A lot better than its predecessor, it is even more unusual in that it doesn't feel like part of the X-Men franchise, both in terms of story and direction. It starts off quite well, with decent family drama where you wonder WTF's goin' on. It proceeds to some intense gritty action, and some cheesy romance, and finally gets a not-so-exciting ending. It left me wishing there were more mutants, for what we have here isn't very interesting (the poison lady is curious, but she isn't very interesting, and neither is her powers).
A few of the performances are interesting, most especially the gal with the deformed face, though she's too much of a curiosity than an essential character. The son of the dying man gets a commanding performance, though the characterization is rather stale... done so damn many times before. I am no fan of Hugh Jackman, but this one is his best attempt at doing the title character so far. The design of the giant samurai armor is amazing.
I wish the cinematography and production design felt less stagey, and the sounds less retarded (e.g. metallic sounds emanate from swords cutting through human flesh).