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Tom Tangney

'The Wolverine' has a few reasons to go on living

This week's Hollywood blockbuster-wannabe stars Hugh Jackman as "The Wolverine."

Jackman has already played the Wolverine in five other X-Men movies and now he's put on the killer claws for a sixth go-round. Only now, he's trying to forget who he is. Or at least, his character is.

The Wolverine is in a bit of a funk. He's still suffering nightmares over his dead love - he had to kill her to save the world - and he's sworn off any future violence as a result. He's also finding his virtual immortality an increasingly heavy burden. Life as a morose loner feels interminable, especially when it is.

Logan, that's the Wolverine's human name, is snapped out of his funk when he hears from an elderly Japanese tycoon who's life he once saved.

"I have wanted to repay you for the life you gave me. You have struggled long enough," he tells The Wolverine. "I can end your eternity, make you mortal."

Nothing makes you appreciate what you have, even begrudgingly, more than someone trying to take it from you. Logan decides he doesn't really want to die after all, so he spends the rest of the movie fighting ninjas, Yakuza (the Japanese mob) and mutants. The Asian setting leads to lots and lots of samurai swordplay and martial arts sequences.

And in a slight twist on the action movie standby - the fight on top of a moving train - Logan fights one bad guy on top of one of those bullet trains. Those adamantium claws come in handy when trying not to slip off a speeding train.

Logan also has a couple of Japanese beauties to keep him company, another reason to want to go on living, right?

"The Wolverine" is a perfectly competent comic book action movie but hardly exciting enough to generate much enthusiasm for. The climactic battle with a silver Samurai robot seems almost laughable in the wake of the impressive, giant robots in "Pacific Rim."

Unless you have a particular jones for Hugh Jackman, you might be better off waiting for his next incarnation in next summer's "X-Men: Days of Future Past."

Tom Tangney, KIRO Radio Host, Film & Media Critic
Tom Tangney is the co-host of The Tom and Curley Show on KIRO Radio and resident enthusiast of...everything. As the film and media critic on the Morning News on KIRO Radio, he espouses his love for books, movies, TV, art, pop culture, politics, sports, and Husky football.
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By day, you can hear Tom on KIRO Radio 97.3 FM, and by night, he sits in the dark, making snide comments about what he sees on the silver screen.

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