03 August 2013

Conjuring the Wolverine

The Wolverine

Y'all remember X-Men Origins: Wolverine? I do a little. Mostly how much it resembled the innards of my kitchen garbage pail after a few months of neglect, and how Deadpool got painfully violated (and not in a funny way like it might happen in the comics). It seemed that we might get something to help us forget about it when the sequel was announced with Darren Aranofsky attached, but that was dashed when he left after Japan got all scary (what with the radiation and all). Then James Mangold came along, which didn't help my thinking on it much, but eventually word started getting out that this just might not suck! And guess what, it doesn't! Mostly!

It's a very solid, character driven story set in Japan that just happens to star an immortal-type dude with retractable, metal-covered claws. Sure there's action and junk, but it's really quite grounded for the most part, the dialogue is good, and it looks awful nice. The action is great too, which has become more of an unexpected delight in comic book movies. All this can be said about everything through the first part of the second act. After that it gets a bit hairy. The comic-book tropes of a big-bad and boring villains come into play and it just doesn't work. I'm reminded quite strongly of the Iron Man finales, particularly 1 and 2. An ending this bombastic just isn't needed for the kind of movie Mangold was seemingly trying to make, and it suffers for it. Still, as a whole it's a very solid, enjoyable thing, and almost succeeds in wiping away its predecessor's filth.

The Conjuring

I might have talked about my relationship with horror back in my Mama review; in short, I'm not a fan of the dumb stuff that relies on gore and jump-scares to do its job. That's just boring. It would seem I'd be a fan of older, classic horror, because both this and Mama have been described as being old-school in their style. Mama did have a lot of jumps but this really doesn't have many at all, and the gore is basically non-existent. I'm not enthralled by the whole exorcism thing but if it's based on true events as it claims, I'm okay with it.

I can't say I liked it as much as I did Mama. Still, it's nicely made, the cast is great, and it never gets completely ridiculous. In fact it's almost a believable story, which is really what might make it scary for some people. Pretty good.

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