Wolverine faces his ultimate nemesis - and tests of his physical, emotional, and mortal limits - in a life-changing voyage to modern-day Japan.
05 Feb The Wolverine (2013)
Sniffing the Dog that Went Before
There isn’t much to say about the ordinary features of this. It is a Marvel production and that means the world is dull in all aspects. They seem incapable of leaving safe territory, so this is more or less Michael Bay in the nineties.
But there is something interesting going on. The way these films are put together, I believe, is as a set of manufactured stereotypes for the world market. You can’t just target the US any more.
Of course you still have to have a baseline of American grit, with the structure of a Western. And you have to honk around with roles of women. Those are essential for this recipe.
What‘s interesting to me is the way the Japanese are handled. Japanese culture as filtered through film is a more powerful influence I think than even Europe minus Italians. Italian storytelling stands apart in film, and the influence is strong.
But not as strong as Ozu and Kurosawa. Heck, Japanese film makers even did French new wave better. So when a film wants to leave the underground of who invented what in the cinematic vocabulary and just shuffle stereotypes, but from the same world, it folds into something novel.
Our guy on the other side is a somewhat noble officer at a POW camp. Saved from The Bomb, he turns on his saviour because he wants the technology in his soul. One of the world‘s richest technology companies was created by this guy, but instead of the American Tony Stark model, he can only implement ideas from others. The genius in the picture is a Western woman, incidentally evil in ordinary ways, who is hired by our Japanese mogul.
Part of the stereotyping is that nothing is settled on the western side. Our hero hates his life of constant pain and remorse. Our western evil woman knows she is absolutely evil. But shift to the corrupt Japanese politician, the organized crime hoards, the Japanese boss, the rejected boyfriend… All these live in a world in which their actions are proper.
Posted in 2014
Ted’s Evaluation — 1 of 3: You can find something better to do with this part of your life.