I admit this film is hugely enjoyable and very well made, but I particularly admire it for two reasons. Firstly, it placed Jeremy Renner in a leading role and showed the world that he is an incredibly talented actor, worthy of the Academy Award nomination. Secondly and more importantly, it brought everyone’s attention to female directors. Kathryn Bigelow made history by becoming the only female to win under the Best Director category at the Oscars, for obvious reasons considering this is a fantastic piece of cinema. The pacing is questionable at times, but it’s still a thumbs up from me.
What I like most about this film is that it works well as a comparative piece. Director and writer Andrew Dominik made The Assassination of Jesse James a couple of years before, showing that he can master a three hour long epic. And then he made this, which showed he is capable of making a concise piece of cinema that has a lot of substance and character packed in and sealed tightly. It’s nowhere near as good as Jesse James but I think it works in its own way and it holds together as a solid film with many merits.
Have you ever seen a film that was middle of the road territory? A film that wasn’t good or bad or particularly important, so when someone asks you how it was your response is “it was alright.” That’s The Wolverine in a nutshell. It’s nothing awful but at the same time it’s nothing groundbreaking. It was nice to see the character of Wolverine put back into caring hands that won’t tarnish the name, but still the film lacked interest. I suppose it was for fans. You missed the character, so they sent him on holiday with you to Japan. Cute.
Alfonso Cuarón directs and co-writes one of the best science fiction films you’ll ever see. For such a small scale and simple idea this film works perfectly within the genre. For me the standout contributor to the film is cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki, whose work for this film helps to make the dystopian world hauntingly beautiful and actually quite scary. Lubezki is one of the greatest minds working in cinema, and as he has proven numerous times, he is at his best when collaborating with Cuarón. Some may find it boring, but it is an intelligently written and perfectly paced masterpiece.