin Feige Says 'Spider-Man 2' Is "One Of The Best Superhero Movies Ever," Talks John Hughes Influence On New Spidey Kevin Feige Says 'Spider-Man 2' Is "One Of The Best Superhero Movies Ever," Talks John Hughes Influence On New Spidey Watch: Live Your Ultimate Fantasy With The First NSFW Trailer For Gaspar Noe's 'Love' Watch: Live Your Ultimate Fantasy With The First NSFW Trailer For Gaspar Noe's 'Love' Review & Recap: ‘True Detective’ Season 2, Episode 2, ‘Night Finds You’ Review & Recap: ‘True Detective’ Season 2, Episode 2, ‘Night Finds You’ Terrence Malick’s ‘Knight Of Cups’ Won’t Arrive Until 2016, Austin Music Scene Drama Not Titled ‘Weightless’ Terrence Malick’s ‘Knight Of Cups’ Won’t Arrive Until 2016, Austin Music Scene Drama Not Titled ‘Weightless’ The Punisher Will Reportedly Appear As The Villain In ‘Daredevil’ Season 2 The Punisher Will Reportedly Appear As The Villain In ‘Daredevil’ Season 2 'Lucy 2' And 'Colombiana 2' Are In Development 'Lucy 2' And 'Colombiana 2' Are In Development Mixed Reactions For Marvel's 'Ant-Man' After First Press Screening Plus New Promos And Pics Mixed Reactions For Marvel's 'Ant-Man' After First Press Screening Plus New Promos And Pics The Essentials: The 5 Best Rachel McAdams Performances The Essentials: The 5 Best Rachel McAdams Performances Kevin Feige Says 'Spider-Man' Is "Definitely A Sony Picture," Talks Role Of 'Ant-Man' In Phase 3, More Kevin Feige Says 'Spider-Man' Is "Definitely A Sony Picture," Talks Role Of 'Ant-Man' In Phase 3, More First Reviews For 'Terminator Genisys' Suggest Franchise Didn't Need To Say "I'll Be Back" First Reviews For 'Terminator Genisys' Suggest Franchise Didn't Need To Say "I'll Be Back" Kit Harington & Dakota Fanning Replace Robert Pattinson & Mia Wasikowska In 'Brimstone' Kit Harington & Dakota Fanning Replace Robert Pattinson & Mia Wasikowska In 'Brimstone' The Essentials: The 5 Best Colin Farrell Perfomances The Essentials: The 5 Best Colin Farrell Perfomances The 25 Best Animated Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Animated Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 50 Best Films Of The Decade So Far The 50 Best Films Of The Decade So Far The 10 All-Time Best Episodes Of 'Parks And Recreation' The 10 All-Time Best Episodes Of 'Parks And Recreation' The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More

First Reviews For 'The Wolverine' Suggest That It's Simply Better Than 'X-Men Origins: Wolverine' But Not Much More

Photo of Kevin Jagernauth By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist July 17, 2013 at 1:02PM

So far for this superhero summer, Marvel hit a home-run with "Iron Man 3," Warner Bros. wiped the sweat off their brow and successfully rebooted Superman in "Man Of Steel" and now it's up to Fox to see if they revive Wolverine after fans and audiences nearly revolted after the revolting "X-Men Origins: Wolverine." And with Comic-Con about to kick off, and Fox doing one last push for the movie, hoping the crowd in San Diego will eat up their latest offering, they can't be happy with the early reviews that have started to arrive.
2
The Wolverine

So far for this superhero summer, Marvel hit a home-run with "Iron Man 3," Warner Bros. wiped the sweat off their brow and successfully rebooted Superman in "Man Of Steel" and now it's up to Fox to see if they revive Wolverine after fans and audiences nearly revolted after the revolting "X-Men Origins: Wolverine." And with Comic-Con about to kick off, and Fox doing one last push for the movie, hoping the crowd in San Diego will eat up their latest offering, they can't be happy with the early reviews that have started to arrive.

After a long campaign that has seen James Mangold promising or at least suggesting an arthouse-ier blockbuster, and with everyone involved kicking 'Origins' to the curb, it looks like "The Wolverine" is simply better than that movie and not much more. Of course, improving on 'Origins' is hardly a Herculean task, and many of the mixed reviews seem to strain to find the positive in what really sounds like another by-the-books, formulaic superhero outing. The fangs came out in this movie, but they don't seem to have much edge.

Anyway, we've round up the first batch of notices below. Thoughts? "The Wolverine" hits on July 26th.

Positive

Sci-Fi Now: " 'The Wolverine' manages the delicate balance of respect for the source and the convention of the genre, big top sensation, and an unlikely, heart-wrenching emotional punch."

Mixed

Bleeding Cool: "When it works, it really works. But for my money the pace is a shade uneven. Turning over the final act to an (admittedly thrilling) standard CGI smackdown of just the kind that the film has been skilfully avoiding for the past hour seems like a cop-out. 'The Wolverine' promises much. And gives you just enough to realise what you’re missing."

Den Of Geek: "But for the most part this is a good movie. It gets Wolverine in a way that the last film completely failed to. It has something to say about the character, and it says it. Because of that, we can mostly forgive the bizarre tone shift of the final reel, or the tics that weaken its presentation."

Total Film: "The good news? An improvement on Origins. The bad? Not as big an improvement as you were hoping for: perfectly decent, but ponderous too."

Twitch: "Jackman is on form, Mangold lends his solid if uninspired directing style and there's a great Kurosawa reference, but the film lacks the punch it needs. By aiming a little too high and not quite meeting its promise, 'The Wolverine' is a slight disappointment."

Flickering Myth: "Unfortunately though, the film is not without its flaws – most of which start to surface in the final third. While the script is fairly simple yet tidy initially, it starts to get quite clunky in the final half hour or so and feels as though more time could have been spent constructing a more suitable finale....The unique story coupled with beautiful scenery, an excellent supporting cast and berserker rage suited only to our favourite hero make this a film that anyone can enjoy – though I suspect that die-hard Wolverine fans may enjoy it a little more."

Empire: "An improvement on the last outing for Jackman’s not-so-merry mutant. If only it trusted enough in its unique setting to forgo a descent into aggressively awful formula."

Negative

The Telegraph: "Where is the quicksilver wit and lightness of touch of the Avengers and Iron Man films, or the formal ambition of Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy? The previous X-Men film, 'First Class,' was secure enough in its own skin to embrace its comic side. Mangold’s picture affects a pubescent snarl instead: that’s the difference between comic and daft."

Mirror: "Aside from the odd moment where our man flashes his claws, this looks like a burn-and-churn cheapie."

The Wolverine

This article is related to: The Wolverine, Hugh Jackman, James Mangold


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


E-Mail Updates