Tomorrow is the big day. I'm not going to be seeing it until next week, but The Wolverine opens in theatres, nation-wide Friday.
Hugh Jackman has said, while promoting the movie, that it's not so much 'Wolverine 2' but a fresh movie, taking place after the original X-Men trilogy. That's probably a good idea since X-Men Origins: Wolverine didn't make a lot of impact at the box office.
Jackman's previous work in the X-Men franchise had me sold already, so I'd go see it even if it wasn't stellar, but I have hopes that it will be. Thanks to Jackman, we know this won't be a Wolverine - Part 2, so what exactly can we expect?
Here are 6 things I'm pretty confident we can count on:
6. an awesome Silver Samurai
If the still photos and the previews are any indication, Silver Samurai will be an epic villain, more intimidating than in the comics and formidable than in the animated series.
He almost looks like a larger, robotic version of the character we've seen in previous incarnations.
I'm all for a couple of changes for the big screen as long as it's an improvement.
5. several sword fights
The movie is set in Japan with several foreign characters, so sword fights are pretty much a given. I'm assuming several characters will know how to handle a sword.
Let's hope these sword fights are feverishly awesome.
Hugh Jackman has proven that he's up for pretty much anything directors throw his way, so maybe he'll even wield a sword.
4. a new cast of mutants
I haven't read every Wolverine comic book, but I don't recall a slew of notable Japanese mutants. Just like in X3, I think we'll see a few completely original mutant foes and allies.
Since Wolverine is probably the only character from the previous movies that is appearing in this movie, that leaves a lot of room for some new mutants to make their mark.
Even if they do use characters with previous comic book appearances, like Viper, they'll be new to the X-Men franchise and the big screen.
With the exception of Sabretooth, in the first X-Men movie, I've been pleased with how the comic book characters ended up in the movies, so I'm looking forward to seeing how those in charge do this time around.
3. a very ripped Hugh Jackman
Hugh Jackman said he lost a lot of weight while filming Les Misérables. In order to beef up for his role in The Wolverine, he called up his pal, The Rock.
If you've seen Pain & Gain, G.I. Joe 2, Snitch, Fast 6 or even his photos on Twitter, The Rock is a straight-up beast. If Jackman implemented even a small portion of The Rock's diet and training regime, he'll probably be ripped more than a pair of rocker jeans from the 1980s.
2. a banged up Wolverine
SPOILER ALERT! Well -- a minor one. If you've seen any of the trailers, you probably already know this. If not, go ahead and skip below to number one.
I don't like knowing much about my super hero movies before I see them in the theatre, but when a trailer for The Wolverine came up before I saw Iron Man 3, I wasn't about to look away.
Somehow, in this movie, Wolverine loses his healing powers -- at least temporarily. Based on the trailer, it looks like Wolverine takes quite a beating in this movie. Without his healing powers, you can bet Wolverine will be nursing some wounds by the end of it.
1. an open ending
I think Hugh Jackman could probably be convinced to come back and play Wolverine one more time, especially if The Wolverine does well at the box office. Unlike other actors, he doesn't seem bored, even after playing the character time and time again. In fact, he seems to be enjoying it more with each movie.
However, this could very well be the last movie starring Jackman as Wolverine that there is. That means the ending of the movie will probably have some elements of conclusion, but will probably end in an open-ended kind of way in case a sequel is made.
The writers in charge of this script had a hefty task with this movie, whether they realized it or not. If you look at the movies chronologically, if no sequel is made to this movie, this will be the last X-Men movie. X-Men: First Class, X-Men: Days of Future Past, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, X-Men, X2, X3: The Last Stand, and, lastly, The Wolverine.
I'm hoping the writers realized this and came up with a satisfying ending that simultaneously leaves room for a possible sequel and closes out the franchise properly.
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• Iron Man 3 - reviewed.