|Death always surrounds our favorite ornery superhero in, Logan|
"Logan, you still have time."Regardless of size (too tall) or not being ridiculously costumed in yellow spandex, I knew at a very specific moment that Hugh Jackman was and is, our Wolverine. It came during my first ever viewing of 2000's X-Men at the theaters. And it wasn't during some barbaric slice'em and dice'em battle scene. It came from a quiet moment when Logan meets the young stowaway Rogue (Anna Paquin, True Blood), and she asks him, "Does it hurt?" while the camera pans up from his knuckles to his face.
He quietly replies, "Every time.". That subtle little moment told me that one of my favorite Marvel characters, was in good hands. Hugh brought not only ferocity to the role, but he also gave heart to a character with such a rough demeanor. And not once has Jackman ever let us down, even when the ship was collapsing all around him (X-Men: The Last Stand, X-Men Origins: Wolverine). If this last film truly is just that, then whoever they try to replace him with, has some mighty big claws to fill.
Logan disregards the standard superhero gimmicks, and tells a story of loss, regret, and sadness. There is an emotional toll on every protagonist, that is felt by the audience for the entire film. The camera loves to be up close and personal, so we can see (and feel) it constantly. Right from the first scene as our hero wakes up in the back seat of his limo to discover some thugs stealing his wheels, the language and violence lets us know that there is no holding back like before (thank you, Mr. Deadpool). Yet there is much more to this film than just long-awaited, foulmouthed carnage; There's a story to tell about suffering and redemption.
The mutants of Logan, are far past their glory days. Only a hint of their greatness remains, and is more sad than anything else to see. Sure Tobey Maguire had some issues with his webbing in Spider-Man 2 (2004), but you don't want to be anywhere near Professor X when he has an "episode". Seeing the once great Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart, Star Trek: First Contact) reduced to a senile old man with nothing to show for his many deeds, is tragic.
Stewart's emotive acting makes it even more effective as well. Tragedy not only comes for him, but for everything that the X-Men fought and died to protect. Jackman carries the film's burden the entire time, and when he gets to unleash some Adamantium fury for a helpful act, it's like seeing an old lion revert back to his prime for such a brief but glorious moment. Another mutant that's lost much of his mojo is Caliban, played in a very reserved role by Stephen Merchant (Hot Fuzz).
Besides the themes of loss, the film's main villain is fiendishly covered by Boyd Holbrook (Narcos). He's that cocky bad guy who thinks and acts like he's many steps ahead of his prey. Newcomer Dafne Keen as that prey, is very quiet for most of the film, until her level of trust rises. Then and only then, does she say what needs to be said. She truly is, a little Logan.
The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly, of Logan
The Good- "It's a lease!", "No, No, No!", Hotel slashing in slow-mo, Logan wears a white tank top while X-24 wears a black one (good vs. evil), and only if that serum came in an extra size.
The Bad- Is history doomed to repeat itself? Remember what happened to the farmer and his wife that took Logan into their home in Origins? Well the same damn thing happens again, fool! Also, the amazingly effective trailers make this film largely predictable.
The Ugly- They might use another actor for another appearance of The Wolverine, but that doesn't mean Cable and Deadpool aren't going to fix the dismal events of this film. He's a damn time traveler and Wade's got a crush on the guy (Jackman).
Final ThoughtsGet to the theater early enough to see the hilarious short film that's right before showtime. Logan is that long kind of western where the road trip teaches us all we need to know about its characters, even when many questions are left only partially answered. Don't expect much happiness or big computer generated sets with massive battles. This one is personal, just how Hugh wanted to leave it. It's sad to see Jackman go, but at least this time, it means something.
Rating- 8 out of 10
Logan (2017)R | 2h 17min | Action, Drama, Sci-Fi | 3 March 2017 (USA)
In the near future, a weary Logan cares for an ailing Professor X in a hide out on the Mexican border. But Logan's attempts to hide from the world and his legacy are up-ended when a young mutant arrives, being pursued by dark forces.
Director: James Mangold
Writers: James Mangold (story by), Scott Frank (screenplay)
Stars: Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, Dafne Keen