Logan – ★ ★ ★ ★ ½ Theatrical Review
Be warned. There will be spoilers in this review. I think it’s the only way I can talk about what I feel about Logan.
It’s common knowledge that Hugh Jackman (who will be 49 years old this year) has said he would be “hanging up the claws”, putting an end to his portrayal of the character known as Logan, James Howlett or Wolverine that he has played nine times since 2000. Patrick Stewart has also announced that Logan would be the last time he would portray Charles Xavier or Professor X as he’s also been playing the character since 2000. With that knowledge and with a few hints from the trailers, you can guess what will happen to the characters. Logan gives us an aged, weakened, sick, and non-healing Logan, not the Wolverine who could recover from beatings and attacks in moments, and whose ferocity allowed him to dominate in fights. When he is presented with a young mutant child who has similar powers and claws to his own, he and the very old and ailing Xavier have to try and get her safely to the Canadian border while being chased by the same people whose experiments created the girl.
Watching the movie, I fully expected Logan to die at the end, and watching the trailers I fully expected Xavier to die too (as he states in one of the trailers, he is F-ing 90!) but there were things that made me doubt this and that’s what makes for good storytelling in my mind. I went in fully prepared for something but there were enough hints dropped along the way that made me doubt, or made me hope that something else could happen. I suppose I like to think of myself as a “smart” comic book fan. I like to think that I’m fairly knowledgeable in the history of the characters and things like that. I also think I’m pretty “movie smart”, as I’ve seen a lot of movies over the years and it takes something pretty substantial to surprise me, the fact that Logan did surprise me at several turns was something special and added to my enjoyment of the film.
When the bad guys gave their X-24 experiment a serum to heal faster, my heart jumped. If Logan got some of this would it cure him of the adamantium poisoning? Would he heal like he used to? Would he be the Wolverine again? Could this mean that Logan wouldn’t die and I was wrong about my “predictions”? Would he lead the mutant children to Canada and lead the next generation of X-Men? In the comics he did lead the school after one of Professor X’s many deaths, so it was plausible. Also: could there be enough of the juice left in him that he’s not really dead, but will just take a long time to heal?
I saw the film in theatres with some friends. After an enjoyable dinner and some excellent conversation, we were off to the show. Logan was a lot of “wish fulfillment” for me. This movie was really made for the fans and my friends and I looked at each other in surprise after many of the “wow” moments. Everything you wanted to see in the other X-Men movies you got in the R-Rated Logan. There were violent, violent fights and deaths. The claws were popped (by both Logan and Laura a.k.a. X-23) in gruesome and creative ways; ways that hadn’t seen on film but had only been imagined. Bad guys got claws through the head, through the eyes, through the throat, through the gut. Arms were cut off, legs were removed, hands, heads, you name it, there was comic book evisceration like never before. If you were excited by Wolverine’s attacks in X-Men 2 or in The Wolverine, they dial the intensity right up in Logan. The only thing we didn’t get in Logan was Hugh Jackman ever actually wearing a Wolverine costume. While I guess it isn’t necessary, it would have been kind of cool to see the costume that was teased at the end of The Wolverine (though only in an “alternate ending”) even if it had only been in a brief flashback.
They also dial up the language throughout the film. We had a few “f-bombs” in the red band trailers (and even a few in the trailers before the film (more on that below)), so it wasn’t really a surprise that the language was also quite “colourful” in the film. I think that “The Girl Who Whispered” was a little surprised by that but for the most part I think that the language used did fit the tone of the film and the situations. That being said, it could have been toned down a bit and the desired mood would still have been achieved. I usually think that if you always need to use swearing to convey the emotions of your story, you should work on your storytelling, but Logan didn’t really use the language that way. At one point Logan and Laura (Dafne Keen) are stuck on the side of the road with a broken truck and Logan swears and shouts and beats up the truck. To me that’s very real, and something that we can all relate to. Okay, maybe we can’t relate to being mutants with unbreakable bones who are being chased by Reavers (cyborg mutant hunters), but we can probably relate to having a car or computer or battery or some other piece of technology give out on you when you most needed it…
Both Patrick Stewart and Hugh Jackman gave excellent performances, and there has been talk about both being nominated for Oscars, as well as the film itself. I think that it may be a bit early for Oscar talk, but you never know. Clearly both actors really do love the characters they play and you can see that in their performances. Strong, emotional, heroic, and touching; they wanted to send the fans home with a lasting memory.
So, a few other things you may want to know about Logan: wisely it was set in the future, so there is the possibility (and high probability) that Wolverine will be able to appear in future X-Men (or dare we dream MCU) films. There was no Stan Lee cameo in the film, but in several versions of the Deadpool 2 Teaser Trailer that aired before the feature there is. For some reason the theatre I went to didn’t air that version of the trailer, apparently there are two, one with Stan and one without, and I believe they each have different music for some reason (though both have the John Williams Superman theme for obvious reasons). Lastly there was no “after the credits” scene in Logan so if you have a full bladder you don’t have to wait around.
Bottom Line: Loved it. I hear that they’re making a black and white version of the film as a special feature for the Blu Ray release, which I think would be pretty cool. Black and white seems to intensify everything. I seem to remember seeing one of the first trailers being released in black and white with the Johnny Cash song in it….but I could also be imagining that now that I’ve heard this.
Posted on 17-03-19, in 4.5 Star, Comic Book Movies, Movie Reviews and tagged comic book movie, Dafne Keen, girl who whispered, Hugh Jackman, Laura Kinney, Logan, Patrick Stewart, Professor X, Richard E. Grant, Richard Grant, Stephen Merchant, Wolverine, X-23, X-Men. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.