The Wolverine

 
Thrilling, action-packed adventure treads dark waters.
  • Review Date: July 24, 2013
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Action/Adventure
  • Release Year: 2013
  • Running Time: 136 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

There's no shame in wanting to defend those who are disenfranchised and disempowered. And if you're made for that mission, you shouldn't -- and possibly can't -- avoid it.

Positive role models

Logan is a tortured soul, desperate to escape the immortality of being the Wolverine. But he's also a staunch defender of those who can't defend themselves or are persecuted by others, and he can't ignore his strong sense of justice. Yukio and Mariko are strong women who won't stand for evil overcoming good, even if it requires putting their lives on the line.

Violence

Lots of action violence in scene after scene, many of which involve knives, swords, and guns. Wolverine has metal claws that slash at his enemies, maiming and killing them. Soldiers gut themselves and others, and ninjas wield swords and engage in brutal hand-to-hand combat. Many, but not all, of the scenes are bloody and are accompanied by bone-crunching sounds. A massive explosion decimates the land in the first 10 minutes of the movie. A villain attacks by injecting venom in others; their skin turns yellow and blistery. Attackers shoot arrows into victims, and they're shown staggering around.

Sex

Some kissing and flirting. A couple is shown presumably after having sex, under covers cuddling together. A man is shown with two women at a private rendezvous, all of them kissing and in their underwear. A villain wears very revealing clothes and sometimes attacks her enemies with a passionate kiss that turns dangerous.

Language

Language includes infrequent use of "bitch," "s--t," "a--hole," "ass," "hell," "damn," "my God," and, in one particularly intense moment, "f--k."

Consumerism

Coors, Molson Canadian, and Audi make notable appearances. There are off-screen marketing/promotional tie-ins as well, with Adidas and other brands.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

A man drinks whisky alone to blast away his loneliness. Some drinking in bars and at parties.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that The Wolverine is a fascinating look at the iconic X-Men character and how his past intersects with his present. It's a bleak journey that's often punctuated with violence -- the action scenes are ferocious and vicious, with weapons (guns, knives, arrows, claws, and more), explosions, and bloody hand-to-hand combat -- and some melancholy. Expect some swearing ("s--t" and one use of "f--k"), a bit of drinking, and some romance (one scene shows three underwear-clad characters kissing each other) between the unrelenting action sequences.

What's the story?

Logan, aka The Wolverine (Hugh Jackman), is lost in the far reaches of the wilderness. Struggling with nightmares that plague him daily -- often starring his beloved, late Jean Grey (Famke Janssen) -- Logan wants out of his immortal, superhuman existence. But a stranger from Japan named Yukio (Rila Fukushima) won't let him be. After Logan avenges the death of a grizzly bear at the hands of a cruel hunter, Yukio finds him and spirits him to Japan at the behest of Yashida, a Japanese soldier in Nagasaki whom Logan had saved. Yashida is dying, and he longs for Logan's immortality. His death sparks a kidnapping attempt on the life of Mariko (Tao Okamoto), Yashida's granddaughter, which raises bigger questions that even Wolverine himself may not be able to answer.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Superhero movies often use their characters' pain as catalysts for more mind-bending (and sometimes mindless) action sequences. Not so with THE WOLVERINE, director James Mangold's venture into the X-Men canon. Here, Mangold informs the action with a relevant, significant look into Logan's origin story, turning the past into Wolverine's haunting -- and ultimately freeing -- present. Jackman is more than well-equipped to handle the complications. His beefy physique is in stark, affecting juxtaposition to Logan's vulnerability. And it's so nice to see an action movie in which the women aren't just window-dressing to be calmed and rescued after carnage. Fukushima and Okamoto stand shoulder to shoulder with Jackman, sometimes saving him from the brink. 

The Wolverine doesn't let its romantic plotline interfere with the action, which borders on the overwhelming. (Note to filmmakers: The violence doesn't have to be unremitting for a thriller to be thrilling.) The script still sounds wooden at times. But there's enough here to make us fall in love with Wolverine all over again (past appearances in previous disappointing outings notwithstanding). Stick around for the credits, too, which offer a tantalizing hint of things to come.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about whether the violence in this movie has more impact than that of the earlier X-Men movies. Why or why not? Does the violence serve the story?

  • How are Wolverine's fights different than those of characters with different powers/abilities? Is he comfortable with his strength? How does he control it?

  • Why is Logan so tortured by his identity as Wolverine? Are his feelings understandable?

  • What did you think of Viper's character? Did her outfit seem practical for a supervillain? Would she have had the same impact if she wasn't so sexualized, or does that make her seem even more evil? Why?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:July 26, 2013
DVD release date:December 3, 2013
Cast:Brian Tee, Famke Janssen, Hugh Jackman, Rila Fukushima
Director:James Mangold
Studio:Twentieth Century Fox
Genre:Action/Adventure
Topics:Superheroes
Run time:136 minutes
MPAA rating:PG-13
MPAA explanation:sequences of intense sci-fi action and violence, some sexuality and language

This review of The Wolverine was written by

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Quality

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Written byAnonymous February 13, 2015
age 14+
 

Dark and gruesome x-men spin off is an improvement on the first wolverine

My rating:PG-13 for violence,language,scary images,partial nudity and drug references
Parent of a 11 year old Written byFuture Critic 66 July 26, 2013
age 18+
 

The Wolverine: Not Suitable for chikdren 14 and under

I went to the midnight screening. I am not a follower any comic books, but I enjoy the comic book movies. I have enjoyed the past X-Men films because they do offer an escape from the real world and are meant to be entertaining. If people like a great action film with a decent plot they will not be disappointed with "The Wolverine." The action is great and the story is entertaining. The review of the films content is correct. Not for children under the age of 14.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 14 years old Written bySPE July 29, 2013
age 12+
 

AWESOME

this movie was EPIC though a little gory a times
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Teen, 14 years old Written bybranman894 August 4, 2013
age 13+
 

Wolverine is Barely 3 Stars.

Wolverine is a hard movie for me to rate. I didn't know whether to rate this 2 stars or 3. I ended up rating it 3 because Hugh Jackman is perfect as Wolverine and the special affects and fight scenes were great but the script is nothing new. The first part is actually good storywise but then the script goes downhill. And the final fight scene could have deffinitely been better script wise (you might see the one part I'm talking about). Overall I was disappointed with Wolverine but it was not terrible. And stay after the credits for one scene but only one. Sadly there isn't two after credit scenes like in the Avengers.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much swearing

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