The Wolverine Is A Racist Buzzkill: A Review

In 2010, critically acclaimed director Darren Aronofsky was set to direct the next installment of the X-Men series, The Wolverine. Then, in 2011, he gave a resounding “fuck that noise” and bowed out of the film. I guess he felt that his time would be better spent filming Jennifer Connelly staring off into the sunset on a boardwalk or sneaking into my dreams and giving me nightmares. Instead of Aronofsky, we got stuck with the guy who directed Knight and Day. Lovely.

Like any self-respecting X-Men movie, the film’s prologue takes place in World War II. The ageless, shirtless, Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) is hanging out in Japan for no apparent reason when an air raid siren sounds. A bunch of bros seppuku the shit out of themselves leaving just one selfish guy alive. Logan then proceeds to save the young Japanese soldier from being blown the fuck up by a nearby nuke being dropped on Nagasaki.

Then, sixty years later or so, Logan finds himself doing what every hero in temporary retirement does: retreating into the wilderness, chopping some wood, growing a sweet beard and befriend a mangy companion (see also: Shooter, Rambo). However, in his case, his mangy companion is a fucking bear. Sorry gay homies, not that kind of bear. The two of them proceed to chill and do bear stuff all while Logan just casually looks like some sort of cross between Rob Zombie and all of my older sister’s friends from 1998 who liked to listen to Cypress Hill and ash their cigarettes all over my Five Star Binder. That’s when our reluctant hero receives a call to action—We need you to come to Japan to do [insert bullshit expository reason here].

I was half expecting it to end with a crazy, brightly colored game show about giggling Japanese schoolgirls with Hello Kitty backpacks eating sushi and crashing their airplanes into American aircraft carriers.

Upon arriving in the Orient, Logan almost instantly takes off his shirt and starts killing people. Turns out that the Japanese soldier from the beginning thanks Logan by being a total dickhole and tries to steal his powers to become immortal. There are, like, twenty different villains in this shit that all have their own vaguely explained motives along with dozens of expendable henchmen. There’s a mob boss, an evil archer, a blond chick with ambiguous mutant powers and a robot legitimately called “The Silver Samurai." The Yakuza even make an appearance. although, some of them look more like Latin Kings, wearing wife beaters and chain wallets. While watching the movie, I wasn’t sure which parties were fighting for which side and, quite frankly, neither did any of the actors. To be totally honest, it didn’t help that that most of the characters were of “eastern persuasion," and since I'm racist, I couldn't tell them apart.

If you can believe it, the movie was even more politically incorrect than me. It came equipped with its very own triple threat of Japanese racial stereotypes: a petite woman in a geisha costume, ninjas and weird sexual stuff like a Mission-To-Mars-themed fornication hotel. I was half expecting it to end with a crazy, brightly colored game show about giggling Japanese schoolgirls with Hello Kitty backpacks, eating sushi and crashing airplanes into American aircraft carriers.

Unlike any of the other X-Men movies, this film was less about a large scale, world impacting climax than a self-contained character study. As you might already know, Wolverine is a character that has the ability to (aside from smoke cigars and fuck shit up) regenerate his damaged body. However, at one point in the film, this mutant power is taken away from him, making him as vulnerable as a crowd surfer at a Limp Bizkit concert. For those of you keeping track at home, that’s the third shitty late 90’s alternative rock band referenced in the article. I'm on fire.

This vulnerability is what made the movie so appealing to me in the first place. That’s why it felt like a big middle finger when, SPOILER ALERT, he gets his powers back about ten minutes after losing them. That’s a minor inconvenience at best. "Oh my god I’m so sorry—this almost never happens. Give me ten minutes baby. I’ll get my powers back. But, like, maybe you could use your mouth this time?"

One of the characters in the movie describes Logan as a “Ronin”—a Samurai with no master—and, incidentally, an awesome movie with Jean Reno. Logan is a man without a home, without any friends and without a purpose. While these qualities sound like the perfect ingredients to make a solid action hero, this is legit the sixth movie that he’s been moping around like this. Quit being a fucking buzz kill, bro. There’s a seventh X-Men movie coming out next year and you better shape the fuck up by then. Like, how about getting out and meeting some people? Take a spin class or something. You’re really bringing us down. Ironically enough, Hugh Jackman has actually played Wolverine more times than any other actor in the history of superhero movies. Sorry, George Clooney Batman.

Four Pins Rating: 5/10 Mutton Chops

Matt Rimer is a writer living in Boston. Follow him on Twitter here.

  • queb

    *PROLOGUE* comes at the beginning.

    *EPILOGUE* comes at the end.

    Step up your prefix game.

    • TEENWOOLF4U

      FEEBLE MINDED PLEBS ON THIS SINKING SHIP DAWG

    • Garrok

      I believe that is why the article uses the term “prologue”.

      • queb

        Yeah it does because it was edited because I made the above comment. You see, unlike in traditional print media it’s possible to actually edit previously released or “posted” articles using a digital interface. It’s an amazing time we live in.

  • Chase Maxson

    It was a Wolverine movie based on an actual comic book. Chill out Matt Rimer.

    • Steadman Bryan

      That doesnt make it any less convolouted and stupid

    • Garrok

      It was infinitely distant from the storyline of the graphic novel.

  • TacoNada

    So the title of your article mentions how racism ruins this movie, and yet you use a gay joke in the article

    uhhhhhhhh

    • Apples

      As a bi (not gay) I found it pretty funny. It was a good pun and it wasn’t gay bashing.

      • TheSerpentMan

        Chill out bisexuals and homosexuals. According to my thought I think the movie is pretty retarded and makes the hero hate other men while taking the men’s women. Pretty fucking annoying isn’t it?

        But be warned. Don’t fuck with the scaled ones bitches.

  • Deezy D

    The whole time you’re claiming this movie is racist & you don’t even state any legitimate reasons why but you were able to throw in gay joke & asian stereotypes that are worse than the ones that you claim were racist.

    • Andrew

      “It came equipped with its very own triple threat of Japanese racial stereotypes: a petite woman in a geisha costume, ninjas and weird sexual stuff like a Mission-To-Mars-themed fornication hotel.”

      Three legitimate reasons stated.

      • Dave Hahn

        Those three things are not the reason why this movie is racist although a white person would definitely cite them as such. Why? Because geishas, ninjas and love hotels are real fucking things. What IS racist is the use of gravely hoarse voiced angry Japanese men throughout the entire film and meek Asian women whose main purpose in the film is sexual objectification. Yes, even the ninja girl was a subordinate. Also the desexualization of every Asian man in the movie. Hugh Jackman is the only sexually pure and therefore available man in the whole flick and then he calls that archer dude “pretty boy” further denigrating Asian men describing them as both “pretty” and “boy” meaning he’s not a man at all. And now you have been sonned.

        • nooper

          thank you. the headline of this article built up an expectation it never really fulfilled. thanks for inserting the necessary complexity that was so glaringly missing from the article.

          • TheSerpentMan

            We’ll definitely wait for those pompous, racist, and sexist pieces of shit people who brought in the ideas for the movie’s graves….

        • Antonio Valdivia

          Relax asshole. It’s a movie. Don’t get your panties in a bunch.

  • Dani

    This must be a joke. He just pressed ” [insert bullshit expository reason here].”

  • The Reichenbach Wolf

    Well let alone that the title has nothing to do with what he actually wrote, he seems to have some sort of an idea how comic books work, not graphic novels, but it really annoys me the arrogance with which he blabbers stuff for the sake of it, it’s a comic book movie, it doesn’t have to be the deepest shit your brain has ever had the pleasure to swim through, it’s kind of simple, he’s the hero, he gets some issues that make the plot, he solves it and kicks ass, roll credits… not to mention that in my opinion is kind of the only superhero movie that actually tries, even if it’s in a very subtle way, to give a glance at the hero’s personal struggles, while the main plot develops…seriously, give a look at all other super hero movies (besides batman cus he’s batman and that’s like the deepest shit you’ll ever read in superhero stuff). He judges the whole movie, arguing that it sucks, it’s racist and stuff, well, why won’t you write a better script that’s not racist or stereotypical at all, make enough money to make up for the investment and then you post an article on how you always know what’s wrong with the movies and how you finally gave us all the wolverine movie we all deserve…until then, if I were you I’d try to write with less arrogance, less gay jokes, someone might think that’s kind of a stereotype, and not criticize whatever comes up on the screen just for the sake of it, what’s the point?

    • Dani

      This guy should be writing the reviews. Not that other asshole.

      • Nick Grant

        Nah Jake’s too busy doing Kanye-related, hoodrat things.

    • Jake Woolf

      Thanks for your feedback, man. But I think you should check out Matt’s other reviews of Pacific Rim and Only God Forgives. A lot of people hated OGF, but Matt actually really liked it. He praised its courage and art direction in an industry where a simplistic film (you yourself say the plot is “kind of simple”) like The Wolverine can get 26 sequels while a lot of great movies are fighting over lousy, local theater distribution. I think after reading those reviews, which are also humorous and sarcastic in nature, you’ll see then he’s not just criticizing everything on the screen for the sake of it. Also, your demand that if he is going to be judgmental of The Wolverine then he should write a better script himself is obviously pretty flimsy logic. So no one is allowed to criticize food they don’t like unless they’re willing to work the line themselves? No one is allowed to have an opinion on music unless they want to get in the studio and do it better? Come on man. If anything it seems like you’re a really big Wolverine fan and are letting your bias get in the way of your judgement of this film.

  • LikedYourReview

    I agree! Finally a review that describes what I felt during this movie. Here goes the white guy, who does the minimal effort to adapt to the Japanese ways in the most condescending way possible and kills all the Japanese men, who are evil and sneaky. While at the same time obviously all the Japanese women adore his … what is it exactly that would make these quiet, respectful, obedient women (as women should be right? <- this was sarcasm) fall head over heels for him?

    Do you commenters even know what a bear is in gay community? Try to learn more about minorities before trying to defend them from a supposed attack. This was a tasteful joke, without offense for gay people.

  • Andrew

    *Insert negative remark ad hominem*

  • Where was Daken

    Having just seen the movie I can assure you there weren’t as many “Latin king” looking members of the Yakuza because in the one scene where they appear they are wearing a disguise and have to take it off. Any Yakuza member seen later on is in a suit. Also what is wrong with showing things that actually are in Japan? Like petite women or these love hotels. If I went to America and walked around a city and made a movie about it, you would see a lot of Fast food joints and dumbass kids on the streets who use the term swag. Is that an issue? No, its what you would actually see. You are just nit-picking if not trolling. Stop it.

  • Vermillion

    You’ve never read the comics from 180 to 1998 have you?

  • SeppukuYourself

    Asian RAAAAAGE! ahahahahaa! So sad.

    • Apple

      What’s sad is the fact that you think you’re relevant.

  • Chester

    You Four Pins guys are too funny. I enjoy every article.

  • Garrok

    Get rid of the crappy jokes and learn how to write with honesty. Don’t hide behind a weak shield of sarcasm.

  • Garrok

    Get rid of the crappy jokes and learn how to write with honesty. Don’t hide behind a weak shield of sarcasm.

  • Antonio Valdivia

    This is the stupidest review i have ever read. You fuckin suck. The movie was not racist at all. You my friend are obviously an uneducated retard.