“What’s Wolverines costume? The guy wears a fucking tank top and a pair of jeans”. – Deadpool
As I live and breathe, the Wolverine. That Hugh Jackman, he making me cry. Logan, written and directed by James Mangold is one for the record books. Logan is more than just a comic book movie; it transcends the genre and should be an example of what a comic book movie can be. I’m going to go pretty light on the plot details, because there are a few surprises in the movie, and FOX did an incredible job at marketing this movie without giving too many things away. Ultimately Logan has to cart this girl around, and he’s not to sure about who she is and what her background is. Him and Professor X must keep this girl save, but the thing is she doesn’t really need much protection. She’s the one protecting them at certain points in the movie; she kicks all sorts of ass in this. This little ass-kicker is Laura played by the new comer Dafne Keen and she is simply marvelous. For this being her first role, she really knocked it out of the park. Essentially these three go on a road trip, to a safe place called Eden where the remaining Mutants are staying. As Logan finds out more about this young girl, he starts to learn more about himself, as she teaches him to reach out to the people you care about and it’s never to late to start a family. Think of it as Thelma and Louise meets Unforgiven. I loved it from start to finish, and actually watched it twice in 2 days before I wrote my review.
Logan is all sorts of brutal; from almost the opening frame the violence in this movie is gruesome. I loved everyone second of it, it wasn’t over the top or felt out of place or unnecessary either, it felt just right. Fans of Wolverine have been waiting 17 long years for a movie like this, to see him slicing and dicing this way through each enemy. There is so much blood and limbs in this movie, oh my god. The action sequences are very hard hitting, fast paced, violent, and masterfully crafted pieces. It’s unlike any action we have seen in the X-Men universe so far, well really any comic book movie that has come before it. James Mangold manages to do what Christopher Nolan did for the Batman franchise. This is a very grounded movie; it has a western style vibe to it. It’s a very serious, dark and somber drama that has incredible action bursts throughout the movie. You really don’t feel how savage the action is until it’s all said and done, and we are left in a quiet setting seeing Logan’s wounds, as for the majority of the movie he is beat to shit. This isn’t the Avengers, bright lights and jokes every few minutes, where you feel like nothing is ever at stake. Yes there are funny moments sprinkled into Logan, and our heroes are not walking around sad and depressed throughout the entire movie but there is a lot of emotional baggage that comes with it. Our heroes are seriously broken in this movie; there is almost zero hope in their eyes. Logan and Professor X have gone through so much and lost so many friends and loved ones that it’s hard for them to see any good in the world they are now living in. It’s not until they meet this new mutant Laura that a little flame of hope sparks inside of them. As they learn how to become heroes again, in a world that seems to have lost most of them. They learn how to help one another again and be part of a team and more importantly care for one another. Logan is seriously such a broken human being in this story, he’s old and beaten down and it was fantastic to see the Wolverine we have come to love over the past two decades reappear when the right emotional buttons were pushed. The action wasn’t forced either, these intense and brutal action scenes were always because our heroes found themselves in dire situations and they were always fighting for their lives. It was warranted and fit so naturally in the story.
Everyone really gave it their all in this. They were all in for their roles and the acting was all around exceptional. Dafne Keen really blew me away. Chalk it up to another strong and silent but deadly little girl. With the success of Stranger Things, X-23 really had an Eleven vibe to her, she doesn’t say much but her facial expressions alone were worth a thousand words. For a little kid to step into a role like this, in a movie like this is so impressive. She was honestly Hit-Girl mixed with Eleven, and in a movie as brutal as this she really held her own. I’m curious to see where they take this character, or if they will even expand on her. When you’re stealing scenes with Patrick Stewart and Hugh Jackman, and it’s your first major role, that’s insanely impressive. Speaking of Patrick Stewart he gives an Oscar worthy performance. Such a raw and gut wrenching portrayal of the leader of the X-Men, he’s on his last leg in Logan, having lost control of his powers and becoming more and more dangerous to everyone he loves. He’s fragile and senile and wants Logan to find his inner peace, as he doesn’t have much time left to enjoy the simple joys in life. Just like Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart has been playing this character for 17 years now, and this was his last time doing this role, so it was an emotional performance to say the least. Now let’s talk about the man himself. Hugh Jackman, this obviously is sadly his last kick at the can. First things first, without Hugh Jackman there is no X-Men franchise plain and simple. He helped build an empire of movies, and is the reason why these movies have been so successful, when you think about X-Men, Wolverine is usually what comes to mind first. They give him the proper send off that he deserves and there is some really strong symbolism at the end of the movie that sums up everything I just mentioned. Flat out after watching Logan, I don’t think it’s smart to recast this character for at least 5 solid years. That’s hard to do, because like I said Wolverine and even Professor X are so synonymous with this franchise this puts FOX in a very tricky situation. It felted like comic book pages were being ripped from their book and being put onto the screen. Hugh Jackman is the embodiment of Wolverine in Logan, and I left the theatre really upset that he can’t continue on after this incredible performance. There are some serious gut wrenching emotional beats, which just leave you almost breathless. This is a very human story, it’s about losing hope and the feeling of being alone and forgetting what it’s like to be loved and to give it.
At one point of the movie Logan notices that Laura has some X-Men comic books in her book bag and I thought this was a really cool concept to actually have physical comics about the X-Men existence in this universe. Wolverine went on to say that they were all “bullshit” and the majority of the stuff that happens in the comics didn’t even happen in the real world. It was interesting that they decided to put something like this in the movie, that the X-Men had become so beloved in the world that people were writing fictional stories about them. One gripe that most people have about Marvel movies is the villain but I thought Boyd Holbrook was one of the better bad guys yet, as Donald Pierce the head of security at Transigen the company that is trying to hunt down and eliminate any mutants. He was a compelling villain and they really didn’t need to have a big baddie in this movie because we just really wanted to see Wolverine cut though a ton of idiot henchmen and that’s exactly what you get. Stephen Merchant plays Caliban, a Mutant friend of Logan’s who helps care for Professor X as well, he serves as sort of the voice of reason in the movie, and I thought he did a fantastic job, so he deserves a shout out.
In terms of how everything wraps up, I found it to be satisfying, I might have wanted a few more little emotional beats towards the end, but overall I think life long fans will be happy with how things shake out. Watching everything play out throughout the entire movie was kind of heart wrenching, this is an emotional journey that our characters go on. Finding out things about themselves that maybe they didn’t know they had in them. It’s a beautiful movie, it’s shot and edited so well and James Mangold really made a masterpiece. This is in the upper echelon of comic book movies and it will redefine the genre, because at the end of the day I think this is more of a drama piece with super hero elements tied in. I haven’t enjoyed a comic book movie like this since The Dark Knight, I will miss Hugh Jackman but he gave us fans 17 wonderful years. Hearing Wolverine whisper, “so this is what it feels like” was very chilling and it was the kind of human emotion that was even more powerful than the extraordinary powers these people had themselves. Something I’ll never forget.
Check ya later,
Nate’s Movie Tour Reviews — Logan =97/100