Did you like Hugh Jackman in his latest shirt ripping outing as Wolverine? Or did you feel that there wasn’t enough gore? If gore make everything bigger and better for you, then you’ll likely be much pleased with the extended version of “The Wolverine” which arrives in stores on 3 December on Blu-Ray.
This unrated version, or “Unleashed Extended Edition” has more cursing, and more fighting. By more fighting, I mean the fights between Wolverine and the army of ninja get longer, bloodier and more brutal. This is mostly my impression since I saw the original theatrical release months ago.
What’s unresolved are questions of weather and geography, the inability for any Japanese male to be good morally or in combat and that financial fiasco.
If the clothing and scenery in the Tokyo scenes say spring or summer, then how do we suddenly get to winter at a castle for the final battle and then back to fair weather in Tokyo.
The ninja all take on Wolverine at the castle and they get butchered. Yukio also joins in and helps send her former fellow followers of the house of Yashida into the snow banks as bloody mist and mutilated corpses. We don’t get to see severed limps, heads or even noses flying and left strewn on the banks of an ancient Japanese town where the villagers are apparently to used to such blood fests that they don’t even bother to open a window.
There are no good Japanese men, from Mariko’s grandfather, to her father, to her first intended (who was good and then bad and then becomes good again just before he died), to her current fiance, the Minister of Justice. Her current fiance is fooling around on the side and dishonest as politicians go so Mariko’s own dalliance with Wolverine is permissible in comic-book morality land.
The lack of good Japanese men might explain why Yukio so easily dumped her former allies (ninja) and carves them up as frozen meat to help the Japanese rats survive the winter. What’s the psychology of women who kill their fathers, including faux fathers?
Ian says that the original Frank Miller story was about Wolverine learning the Japanese version of honor, but there seems to be no concept of honor here. The courtship between Mariko and Wolverine is severely compressed in the movie, making it seem more like that fall-in-love by falling-in-bed movie contrivance. The original story had an honorable Japanese male, Asano, Wolverine’s old friend. No honor here, for the Japanese male or for Wolverine.
The two-dimensional Mariko probably doesn’t bother too many male Wolverine fans. The lack of samurai ethics might.
So if you want to see the beast in Wolverine (but not necessarily the best in Jackman), more slicing and dicing without the attendant gore of flying limbs, then this the “Unleashed Extended Edition” is for you.