Superhero Movies Here To Stay

Superhero movies. Once upon a time the very idea was a joke. The only successful superhero movies (Batman, Superman) were the exclusion domain of DC. How that has changed! Marvel characters have become immensely popular with movie fans since the first X-Men movie and this was further escalated by Marvel themselves entering the fray with the first Iron Man movie. With The Avengers generating over a billion dollars at the box office, Marvel licensees like SONY and Fox are dead set on holding on to its prized franchises.

The excellent X-Men: First Class helped Fox to get over the critical disasters of X-Men: The Last Stand and X-Men Origins: Wolverine (although both did fantastic business) and with the eagerly anticipated First Class sequel coming up in 2014, Fox needed a win with The Wolverine. Well, whilst the Hugh Jackman vehicle may not be in the class of its immediate predecessors in terms of box office (two weeks in – gross of $250,000 worldwide), it does at least provide a competent enough holding pattern before the ambitious X-Men: Days of Future Past is released in May next year.

But before all that, what about The Wolverine? Well, to be honest, I had very low expectations despite the promise of the film being adapted from the classic mini-series by Chris Claremont/Frank Miller and perhaps that helped me in actually enjoying the movie. What a surprise, eh?

Sure, there were ludicrous plot points along the way (how the fuck is Yashida able to leech off Logan’s healing power by drilling into the latter’s bones anyway?) but overall, I liked the look and feel of the flick, and perhaps also due to commendable performances from the Japanese actors like Rila Fukushima (as Yukio), Hiroyuki Sanada (as Lord Shingen) and Tao Okamoto (Yashida), not to mention the campy display from Svetlana Khodchenkova (as the villainous Viper). The action sequences were well orchestrated and the pacing of the narrative allowed Jackman to do more than snarl at the camera. And of course, the end credits sequence was brilliant as Ian McKellan and Patrick Stewart (Magneto and Professor X) did their bit to tease us about X-Men: Days of Future Past!

This week also saw the full trailer of Thor: The Dark World as Marvel Studios continue with its 2nd phase of standalone movies. Helmed by Alan (Game of Thrones) Taylor, the Thor sequel looks epic (if the above trailer is anything to go by) as the Thunder God must enlist the aid of his greatest enemy Loki to battle Malekith and save the universe! Of course…

… no finer time to be a geek …