The Wolverine is a surprising movie in some respects. Not in terms of the plot; there’s pretty much nothing in this movie that you won’t see coming. But rather in terms of how brutal it’s willing to be, and how much it lets Hugh Jackman play to his strengths. Unfortunately, the third act throws ninjas and a giant robot at us, and nearly derails the whole thing.
It’s a familiar plot, mind you; a tough guy, stuck in a foreign land, struggling with his past decisions, and discovering the means to move on and some asses to kick. It’s a sturdy form, though, and it’s perfectly suited for the strengths of its lead.
It doesn’t help that the big Wolvie/ninjas fight was obviously cut to ribbons in the editing room, probably because it was completely unnecessary. Similarly, the giant robot bit, it’s not a surprise with the big twist, and the movie can’t even be bothered to pretend we’re supposed to be surprised, although there is some killer CGI and acting work at the end. At least it’s not boring, which is more than I can say for some of this franchise’s low points.
And, oh yes, there’s a post-credits teaser at the end. And it’s going to warm the cockles of the heart of every X-fan. I won’t spoil it here, but even if the movie stank, it’d be worth that money just to see that teaser.