Another summer of superhero movies is upon us, and with Man of Steel comfortably in the middle of its theatrical run, it’s time to look forward to the double-whammy of The Wolverine and Kick-Ass 2, which will have to tide comic book fans over for a few months until Thor: The Dark World hits theaters in November. The Wolverine also serves as an interim between X-Men: First Class (in which Wolverine was featured only as a cameo, with dialogue consisting of three brief but poignant words) and next year’s X-Men: Days of Future Past.
One of the scenes that has frequently been glimpsed in trailers for The Wolverine involves the clawed mutant engaging in what looks like a highly risky battle on the roof of a train, and Fox has now released an extended clip of this scene, with eighty full seconds of crazy high-speed stunts. It’s unclear exactly which events lead up to this moment, but it’s been heavily implied that relations between Wolverine and the yakuza go sour at some point, leading to this rather ill-advised ambush. Don’t feel too sorry for these goons; they’re the kind of people who wear sunglasses indoors.
The last time Wolverine got into a train fight on the big screen, things didn’t go too well for him (to be expected, really: in Pokémon terms, Wolverine is the Charmander to Magneto’s Squirtle), so it’s fun to see him in a battle with slightly more even footing. Much of the battle consists of Wolverine and his opponents each doing their level best to dislodge each other from the high-speed train, whilst at the same time trying to keep from being thrown off themselves.
It’s an interesting sequence that will probably succeed or fail based on individual preferences when it comes to action scenes. There is a very pervasive awareness of the fact that the actors are simply leaping about in front of a green screen, and the slightly goofy jumps through the air that probably break several laws of physics don’t add much to any semblance of realism, but if realism isn’t a deal-breaker for you in a superhero movie then you’ll probably have a lot of fun watching this scene.
In short, the train clip is much like the rest of the promotional material for The Wolverine, in the sense that it makes it difficult to get a real idea of what to expect from the rest of the film in terms of quality. The trailers so far have been good, if not outstanding, but have given away very little about the plot. Depending on whether we’ve been seeing the prime bits, or whether Fox is holding a lot back, The Wolverine could still be the best superhero movie of the year, or it could be the flop that finally kills Wolverine’s stretch of standalone films.
It might not be the Wolverine vs. Silver Samurai battle that everyone’s waiting for, but leave your thoughts on the action choreography of this scene in the comments.
The Wolverine rides into theaters on July 26, 2013.