Logan

Year: 2017
Director: James Mangold 
Starring: Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, Dafne Keen, Boyd Holbrook, Stephen Merchant 
Written by Andrew Garrison

Wolverine is by far my favourite Marvel character, in fact, he is on my shortlist of favourite fictional characters of all time. The reasons are personal, but Wolverine/Logan speaks to me on a profound level, and I think that is among the finest attributes of a fictional character we adore. We can find ourselves and reveal new truths about who we are and perhaps where we are going.

This is the reputedly the last time we see Hugh Jackman as Wolverine (Unless he finds his way into the Avengers supposedly.) It has been an incredible run through the X-Men and Wolverine franchise, and whilst these movies weren’t always great, and even I had some issues with Jackman being too tall for the role, once I saw him play the character, I was won over.  Hugh Jackman playing Wolverine has wound up perhaps the greatest casting choice in comic book film history (top five easily).   While I am a huge Wolverine fan, I am also a cinephile, therefore, I’ll gush about the best things, but still call out the flaws when I see them.

Logan’ is about the X-men known as the Wolverine in the near future and the world he is a part of. It is a cold and bleak place, but not without some beauty. In this world, he winds up watching a young girl and trying to get her and Charles Xavier to safety. ‘Logan’ changes the discussion about comic book films, it is something the genre needed. A gritty, violent, character drama with some profound and perhaps prophetic messages scattered about.  In a time where flashy superhero films are all the rage (they are fun, admit it), this film provides a solemn, personal journey of self-discovery and enlightenment which may stay with an audience for some time.  This movie left me speechless by the end.

Logan’ was beautiful in many ways and I’ll get to that, but first let us break down the flaws. While the first and third acts are brilliant, the second act lulls a bit too much. We need this slowdown to provide build-up of plot and character enhancement.  However, there is a limit and this film took a little too much time wandering before getting to the point. 

While I applaud ‘Logan’ for being rated R for its immensely violent and sometimes disturbing scenes, I wanted The Wolverine to be unleashed, but this pushed my limits.  Everyone has a tolerance for violence, I enjoy a film that uses violence as a tool, not a crutch.  There were a few times in this film that went a touch too far for my taste. It was effectively unsettling and sometimes quite hard to watch.  The violence was unlike any superhero film I have seen before. The closest we come is ‘Watchmen’ (2009) or ‘Deadpool’ (2016).

As for the positives, there is so much I could say, but won’t because I don’t like to spoil things for people.  I will leave you with the fact that this movie will likely make you think. You leave the film in contemplation of what you saw and the various meanings to it.  There are aspects of the positive to the film despite it being consistently sombre. This film reminds me of something I would write, a world that is recognizable to our own except darker. Even among this darkness, there can be situational humor to break from the despair. This film uses this humour effectively and not in abundance. 

The entire cast was exceptional, but the standouts were of course Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, and Dafne Keen. I expected the quality from Jackman and Stewart, but Keen was incredible. She is already on my list of the finest young actors I’ve seen in a long time; if you need a second opinion, ask Patrick Stewart what he thinks of her!

This film has a lot of character development mixed with some very good action. So, if you see the trailers and expect a nonstop thrill ride, you are mistaken. I wouldn’t say it is a flaw at all, but it can be off-putting to those who expect something different.  I found it refreshing that this film took the hardcore gritty route to finish off the Wolverine trio of films with a proper send-off. 

‘Logan’ is by far the best Wolverine/X-men movie ever made, but it is not my favourite. The violence is incredibly brutal to the point it bothered me a couple of times, however the beauty is far from forgotten.  Those moments of peace and redemption in an otherwise figurative and literal charred landscape are incredible.  While I don’t know if I would add this to my film collection, I would see this film again, and I plan to.  However, I will need to digest the many aspects of this film first. ‘Logan’ is a one of a kind in the comic book movie world, as brutal as anyone could hope and a touch more. I appreciate the efforts to change the superhero landscape further. (Give some credit to ‘Deadpool’ for the assist as well.)

Andrew’s Rating: 9 out of 10

 

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