The Ninjabot

WOLVERINE UNLEASHED Preview with Bonus Q&A from DirectorJames Mangold

Posted on November 26, 2013 at 11:00 am by Chris Teregis

I recently had the pleasure of attending a screening of The Wolverine: UNLEASHED EDITION (I don’t know if it’s all caps, but it feels like it should be) on the FOX Studios backlot. The event was beautifully lit and it was easy to get lost in the awesome Japanese decor. Well, it was at least until I saw this case of awesome set off to the side.

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Eventually we were ushered us into their screening theater and we got our exclusive peek at The Wolverine:  UNLEASHED EDITION (EXTREME CAPS!) DVD release.

The Wolverine is the second highest grossing film in the X-Men franchise, raking in $416 million dollars worldwide (X-Men: The Last Stand took in $459M) The film is also, essentially, the first R rated film in the X-men franchise which means an incredible amount of Japanese gangsters on the receiving end of three-pronged puncture wounds for your viewing pleasure.  The film is awesome and I can’t sing it’s praises enough.  It  harkens back to the intensity and grittiness of the largely Wolverine-centered X2, and adds more depth to the already complex character that Hugh Jackman has been bringing life to for the past 13 years.  Violence aside, The Wolverine tells an incredible story of death, deceit, revenge and loyalty.  It feels like a modern, action-packed, high-tech Kurosawa film

Unleashed-Extended-Edition-3The Wolverine: UNLEASHED EDITION (CAPS LOCK THAT SCREAMS) features about ten extra minutes of footage, primarily located within the film’s amazingly choreographed fight sequences.  There is a lot more blood, claw-stabbery, and berzerker barraging.   However the real treat was the previously unseen ‘ninja fight sequence’.  In the theatrical cut, Wolverine has a fairly brief fight with the ninjas before he is brought down by arrows and ropes.  In the UNLEASHED EDITION (CAAAAAAAPS LOCK!) The fight scene is about eleven million minutes longer and gives more context to how the ninjas are able to bring down Wolvie.  There are a few added scenes with Wolverine and Yashida, as well as some developmental moments with Shinjen, none of which detract from the pacing of the film.  In fact, I think a lot of these scenes were cut in order for the film to retain a PG-13 rating at the box office.

After the credits, James Mangold took the stage for a brief Q&A about the film and Wolverine’s hairstyle.

On Wolverine’s Hairstyle

I didn’t want Wolverine to look like Flock of Seagulls anymore.

On Wolverine’s Greatest Enemy

Wolverine’s greatest enemy, is his own psyche.

On the tone of The Wolverine

I wanted to make a movie about death and exploring the darker side of reality.

That last comment was one that stood out as being the most interesting to me.  James Mangold set out, not only to make a great comic book movie, but to make an inspired film about death.  Mangold goes on to explain how each character has their own attachment to death.

  • Wolverine wants to die but can’t.
  • Mariko wants to die and can.
  • Yashida is going to die and wants to become immortal.
  • Yuji can see when people are going to die.
  • and Jean Grey is totally, 110%, dead.

And it’s through this paradigm that Mangold is able to deliver, not only a kick-ass action film, but an intensely interesting and compelling drama that will satiate the palates of the filmgoing layman, and the comic book elite.  Pencil this one in when it hits shelves Dec. 3rd, Bub.  You don’t want to miss it!

Chris Teregis is the host/creator of the A Throne of Games Video Games and Sketch Comedy Podcast.  You can follow his brain drizzlings on Twitter @Christeregis

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