Movie Review: The Wolverine + Reflections


I don’t go to the movies often nowadays, simply because ticket prices are at ridiculous levels and I don’t have great people to go with most of the time. But my cousin Danny and I hadn’t hung out in a while and I had promised him that I’d go see Wolverine with him. So 4 of us (himself, me, and two of his other guy friends) went yesterday and saw it.

Long movie short, it was a pleasant experience. Nothing Oscar worthy, but definitely one notch above most of the action, blow-shit-up, ripoff-from-a-previous-movie crap. I’m aware that this movie was based on a graphic novel of the same name, however I feel that it was just Hugh Jackman’s skill as an actor to really convey the emotions, body language, and the overall “who the hell” is Logan/Wolverine that held the movie together. A worth while watch.

Which brings me to what I wanted to share: some personal connections and some themes.  I was pleasantly surprised that I had some uncanny similarities with the man/beast that is Logan.

First, the theme of “the outcast” is very prominent ; the person who is just different from everyone else. The whole X-men series is just that but Wolverine takes it up a few notches. I found this fascinating because growing up I was the whiz kid in the middle of some – I’ll call them “uninspiring” people. This often made me feel that I had no one to play with and no one to grow with, which led to some serious loner issues. Another example is I’ve always related to people much older than me – like my father’s age older. I’ve always found people my own age group rather dull and superficial. The vast majority of Generation Y simply can’t fathom the deep issues of the day and it seems that whenever I’m around those folks, I’m regulated to simply listening to their ramblings.

My emotional experiences with my immediate family and my social-economic background also made me very different from those around me, in particular many of the first generation American born Chinese that I grew up with. I was the “poor” person in a sea of kids whose (both) parents had Master’s and PhDs in their respective fields while my mother barely had a junior high education from a dirt poor Asian country. Though I didn’t notice it then, looking back there were things that hindered my professional and personal development that otherwise would not have occurred had money not been an issue.

There were also things personality wise:

  1. I don’t like to trouble people with my own worries or emotional outbursts. Often times if I’m feeling frustrated/angry, I seek a quiet spot in a park or nature trail and let it all out – be it on a tree trunk, pond, or whatever.
  2. I don’t like to show my emotions – seems to be a natural talent of mine.
  3. (From point #2) Since I don’t like doing that, I am the quiet one in any group – this on top of the fact that I’m thinking more about how you’re carrying yourself rather than what you’re actually saying is.
  4. I’ve been told several times in my life I have a permanent “scowl” on my face. Hah! Goes along with the whole hiding your emotions thing I suppose.  That and scaring away unwanted attention…
  5. I often don’t like to talk; it takes a lot of energy to have a friendly conversation – even more so if I’m talking to an attractive girl. It took me 20 years to figure this out, but I’ve come to rely on exchanges that are short, sweet, and to the point.
  6. Because of a lot of these things – misunderstandings arise and well, things just don’t connect between me and people. Even now, some of the more “frail” (Haha!)people tend to give me my space simply because of “the scowl” (sometimes it’s for the better). Misunderstandings are abound, but I’m beginning to be more comfortable with people misunderstanding me than simply apologizing for something that honestly came out.

What I take out of this movie is that sense that I was not alone in my eccentricities. There were many parts where I had emotionally related to Hugh Jackman’s character in ways I find hard to describe. In the end, it felt…comforting?…that I saw that a fictional character suffer through his eccentricities and his traumas in life yet still be able to come out on top.  It’s really about a man who stays true to himself – albeit with mistakes – despite his problems, manages to come out better.

It’s weird to admit this, but I really did feel better about myself after watching the movie.


3 thoughts on “Movie Review: The Wolverine + Reflections

  1. I’m a long-time scowler and an introvert so I can relate! My wife is certified on the Meyers-Briggs. Research suggests that you can train yourself to work outside of your personality type. Also, types change over the years and what you were tested at 5 years ago may not be the same. I’m an INSP btw.

    It took me many years to be comfortable speaking publicly. e.g. in high school and college a 5 min. speech what give me a panic attack. Now I give presentations or lectures — some 75 minutes long. I can “work” a room or a meeting but I have to be prepared. I’m also getting better at spontaneity. Where I still suck is at work-related social events. In these situations I stink at social fluff talk.

    For me the scowl started out as a defense mechanism and then got magnified while working in prison. I saw 20-year veterans that had faces that looked like 20 years of bad road — all from the job. That was one of the reasons I changed careers. Over the years I’ve learned to soften the Clint Eastwood death look but, if I’m put in the right circumstance, I still slip into it.

    Total aside but the death stare is great for scaring away street beggars or annoying salesmen! 😉

    BTW I enjoyed Wolverine. They “tweaked” the Silver Samurai but not enough to annoy me. What they did with Mandarin in Iron Man III was unforgivable. They also condensed the love story in Wolverine. Past that it was pretty good — I give it an 8.5.

    I give the last Iron Man a 3.

    1. Ah, I’ve found my long lost brother! (or Uncle? Grandpa? Given your age…)

      Anyway, the last time I was MBTI tested (last year) I came out as an ISTP, with a very close percentage to an INFP/INFJ. I guess that’s why I related to Logan/Wolverine since as a character he is routinely typecast as such.

      Public speaking to me is an unpredictable activity. In small groups I can be killer; in large audiences tunnel vision gets the best of me. While student teaching I got sweats and often shook from the amount of eyes staring at me! Currently being in Toastmasters I’m getting experience around speaking in front of smart(er) people so that’s helping me get comfortable in my skin. Even then, I feel the whole speaking in front of a crowd is not something I would willingly take up unless I’m prepared appropriately.

      Growing up I was terrible at social events – this was especially apparent in high school and college. Now I’m a lot better at it but I’m still the quiet man out (as mention in the post). However, I’m getting confident in 1-on-1 speaking – especially with attractive women!

      I don’t know where the scowl started; I just know I’ve had it for a good portion of my life and that it has given people ranging from my parents to strangers the creeps and uneasiness! As for my own death stare – I’ve only used it once in memory – scaring off an annoying customer that wouldn’t shut up.

      Aw, Iron Man wasn’t THAT bad! I haven’t seen the 3rd one yet but I guessing it’s good?

      1. More like older handsome step brother…

        I was talking about the last Iron Man — they totally botched the Mandarin. Unforgivable and a deal-breaker for me! 😉

        My scowl started out as a defense mechanism. Rough childhood, divorced parents, etc. I’ve softened it and understand where it came from. Now, sometimes, it comes in handy!

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