Greatest Movie Series
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The "X-Men" Films
(Wolverine Spin-Offs)




The Wolverine (2013)

X-Men Films (Original Series)
X-Men (2000) | X2: X-Men United (2003) | X-Men: The Last Stand (2006)
X-Men: First Class (2011) | X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014) | X-Men: Apocalypse (2016)

X-Men Films (Wolverine Spin-Offs)
X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009) | The Wolverine (2013) | Logan (2017)

X-Men Films (Other Spin-Offs)
Deadpool (2016)

The "X-Men" Films (Wolverine Spin-Offs)

The Wolverine (2013)
d. James Mangold, 126 minutes

Film Plot Summary

During a dream-induced flashback, the date was August 9, 1945, and the setting: a US POW camp in Nagasaki, Japan, where 'Wolverine' Logan (Hugh Jackman) was imprisoned. Just before the atom bomb was dropped by B-29 bombers to end WWII, one of the camp's commanders, Ichirō Yashida (Ken Yamamura as youth), frantically freed dozens of captured American soldiers from their cells. After Yashida's dutiful comrades committed ritualistic suicide, Logan saved Yashida from the fireball blast by shielding him within his underground, iron-lined well that served as his prison cell. Although Logan was severely burned by the blast, he rapidly healed.

In the present day (about 70 years later), and after leaving the X-Men, retreating hermit and loner Logan (living in the remote Yukon of the Canadian wilderness) was also tormented, in another troubling dream from his past, by the memory of killing his lover Jean Grey (Famke Janssen) seven years earlier, in order to save the world (see the conclusion of X-Men: The Last Stand (2006)). During this second hallucination (a dream within a dream), although he had vowed to her: "I'll never hurt you or anyone ever again," he realized that he had thrust his adamantium claws into her abdomen and she was dying.

In the isolated Yukon town nearby, Logan was annoyed as he watched a group of obnoxiously-drunken hunters preparing to shoot game in the mountains. Later that night, he came upon the men's camp where he found multiple ripped-apart bodies, and his wild, gigantic grizzly bear friend nearby was lethally wounded (a poisoned arrow stuck out of its back). After putting the bear out of its misery, he returned to town and confronted the sole surviving hunter telling his sordid tale in a bar. Logan accused the hunter of using illegally-poisoned broadhead arrows, with an inadequate dose of poison (causing the ailing and crazed bear to go on a killing rampage). He thrust the arrow through the lying hunter's hand into a table, explaining that if it wasn't poisoned, there was nothing to be concerned about ("In that case, you got nothing to worry about").

When attacked by others in the bar, Logan was aided by a red-haired Japanese woman named Yukio (Rila Fukushima), a mutant who offered an example of her ability to precognitively foresee people's deaths. She wielded a samurai sword, and told how the ancient sword was called Danzan (meaning Separator), because the weapon could separate heads and limbs from bodies. After threatening the bar patrons, Logan joined Yukio as she drove off in her rental car. She explained how she had tracked his whereabouts for over a year - she had been sent by her employer, elderly Master Yashida, now the CEO of a technology-related financial conglomerate (zaibatsu) in Tokyo known as Yashida Industries, who was dying of cancer and wanted to see Logan before his death, to thank him for saving his life years ago. Although Logan was reluctant to travel, she explained how she viewed him as a soldier: "You seek what all soldiers do...An honorable death. An end to your pain."

After a 15 hour jet flight to Tokyo, Wolverine prepared to meet the ailing Ichiro Yashida (Haruhiko Yamanouchi as elderly man) at his palatial, well-guarded mansion. He was in the company of his son, corporate rival Shingen Yashida (Hiroyuki Sanada) who was a Kendo expert, and Shingen's daughter Mariko Yashida (Tao Okamoto), Ichiro's distraught and grieving granddaughter. On his deathbed, Ichiro spoke to Logan about offering him a gift: "To offer you something no one else can. A gift to equal the life you gave to me." He claimed he was not ready to die, and proposed to transfer the Wolverine's life-giving mutation of immortality (and healing) into his own body (to cure him of his cancer) - and to make the Wolverine mortal once again:

"Eternity can be a curse. It hasn't been easy for you, living without time. The losses you have had to suffer. A man can run out of things to live for. Lose his purpose. Become a ronin. A samurai without a master. I can end your eternity. Make you mortal...You have struggled long enough, Logan."

Yashida claimed he was not ready to die, either at Nagasaki or now. Upset and confused about the proposal to receive mortality, Logan refused to give up his curse: "What they did to me, what I am, can't be undone...Are you offering to kill me?...You don't want what I got."

As Logan exited the deathbed area, he witnessed Shingen coldly slap his daughter Mariko, and quickly prevented her from suicidally jumping to her death from the balcony. That night, while again dreaming about Jean, Logan was shocked when - during a kiss - she morphed into the face of Yashida's blonde oncologist, Dr. Green (Svetlana Khodchenkova) - revealed later as a mutant known as Viper. [Note: It appeared that she had deposited or injected something deep into his throat with her snake-like tongue, to affect his healing ability. He dismissed it as part of his dream.] When Logan was startled awake, he watched as Yashida's corpse was wheeled away from the estate.

During the stately funeral of Yashida in Tokyo, Logan sensed that something was wrong (he identified tattooed Yakuza assassins with guns disguised as robed priests in the midst of the proceedings). As he approached to save Mariko from danger and kidnapping, he was shot and hit multiple times. He was assisted by Yashida's loyal bodyguard Kenuichio Harada (Will Yun Lee), a lone archer who was perched with his bow and arrows on a roof-top - Harada was Mariko's former boyfriend (when they were children) and the head of the Black Ninja Clan. He had whispered to Yashida's spirit: "I pledge to you, Master Yashida, to be vigilant and to dedicate my life to protect Mariko."

Logan pursued the kidnapped Mariko from the funeral temple area as he fought off the Yakuza, with Yukio's aid - and with Harada following close behind racing across rooftops. The two escaped into the urban streets of Tokyo, and into the Ueno Station. When Mariko thanked Logan, declared she was fine and ran off, he followed her onto a bullet train about to depart, and warned her about the futility of flight to her home in the South (at "the end of the line"), where she would inevitably be traced. In the train's rest room, Logan realized that his serious wounds did not appear to heal as quickly as usual - he asked himself: "What the hell is happening?" As he exited, four more Yakuza soldiers confronted him - he retaliated by fighting them off, and pushing most of them to their deaths through a hole ripped in the side of the train. Although he was also sucked out the opening himself, he was able to kill the final attacker atop the train, and then recovered and returned to his seat.

Logan and Mariko exited the train to find a safe place to hide and to avoid further Yakuza assaults. They sought refuge in a local seedy 'love hotel' - as she slept in the "Mission to Mars" room, he stood watch outdoors on the balcony in the rain, and eventually passed out from his injuries during another hallucinatory visit from Jean. When he regained consciousness, he was being operated upon (to remove bullet fragments) by love motel owner Meiko's young grandson Hitoshi, a veterinarian student. Logan noted: "I never needed this before...I'm not getting better, not like before" - and he suspected Dr. Green as the cause: "She did this to me."

Meanwhile, in a dark alleyway in Tokyo, Dr. Green (appearing as a prostitute) and Yashida's bodyguard Harada met, where she demonstrated her power over him by blowing a green vapor onto his face. As Viper, she demanded his compliance: "Bring me the mutant...Where is Logan? I am not done with him." She bragged about how she had taken Logan's powers of immortality away: "I suppressed his power so he could be taken." She ordered Harada to find Logan and Mariko immediately: "Just find them, before the Yakuza."

Mariko and Logan arrived in a small town just outside of Nagasaki, at her grandfather's old home. During her home-cooked dinner, she explained how in three days time, her grandfather's will would be read. She had been told it would name her as the head of Yashida Industries: "I will become the most powerful person in Japan. He gave it all to me." Logan asked about her fiancee in an arranged marriage (by her father for political purposes) - the Minister of Justice Noburo Mori (Brian Tee), whom Logan called an "asshole." Meanwhile, she was unaware that her father Shingen was conspiring with her corrupted fiancee to hire kidnappers to locate and eliminate her - so that Ichiro's will, to be revealed in only a few days, would leave control of the company to Shingen and not to her.

After helping some locals chop wood, Logan realized that he was at the site of the POW camp from 70 years earlier. He walked over to the capped, metal-lined well, and had flashbacked memories to the day of the nuclear blast when he had saved Ichiro Yashida, Mariko's grandfather. He recalled that Yashida had given him his samurai sword as thanks, but he had refused the generous offer: "Keep it safe. Keep it safe for me. Someday I'll come get it." As they climbed out of the well, they gazed at the devastated, burning city of Nagasaki.

When Mariko approached, Logan told her: "I was here when it happened. It's how I met your grandfather." She spoke about how peace had eventually come to the land after so many years. When she asked about his nightmares and questioned: "Who's Jean?", he didn't answer her. Back in the house during a night storm, they continued their previous conversation. Revealing his more human and soft side, Logan spoke about how her grandfather had rightly called him a ronin - "a samurai without a master. He said I was destined to live forever, with no reason to live." When she asked: "Still?", they kissed for the first time and slept together.

During another dreamy delusion, Jean warned: "This isn't gonna end well. Everyone you love dies." He was startled awake next to Mariko, who compared him to kuzuri: "An animal. A fierce creature with long claws and sharp teeth. It fears nothing." She recalled how her grandfather had told her that he was a kuzuri at the bottom of the well who was "magical and saved his life." Likewise, she felt protected by him. And then again, she asked: "Who's Jean?" He finally answered that "she died. I killed her. Along with the Kuzuri." Many miles away, Yukio had a fearful vision about Logan.

The next morning, Logan awoke without Mariko at his side. He found her screaming outside - apprehended and being driven away by Yakuza gangsters. After he chased after her and was shot in the leg, he was able to grab one of the assailants and toss him from the car as it sped off. Logan questioned the man on the ground ("Where are they taking her?"), and was next seen entering Yukio's car. He demanded to be taken to Mariko's corrupted fiancee: "Take me to Noburo." When they arrived outside Noburo's headquarters, she warned of Logan's impending death: "I saw you die...I see you on your back. There's blood everywhere. You're holding your own heart in your hand. It's not beating." He responded that many had tried to kill him before and that he was still around. Against his wishes, because she claimed that he had become vulnerable, she accompanied him as his back-up and bodyguard.

Inside, they found Mariko's fiancee with two Caucasian female prostitutes in a state of undress, getting drunk and ready to have sex. In a threatening and confrontational manner, Logan asked why Noburo would want his fiancee killed by the Yakuza. Noburo blamed Mariko's father for the plot to kill his own daughter: "Shingen. Shingen!" Noburo explained how in Yashida's final days, he had spent billions on stockpiling adamantium to prolong his life (he was obsessed with The Wolverine), and thereby almost bankrupted Yashida Industries ("Shingen lied, protected the old man, concealed the debt from stockholders and the board. He tried to be a good son and thought he'd be rewarded"). However, Yashida was destined to leave everything to his granddaughter Mariko. Yukio added: "If Mariko got all that power, she would dump his ass." Once the will was revealed, Mariko would never go through with the wedding to Noburo, who had a back-stabbing deal with Shingen - Noburo had been hired to "put a hit" on Mariko to have her killed (before the will was to be read). Logan angrily tossed the duplicitous Noburo off the balcony - not realizing that a swimming pool was many stories below .

Meanwhile, the kidnapped Mariko was taken to her father Shingen back in Tokyo. in the midst of planning to head up his father's corporation. (Outside, a group of Black Clan Ninjas, led by Harada and Viper, attacked Shingen's Yakuza security guards one-by-one and neutralized them.) Inside, Shingen told Mariko that he was miffed that his father Yashida was planning to pass him by, and will his corporation ("Asia's largest") instead to his like-minded grand-daughter. He was about to drag her to the balcony (where she had earlier tried to commit suicide, but Logan had intervened). There, he told her that her death would look like an accident: "I don't want to hurt you. I want to help you. Help you end your pain - what that mutant stopped you from doing last week." Shingen suddenly realized that he was surrounded by Harada's black-clad ninjas, as Mariko was rescued and whisked away.

Viper confronted Shingen and revealed her true goal (to keep Mariko alive) and her own true character ("a chemist, a nihilist, a capitalist, a mutation. A viper"). With her long narrow tongue, she spread venomous poison onto the tip of a fountain pen, and then thrust it into Shingen's jugular vein in his neck - he fell into an inner courtyard pool. At the same time, Yukio and Logan pulled up inside the compound, and found it devoid of all security. They came upon a note written in blood pinned to the dead body of one of the Yakuza, stating "Come and Get Her" - at Master Yashida's birthplace village. It was the location of a research facility built into the side of a mountain about 500 kilometers distance away.

Suddenly, Logan realized that they were standing in Yashida's private medical room, lined with medical scanning and X-ray equipment. At the same time, Shingen had revived from the pool and donned a traditional armored samurai outfit - he had also equipped himself with a sword. As Logan switched on the MRI machine to scan his entire body, he noticed to his shock that a metallic parasitic device had been attached or implanted onto his heart by Viper a few days earlier. It was the cause of his impaired healing ability. Although Yukio pleaded with him (after he shouted out: "I gotta get that thing out of me") to not operate on himself because she had foreseen his death ("I'm never wrong...You're going to die, Logan"), Logan cut open his own chest with one of his adamantium claws. As Logan began to seize the device, Shingen burst into the room wielding his sword. Yukio defended Logan as he grabbed the device, extracted it and destroyed it, while she battled against Shingen. With a giant gash in his chest area, Logan lost consciousness and his heart monitor flat-lined. As Yukio and Shingen continued to fight, Logan miraculously healed and ultimately blocked a deadly swing of Shingen's sword toward Yukio with his right claw ("Don't hit my friends!").

As the two fought, and Logan was struck multiple times (but was in the midst of rapidly healing), he eventually decided to let Shingen live ("You tried to kill your daughter. Live with that"). But when Shingen wouldn't give up and ran his sword through Logan's chest, Logan decided he had enough - he lethally stabbed Shingen in the throat, as he identified himself as "The Wolverine."

Logan was determined to follow Harada and Viper to Yashida's research center to rescue Mariko. As Logan raced off and mounted a motorcycle parked outside, Yukio discovered ominous technical, or structural robotic designs littering the floor. Mariko had been taken to the mountainous research facility, where she was confronted by Dr. Green/Viper and Harada (who believed that Viper was on their side): "She also serves the House of Yashida." Mariko protested: "She serves herself. She infected Logan." Viper admitted that she helped assist in Yashida's ultimate death: "I granted his dying wish. I helped him rest. Now it's your turn." She touched Mariko's neck, causing her to lose consciousness. When Mariko awakened, she and Viper faced-off, under the gaze of a gigantic "Silver Samurai" - a massive, electro-mechanical, metallic structure of silver plated armor, equipped with automated adamantium swords.

When Logan arrived on the cycle in the snowy mountain village, he was immediately surrounded by Harada's black-clad ninjas standing guard, as local villagers fled to their homes. Harada approached toward Logan: "I see you've come to fight. It's pointless. You're weak. You're outnumbered. The Black Clan has protected the House of Yashida for 700 years." When Logan resisted - Harada ordered his ninjas to attack from the rooftops. Logan was shot multiple times with arrows attached to ropes from different directions. Then, after Harada had dipped the tips of his own arrows into Viper's green venom, he shot the poisoned arrows at Logan to fully incapacitate him - and Logan passed out.

After capture, Logan awoke and found himself constrained (and unable to move) in steel stocks, while seated next to the "Silver Samurai." Viper appeared, telling Logan that the "Silver Samurai" was "made of adamantium, just like you." [Note: Yashida had obsessively been stockpiling adamantium for years.] The "twisted mutant bitch" bragged of her "talent for combining biochemistry and metaphysics. High-grade toxins are my specialty." She angered him so much that her goading caused his claws to extend. She also congratulated him on finding her internal parasite: "The suppressant bug you found inside of you was mine. You took it out on your own. I didn't see that coming."

At the same time, Mariko found herself restrained by Harada, who sincerely believed he was working on her behalf and for Yashida's interests. Although he knew Viper was evil, he thought: "She's a means to an end - an end your grandfather wanted." He assured her: "You need to trust me...We were meant to be together. We still can be." As they kissed, Mariko withdrew his dagger, stabbed him in the shoulder, and raced away to Logan's side.

Suddenly, the mechanical Samurai rose up from its seat and walked over next to Logan, where it withdrew its 8-foot-long, flaming red-hot sword - poised to slice off Logan's extended claws. When Mariko cried out: "Stop!", the Samurai's aim was deflected and it struck Logan's restraints instead. Now freed, Logan was able to defend himself. Witnessing everything, Harada realized his wayward thinking: "This is madness!" As Mariko and Logan were pursued by the Silver Samurai wielding an adamantium sword, Viper was confronted by Harada - who to redeem himself, shot an arrow into Viper's chest - she fell down many stories but appeared unhurt. Although Logan deflected blows from the Samurai, one of the slashes cut off the claws of the Wolverine's right hand - down to the bone. Logan was forced to battle the Samurai one-handed.

Meanwhile, Yukio (who had followed Logan on a different cycle) snuck into the facility. She fought one-on-one against the bald Viper (Dr. Green had subsequently removed her wig, shed her snake-skin, and was spitting venom and darting her narrow tongue in and out). And then as Harada sought to assist Logan by piercing the Samurai's helmet with an arrow, he was fatally stabbed and died in Mariko's arms. Grasping the Samurai's sword with two hands for extra strength, Logan swung and decapitated the Samurai's helmet. The two fell hundreds of feet down to another level of the facility, where the Samurai cut off Logan's other set of adamantium claws. At the same time, Yukio was able to wrap a cord around Viper's neck and hang her to death by dangling her mid-air within a shaft.

As Logan and the Samurai fought, the raw marrow of Logan's two exposed bone-claw hands (without their claws) was drilled into by the Samurai's gripping forearms - in order to extract Logan's healing abilities and immortality. The elderly Master Yashida emerged from the helmet-less Samurai head-opening, revealing himself as the guiding pilot of the mechanical creature. He explained that after Logan's refusal to transfer his immortality to him, he had faked his own death (with Dr. Green's assistance) and orchestrated Mariko's kidnapping, in order to bring Logan back to him. As he spoke and siphoned life from Logan, he began to appear younger while Logan showed signs of aging:

Logan-san. Don't look so shocked. With you at my side, I survived Nagasaki. Surely, I could survive this. It's alright. It won't take long. Dr. Green and I have been waiting. It's only this armor that's kept me alive. We built it to make me strong, so I can take what you would not give. And transfer your unwanted healing to my body. My legacy must be preserved. Your mistake was to believe that a life without end can have no meaning. It is the only life that can. Hold on. We are almost there. The peace, the peace you've wanted. Your reward. You know, I'm giving you the very death you longed for. This feeling, to be invincible, like you.

Listening in to her Grandfather's horrific plan, Marko approached her grandfather with disgust ("You are a monster") and threw one of Logan's hacked-off claws at him - she hit her target, Yashida's skull. Logan's hands were released and freed from the drills and he fell backwards, rapidly healing and growing younger at the same time. After Mariko told Yashida: "I buried my Grandfather," she also stabbed him in the neck. As the wounded Samurai stumbled around, the revitalized Logan (with new adamantium claws emerging) pulled apart pieces of the armored suit, stabbed Yashida with his claws, and pushed him from the facility to his death ("You asked me to come say goodbye. Sayonara!"). After collapsing from exhaustion, the passed-out Logan experienced another hallucinatory visit from Jean. He was able to dismiss her from his life forever, although vowed his eternal love for her.

The final scene was set at Yashida Industries' airport hangar runway, where Mariko kissed Logan before he boarded a jet plane with Yukio. He told Mariko that he was a "soldier" who had been hiding too long, and that he had to return home. With regret but understanding, she accepted his explanation. Logan heard the news of the day on the plane -- Mariko Yashida had inherited her grandfather's giant tech corporation as CEO ("the passing of the torch"). Yukio offered to join Logan (wherever he wanted to go), and announced that she was now his bodyguard. He responded with a sigh: "Let's just start with up."

---- Post Credits Sequence ----

Two years later at an airport TSA checkpoint, Logan listened as an overhead TV commercial was playing for Trask Industries - a cutting-edge technology robotics firm ("Solving Tomorrow's Problems Today"). Knowing he would need a manual scan for his passage through the checkpoint, Logan asked for a manual pat-down. Suddenly, he noticed metallic or magnetic objects (coins, watches, and pens, etc.) wildly levitating around the X-ray machine. Behind him in line, as his adamantium claws ejected in anger, he turned to confront Erik Lehnsherr/Magneto (Ian McKellen) - the cause of the unusual levitations.

An empowered Magneto urged him to calm down as he announced that a new enemy ("dark forces") was threatening to eliminate mutants ("our kind"), and that Logan's help was needed to save every mutant-kind. With everyone frozen in place, a motorized wheelchair pulled up with Charles Xavier/Professor X (Patrick Stewart) seated in it. Amazed that Xavier was alive, Logan was assured that Professor X/Xavier was there to assist and also aid the cause.

Logan: What do you want?
Magneto: There are dark forces, Wolverine. Human forces building a weapon that could bring about the end of our kind. What do I want? I want your help.
Logan: Why would I trust you?
Magneto: You wouldn't.
Charles Xavier: Hello, Logan.
Logan (astonished and almost speechless): How is this possible?
Charles Xavier: As I told you a long time ago, you are not the only one with gifts.

Film Notables (Awards, Facts, etc.)

This marked the 6th installment of the X-Men film series, and the sixth appearance of Hugh Jackman as the Wolverine/Logan. It was also the first time that X-Men wasn't part of the film's title.

Director James Mangold stated that the film was a sequel to X-Men: The Last Stand (2006), with a few extended (dream) flashbacks.

It was the second spin-off film (of Marvel's Wolverine Trilogy) and second solo turn of the razor-clawed mutant - an immortal, self-healing, clawed mutant Wolverine.

The Wolverine had the lowest domestic opening of any movie in the X-Men franchise since the 2000 original film (13 years earlier), at $53.1 million (domestic). It debuted a full 35% less than X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009), which opened at $85.1 million. However, overseas it opened with $86.5 million - the biggest international launch for any X-Men film (until soon completely surpassed by X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014) at $172 million). (Other high performers for foreign openings included: X-Men: Apocalypse (2016) at $100.8 million, Deadpool (2016) at $132.3 million, and Logan (2017) at $159 million). As it turned out, of all the X-Men films, it had the lowest domestic revenue total (to date) at $132.6 million.

This film was set long after all the existing entries in the X-Men series-franchise. The immortal, self-healing mutant traveled to modern-day Japan to say farewell to dying acquaintance Yashida, a wealthy tech-tycoon, and found himself protecting sheltered, rich heiress Mariko (Japanese supermodel Tao Okamoto in her first film role) from deadly Yakuza opponents while struggling with his own immortality. The Wolverine fought off two mutant enemies, Marvel's Silver Samurai (Yashida) and Dr. Green - aka Viper (Svetlana Khodchenkova), and a host of Black Ninja Clan members and Yakuza (Japanese mafia members).

The first X-Men film to be released in 3D and IMAX.

With the tagline: "When he's most vulnerable, he's most dangerous."

With a production budget of $120 million, and box-office gross receipts of $132.6 million (domestic) and $414.8 million (worldwide).

Set-pieces: the scene of Logan's bar fight against a redneck hunter and other patron-friends in the Yukon, the Yakuza attack on Logan and Mariko at Yashida's funeral that proceeded through the streets of Tokyo, the continuing battle against Yakuza inside and on top of a top-speed bullet train bound for Nagasaki, the sword battle between Yukio and Shingen as Logan extracted a parasite from his heart, and the final confrontation between the Silver Samurai (Yashida in an armored adamantium suit) and Logan in a research facility.



Wolverine/Logan
(Hugh Jackman)

Jean Grey
(Famke Janssen)

Ichirō Yashida
(Ken Yamamura as youth)

Yukio
(Rila Fukushima)

Ichirō Yashida
(Haruhiko Yamanouchi as elderly)


Dr Green (Svetlana Khodchenkova) - aka Viper (see below)

Shingen Yashida
(Hiroyuki Sanada)


Kenuichio Harada
(Will Yun Lee)


Mariko Yashida
(Tao Okamoto)

Noburo Mori
(Brian Tee)


The Silver Samurai
(Yashida)

Viper

Post-Credits:

Erik Lehnsherr/Magneto
(Ian McKellen)

Charles Xavier/Professor X (Patrick Stewart)

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