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Doug's Take: 'The Wolverine' entertaining with a dark edge

Published: Tuesday, Sept. 1 2015 8:28 p.m. MDT

Steely bodyguard Yukio (Rila Fukushima) accompanies Logan (Hugh Jackman) to a sacred event in Steely bodyguard Yukio (Rila Fukushima) accompanies Logan (Hugh Jackman) to a sacred event in "The Wolverine." (MCT)

The old adage tells us that no good deed goes unpunished.

Well, after more than 65 years, Wolverine discovers the sad truth in that statement when a mysterious young Japanese woman tracks down our tortured hero and informs him that her dying boss wants a last opportunity to say goodbye and thank him for saving his life at the end of World War II.

It takes some serious persuasion but finally Hugh Jackman, reprising his role as Logan, heads off for Tokyo. The young soldier that Wolverine saved in the bombing of Nagasaki is now the powerful industrialist Yashida, who is on the verge of drawing his last breath. But rather than simply saying thanks and goodbye, Yashida offers Logan an end to his misery and the option of eternal life for himself.

Add to all of this a very complicated plot involving Yashida’s son and his beautiful granddaughter, Maiko, played by Tao Okamoto, and the question of who will end up with control of the most powerful corporation in Japan. And, you might be wondering if we get a new mutant. Of course, the answer is yes. Enter Svetlana Khodchenko as Viper, a venomous “doctor” who is helping Yashida and has somehow sapped Wolverine of some of his “powers” Ah, the plot really thickens.

"The Wolverine" is riddled with loose ends that perhaps aren’t as puzzling for those who are really up-to-speed on the comic book storylines. The introductory moments of the film set in Nagasaki left me with a bunch of questions and the shadowy intricacies of the family dynamics in Japan are truly puzzling.

But, the good news is that these disconnects don’t ruin the movie. The characters are compelling and what you do come to understand about the story and the players will hook you. Then, there’s the action and special effects. We’ve all seen struggles on top of trains before, but in "The Wolverine" they do battle on top of a bullet train.

The bottom line, "The Wolverine" is an entertaining movie with a dark edge. I’m giving the film 3 stars. By the way, don’t leave when the credits roll. There’s an additional scene you don’t want to miss.

Copyright 2015, Deseret News Publishing Company