My daughters were both home this weekend, and asked to go to see The Wolverine. The greatest trick as a parent, is to raise kids who genuinely like the sorts of things you like, while still being 100 percent their own people. My girls are like that, as I am sure I have suggested in the past. The first thing my oldest asked when we picked her up from the Girl Scout Camp bus pickup on Friday, was 'can we see Wolverine?'. Actually, it was the second thing after... 'Let's get something to eat...', which I was also happy to hear and oblige.
We went to a regular matinee showing of the movie, and got away for just 21 bucks, so I didn't feel cheated or anything to begin with. I was seeing this movie with both of my girls, and we all had fun. Based just on those facts, this movie gets an above average rating from me. Having fun, or being able to enjoy something on some level that my girls also enjoyed is a primary factor in what I think of a movie.
Having said all of that up front, I really enjoyed the movie. It was not a perfect movie, but it hit an awful lot of the right notes, if not exactly how I would have hoped, it at least made an effort. I am not a super Wolverine fan, or a wolverine comics historian, but I was reading X-Men and getting wolverine mini series back in the 80's, and I did like Wolverine in Japan quite a lot when I was younger.
The movie gives us a solid wolverine in Japan experience. He meets a lot of significant people from the comics, and fights versions of recognizable villains from the comics as well, modified somewhat to fit into the movie reality. We get ninjas and some intrigue, in addition to seeing different aspects of the country it is set in.
I liked that it was sort of a checklist of wolverine character notes:
Wolverine is a wildman who has lived apart from people
Wolverine is a top of the food chain predator, but is respectful of animals and they are respectful of him.
The guy has a code, and pity the fools that violate it.
Wolverine is loyal and a good guy at heart. He will stick up for people in danger and jeopardy wherever he can
Wolverine is a soldier, and always has been. at his core, fighting for a cause is a thing he will always come back to.
I thought the movie showed good character insight, had enjoyable interactions, a bit of humor, and good action. It was easily worth seeing at the matinee.