The Wolverine takes place after the events of The Last Stand, where Logan had to ultimately put a knife to his beloved Jean Grey. Deeply saddened by this, he goes to live a hobo lifestyle and moves into Canadian wilderness with the grizzlies.
A little later, he’s persuaded by a Japanese chick Yukio, to take a trip to Tokyo, to meet with Yashida, an old but powerful CEO who owes Logan a life debt, and wants to repay him. Turns out Logan once saved a young Yashida at Nagasaki from the Atomic bombs, and shared with him his regenerative abilities.
An inspired Yashida has since spent his entire life trying to recreate Logan’s agelessness and awesomeness. He ultimately reveals to Logan that he doesn’t want to die, and has found a way to transfer the regenerative cells from Logan to himself, and grant both their respective wishes.
Logan says ‘No’, and proceeds to go all badass on Japan.
He takes on ninjas, lovehotels, Japanese chicks, bullet trains and the Silver Samurai.
The Wolverine works as a stand-alone story within the X-Men universe. The set in Japan plot also helps keep it fresh. There’s decent action, but in terms of ninja action, I still think the G.I. Joe: Retaliation mountain-side scene still rocked.
Oh, and stay for the post-credits scene. It’ll lead very very nicely into ‘Days of Future Past’.