*This is a review of the 2D Blu-ray release. Not the 3D and Extended Cut release.*
I absolutely loved The Wolverine in theaters. I loved the action, the story, the atmosphere, and more. It’s not a perfect film with its weak supporting characters, but that didn’t stop The Wolverine from being one of the biggest surprises of the year. The Blu-ray release, on the other hand, leaves a lot to be desired. The movie looks and sounds great on Blu-ray but its lack of great bonus content really hold The Wolverine back on Blu-ray.
I adored The Wolverine on my first viewing, but was slightly disappointed my second time through. Confused, I watched the film for the third time and came to this conclusion. The Wolverine has fine performances, an interesting story, a unique and refreshing environment, solid direction, good action, the occasional laugh, and a solid pace thanks to the dialogue, but the film has a forgettable supporting cast and can sometimes be a little on the confusing side (although nothing too drastic). The Wolverine is a decent film that is well worth the viewing for superhero fans (hell, the movie is worth it for that post-credits scene) but might leave casual audiences wanting more.
The Blu-ray has a great presentation all around. The visuals were fantastic with the film looking very sharp. There’s no film grain with the darker moments in the film looking solid. I’m not a big sound snob and found the sound to be perfectly fine. Fans of the film will be very pleased with the presentation.
The Bonus Features on The Wolverine Blu-ray are:
“The Path of a Ronin” (5-parts, 54 minutes total) is a behind-the-scenes look at The Wolverine. The feature explores the Japanese environment, the character of The Wolverine, the weapons, the training, the actors, and much more. It’s a mixed bag of a feature though. It has some cool footage and information, but fails to really focus on scenes like the opening of the film, the bullet train fight, and the finale. Instead the cast and crew spend a little too much time commending each other when we should be getting more of a behind the scenes look at one of the biggest films of the year. Not a bad feature, but there is room for improvement.
I’m not too big of a fan of The Wolverine’s final moments as it’s a little unclear of what’s to come so I was pretty stoked to see what the “Alternate Ending” (1.5 minutes) had to offer. While it didn’t conclude the movie any better (and raised another little confusion), it certainly made it cooler. The scene wouldn’t have really added anything to the movie but it could’ve fit in the movie just fine. I’m happy to see it on the Blu-ray.
The “X-Men: Days of Future Past Set Tour” (3 minutes) is a quick glimpse of what’s to come in next summer’s superhero extravaganza. The teeny bit we see in this tour gets me even more excited for a film I’m already super hyped for. It sucks that this is my favorite bonus feature on The Wolverine Blu-ray (as it has nothing to do with The Wolverine) but it is.
A “Second Screen App” is available for The Wolverine Blu-ray if you’re into that sort of thing (I just wish they put all the content on the Blu-ray instead of putting some on my phone) and there’s also a “Theatrical Trailer.”
Overall, the bonus content is a little disappointing. “The Path of a Ronin” had its moments, the “Alternate Ending” was cool, and the “X-Men: Days of Future Past Set Tour” got me hyped. Unfortunately, we don’t get any really good behind-the-scenes footage of the action scenes in the film (which is something I and other fans of the film would’ve loved to see). The 3D “Unleashed Extended Edition” has an audio commentary and more than 12 extra minutes of footage. That’s the version we recommend picking up.
The Wolverine Blu-ray left room for improvement. The presentation was perfectly fine and some of the bonus material was great. Unfortunately, the lack of real behind-the-scenes content is truly a bummer and the movie itself has its faults. Casual fans of the film will enjoy the Blu-ray while more hardcore fans will be a little disappointed.