Movie Name: Logan
Studio: Marvel Entertainment
Genre(s): Comic Book/Action/Adventure/Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Release Date(s): February 17, 2017 (Permiere)/March 3, 2017 (US)
MPAA Rating: R
Mutantkind is in its death throes and one of the last mutants is dying. Something is killing Logan (Hugh Jackman) and his once unstoppable powers are slowing down. He spends his day as a driver and joining Caliban (Stephen Merchant) in tending to Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart) who is also dying. When Logan is contacted by a woman with a child named Laura (Dafne Keen), Logan finds that Laura might not only be the hope for mutant kind but more like Logan than he ever believed possible. Laura is being pursued by Transigen and its hired agents the Reavers…and getting Laura to safety could be Logan’s last quest.
Directed by James Mangold, Logan is the final film outing for Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine character and loosely based on the Old Man Logan character. Following X-Men: Apocalypse in 2016, Logan was released to positive reviews and a strong box office. The movie featured a preview teaser for Deadpool 2 with Ryan Reynolds.
X-Men: Apocalypse was a disappointment, and the Wolverine movies prior to Logan were pretty questionable. Deadpool added a spark to the X-Men films and allowed them to go R-Rated. Logan continues this trend, but it does have problems.
Logan is dark and gritty and that is a good thing. The X-Men movies almost are too shiny and “superhero-y” at points and the action almost feels incidental in that sense…they don’t feel dangerous. Logan feels dangerous, but almost to a fault. Logan is old and dying…and the movie loves showing that. It crawls and creeps along leading to a fate you can tell at the beginning of the movie. This is slowed down even more by a visit with a family a-la the French Plantation in Apocalypse Now…it might add to the story, but it really just feels like it extends the runtime.
Jackman has mastered Logan and is allowed to play him two ways with X-24. The movie is his character’s swan song and it feels like it is time. The same can be said of Patrick Stewart’s Professor X who is tottery and weak. Stephen Merchant plays Caliban and is better at the role than slick Tómas Lemarquis version in X-Men: Apocalypse. Boyd Holbrook leads the slimy Reavers and Eriq La Salle gets stuck with the ho-hum part of Will Munson to whom Logan brings death.
The breakout of Logan has to be Dafne Keen as Laura aka X-23. She can handle a lot of emotion in her non-talking scenes but also can carry the action scenes when she cuts loose. I do prefer when she isn’t speaking, but it probably was necessary to have her eventually talk…I’d love to see her come back in some form.
Logan is almost a post-apocalyptic movie with a lot of stuff going on in the background and the R-Rating ups the violence. The movie is set in the future and there are some allusions to events going on in the United States right now involving nationalism and men vs technology. It is contrasted by mostly rural settings which play in well with the post-apocalypse themes.
Logan feels a lot like an attempt to recreate the thrills of Mad Max without the grindhouse nature. The movie’s plots have a lot of parallels with Mad Max, The Road Warrior, Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome and even Mad Max: Fury Road (plus it helps that by this point Hugh Jackman is starting to look like Mel Gibson). I wish that the movie had half the energy of those films and kept the energy going with some of the emotion. Logan is definitely the best of the Wolverine films and one of the better X-Men films…but the pacing keeps it from being the best. The future of Wolverine and the X-Men is unknown…but that actually is a good thing.