‘The Wolverine’ One Big Scene: All Aboard Japan’s Deadly Bullet Train

One Big Scene is a weekly column dedicated to spectacular visual sequences we’re recommending you see in the theater. If you have ones you’d like us to write about, let us know in the comments section.

In the realm of Marvel mutants, Quicksilver is speedy. Wolverine is lethal. But director James Mangold figured out a way to make Logan (Hugh Jackman) both rocket-powered and deadly in a scene we have to single out from The Wolverine, opening in theaters this weekend. 
 
The Scene
Chances are, you have seen hints at the bullet train fight sequence in advertisements for Mangold’s Wolverine movie. But how does it fit into the overall film?
 
Summoned to Japan by a powerful executive he once saved (many moons ago), Wolverine finds himself caught in a power play at the head of the Yashida clan. Powerful criminal forces have targeted the beautiful Mariko (Tao Okamoto), whom Logan now has sworn to protect. In an effort to stay one step ahead of his new antagonists, Wolverine follows Mariko aboard one of Japan’s signature bullet trains. Once they reach 300 mph, the real trouble begins. 
 

 
The Wolverine marks Jackman’s sixth turn in the mutant role, though Mangold – with the bullet train fight sequence – earns credit for showing us something we’ve never seen before regarding the comic book character. 
 
Unlike the train sequence from this summer’s The Lone Ranger, which used graceful ballet-inspired choreography to move from one train to the next, The Wolverine scene is a brutal test of endurance between Logan and his foes. Signs, lights and the sheer speed of the train are all obstacles that must be overcome (as you can see in the above tease). And the sequence whizzes by so fast, you’ll find yourself holding your breath as you wonder if Wolverine’s razor-sharp claws can dig into and hold onto the train before he’s thrown off… at light speed. 
 
Do the critics agree with the effectiveness of the scene, and Mangold’s film, overall? 
 
What Critics are Saying:
"The Wolverine won't change anybody's mind about the character, or about what Jackman can do with it. It's simply a more focused scenario than usual, full of violence done up with a little more coherence and visceral impact than usual.”
-- Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune
 
“Cliches seep into what could have been a fascinating glimpse into a multifaceted character. Still, this X-Men spinoff [sic] is a marked improvement over 2009's X-Men Origins: Wolverine.”
-- Claudia Puig, USA Today
 
“Taken on its own terms, The Wolverine is the cleanest, least pretentious and most satisfying superhero movie of the summer.”
-- Andrew O'Hehir, Salon.com
 
The Wolverine opens in theaters on July 26. And when you go, be sure to stay through the end credits. You won’t get another One Big Scene, but you will get a geeky tease for next summer’s X-Men: Days of Future Past. Don’t miss it!
 

 
 

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