First off I should point out that I love the X-Men. When I was younger the only comic series I bought every issue of whenever it was released was X-men and others like Uncanny X-men. I used to wait for weeks until I could get into Southend to go to my closest comic shop "Into the Void" and collect bags full of X-Men comics, and I had a collection numbering into the hundreds. I probably know more about the characters within X-Men comics than any other in the Marvel or DC Universe, maybe even more than Superman, so I know my X-stuff.
Wolverine is probably the most popular character to have been created in the X-series/history, even though he's not one of the originals, and therefore he was the main character, unless you count Rogue, in the X-Men movie in 2000 and its subsequent sequels. Hugh Jackman (although not exactly spot on casting due to his height etc) nailed the role, and has done so with ease ever since. However if you've seen the 3 X-Men movies (not including First Class) and the 2009 prequel X-Men Origins: Wolverine you'll be aware that the 3rd one (Last Stand), directed by Brett Ratner in 2006, and Origins, directed by Gavin Hood sucked complete and utter ass... If you don't agree with that then fine, but you are hereby banned from returning to this site and if I meet you in person I'll be forced to put you out of your misery (OK, joking, but you get the idea - they both sucked badly and any good scenes were totally overshadowed by the terrible flaws they spewed out every two minutes).
The Wolverine is supposed to by a sequel to the 3rd movie Last Stand and is clearly meant to bring us back to a proper Wolverine storyline where we're not overly tainted by other Marvel characters and/or massive changes to canon continuity, or bad acting for that matter. The Japanese setting (based on the 1982 comic run by Chris Claremont and Frank Miller) and the overall look/photography of the film, and to a lesser extent the story too, are new, and feel different, serious, and somehow "clean". But is it a good film? Well judging by the Facebook and online feedback I've seen you'd think it was Oscar-worthy, but for me it's simply not. Are people comparing it to Origins? If so the yeah, I'd have to agree, it's Oscar-worthy compared to that diabolical piece of so-called cinema, but compared to any other movie, and for that matter comic movies in particular? - No, not really.
Hugh Jackman is the best at what he does, and in this case what he does isn't very easy (Wolverine joke, get it?) as he's only playing the cards he's being dealt with the script and the story etc, but overall the film feels a little empty, a little soulless, and by the time you get to the end you'll possibly be quite miffed with what just happened in those last 10 minutes and what the hell the creative team have done with the character, especially considering the post credits scene and Logan's direct continuation into Days of Future Past (you'll understand once you see it), so you finish the film feeling a little like you may have done The Last Stand and Origins. You'll feel that you've certainly been given some class Wolverine action, lots of "blink-and-you'll-miss-it" claws and swords, you've got a fair share of ninjas, and even a semi-cool giant robotic Silver Samurai, but you'll probably question certain character arcs and decisions, you'll question what exactly the director/writer knows, or thinks they know, about Logan's mutant ability, where it comes from, what it does, and why it's not directly connected to his adamantium. You'll also question why Logan has adamantium (or that anyone knows anything about it) in World War II when the previous movies (specifically Origins), and the comics for that matter, clearly confirm the discovery of and then practical engineering of skeletal bonding and bone-to-blade claw upgrading doesn't happen until Weapon X in the 80's and therefore most of the film is historically inaccurate compared to its source material and therefore aggravating from the start (Last Stand major character deaths anyone???). Are they making out that the adamantium is what gives Logan his healing ability and that a suit of adamantium will keep a dying man alive??? And are we forgetting that Logan shouldn't have any memories of World War II as he lost them in Origins through to X-Men? He doesn't get those back so how does he remember all this??? Oh and be aware that a head-scratcher, albeit a cool one for fans, awaits you after the credits.
Anyway, enough of me being pedantic, here's the basic review as per usual:
First off, is this film good or bad? - Watchable/OK. I honestly wouldn't say "good" or "bad". Others would disagree fiercely I'm sure.
Would a non-fanboy/fangirl enjoy it too? - I think you need a general understanding/background of the Marvel Universe mutants and Wolverine's history, but yeah I think you can enjoy it without that, if I can go as far as to say "enjoy".
If this is a sequel do you need to have seen the other films in the franchise? - Like I just said for the answer to the previous question: It's going to help to see the previous movies, even if you have to sit through The Last Stand and Origins...
What words would you use to describe this film? - Action-packed, Japanese, *snikt*!
What was your favourite moment or moments in the movie? - Difficult to say, but maybe The Silver Samurai at a push.
Would you have changed anything if you could? - As usual - yes. Too many bits to mention.
What score would you give the movie out of 10, 10 being the best and 0 being the worst? - Oh this is painful... I really wanted to give this a high score before actually watching it, but I think it'll have to be 5/10.