There's a lot to see in "The Wolverine": Hugh Jackman suiting up as the mutton-chopped mutant again. The film's gorgeous Japanese setting. The killer action sequences. And Famke Janssen wearing a negligee!
Wait, what? Yup, "The Wolverine" is yet another film that suffers from the old "shameless and gratuitous eye candy" issue: when a character, often an attractive woman, sheds her clothes, not to serve the plot, but to keep viewers's eyes on the screen.
If the complaint sounds familiar, it's because it recently came up when Alice Eve's Carol Marcus stripped down in "Star Trek Into Darkness." In that film, Marcus and Jim Kirk (Chris Pine) are having a conversation when she starts to change in front of him. "Turn around," she requests, but, Kirk being Kirk, he can't resist sneaking a peek — and thus the audience too gets an eyeful of the busty science officer wearing only her bra and undies.
When it comes to "The Wolverine," we get a tiny glimpse of Janssen's boudoir-ready body in its trailers, but it's the film's full dream sequences — in which her deceased, negligee-wearing Jean Grey character visits Wolverine — that are getting groans from critics.
Whose body-baring scene is more awkwardly unnecessary?
Unlike Eve's skivvies scene, Janssen's nearly-bare body has been concealed up until the moment moviegoers will see it inside the confines of theaters starting this weekend. Conversely, the Eve scene was so prominent in "Star Trek" marketing materials that it had some folks asking, "What's the point?" before they even entered their local multiplex. And then when they saw the extraneous "Star Trek" underwear scene within the full context of the movie, they realized, "Oh, there isn't any."
Score one for Janssen.
Janssen's sexy Jean Grey moments aren't necessarily furthering the plot, but they're also not actively taking away momentum from the rest of the film. Visually, it's eye candy for eye candy's sake, but the implied intimacy between Grey and Wolverine does speak to his past, and the future he tries to face in the film.
On the other hand, Eve's Victoria's Secret model shot actively disrupts the plot as it hurtles forward in space. She's talking about the threat presented by a set of deadly torpedoes on board the Enterprise, but even as she's talking — and even when she asks Kirk to look away, to respect her privacy — the camera is signalling to the audience to keep their eyes down there. The scene garnered enough ridicule to inspire co-writer/producer Damon Lindelof to directly responded on Twitter, writing: "I copped to the fact that we should have done a better job of not being gratuitous in our representation of a barely clothed actress."
Score two for Janssen.
Sure, the J.J. Abrams-helmed "Star Trek" films have had gratuitous stripping moments for cast members of both sexes (see: Chris Pine in both, Zoe Saldana in the first one, Benedict Cumberbatch in a deleted shower scene for "Into Darkness"). And yeah, we get to see a lot of shirtless Jackman in "The Wolverine" — like, a lot.
Rest easy, Famke: Your sexy negligee may have startled some moviegoers, but at least your barely-clothed moment was a pleasant (though unnecessary) surprise, rather than a sudden speed bump that threw off the flow of the film.
Janssen for the win!
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