Summary: Logan and Professor X hide in a desert until a young mutant bringing trouble turns everything on its head.
First and foremost I must throw out kudos to the writing on this for getting X-23 right. I don’t mind the changes to her lore, what needed to be there was there and it was great. They gave Hit Girl claws and it felt so good.
Now down to business.
Apparently after the success of Deadpool 20th Century Fox, like most companies do, decided if one thing works then all the things must be done the same way. In this case, it was giving the movie an R rating, this tactic of mimicking a successful venture until the notion has been run into the ground did not immediately backfire this time. Logan is a dark and gritty look at the bleak future of mutants, a film that actually bothers with a solid plot and character development. Though I could sense some hesitation from the studio as the introduction story of Laura Kinney was far less tragic than her comic book counterpart, they definitely did not shy away from making a truly compelling and heartbreaking story. As a side note if Fox wants to differentiate itself from the Marvel movies, being the R-rated mutant films might be an interesting route, but knowing Fox like I do I doubt the quality will remain high over time.
Logan, and to a degree the other, but far less well made Wolverine focused movies, is a film that can stand completely on its own. No knowledge of previous events is necessary because, as this is set far in the future of the events of past titles, all of the superfluous information isn’t relevant to understanding the characters and their current positions. It was a two and a half hour film that never left me fidgeting in my seat, though many scenes were long periods of suspense punctuated with action. For once Fox found the thing that made Marvel comics stand above the rest; a strong, relatable, human element. Instead of large scale battles for things an average mortal can’t conceive of and confusing, irrational motivations for characters the audience has had no time or reason to care about the movie instead made these gods among men human. Logan’s exhaustion with life, the troubles of taking care of an elderly friend and, let’s face it, father figure. The burden of being ill but working tirelessly for a loved one who, due to illness and their own frustrations, will throw that kindness back your face, is a very real thing. Even Laura, whose backstory is completely unrelatable to most, the result of it is, though I won’t go into spoilers here.
The acting was far stronger than it has been in previous titles, maybe because Logan’s exhaustion is merely a reflection of Hugh Jackman’s fatigue in playing a role for nearly two decades. Xavier was strong willed and boisterous despite his condition and age, I felt a lot more of Patrick Stewart in the role than the projected calm, cool, collected portrayal that had been in performances past and it, in my opinion, made him more likable. Laura, played by Dafne Keen, had all the sass necessary to pull off a convincing X-23 and somehow managed to not look like a complete tool when rampaging on grown men with claws she doesn’t actually have. Even the secondary cast nailed their roles and in a film all about the characters, this is crucial.
Although the R rating was mainly for violence, the same incredible story telling would have been possible without it. Which makes me wonder if the knowledge of the failsafe allowed them to make a more serious script. It could have also been a natural evolution of this particular writer/director combo as they were involved in The Wolverine which after Origins was a shockingly competent film.
The short version is the movie was baller, good action and great storytelling, a real tear jerker.
Spoilers past this point, if you haven’t seen the movie then now would be the time to move on.
Real talk. Though most of this film had solid character motivation, please explain to me why a bunch of carjacking cholos would shoot a man, see him get up, and then decide to fight him. Even then, upon discovering his bullet-proof-ness and opting to see if their bare hands fare better in the fight, upon seeing a dudes arm getting sliced off by knife claws, what motivation did anyone have to keep fighting? Like I would have quit at the shrug off of the bullet, but assuming I didn’t believe my eyes and wanted to beat the dude down, that surely would have sobered me up. I don’t know what limousine tires are worth, but I bet you anything it’s not enough to fight a guy that can just take buckshot.
Did anyone notice how bleak this film was? I mean not just with all the deaths and that sad “Simba/Mufasa dad get up” scene. I mean the implication that the adamantium in Logan’s body is slowly poisoning him. Doesn’t that mean that Laura will also eventually just die? I mean yeah she can live for a few hundred years, but it’s kind of dour.
Also, I like how Fox figuratively killed every character in the X-Men and this movie just went ahead and did it literally. Though it’s fine with me that everyone they ruined is gone forever and the only one left is the one they got right, who incidentally is my third favorite x-man (I mean technically second since the first two are tied).
THER IS NO UNIVERSE IN WHICH A BLACK TEEN GIVES A STRANGER’S CHILD HIS IPHONE AND EARBUDS FOR THE NIGHT. NONE. DORMAMU COULDN’T EVEN FIND ONE IF HE TRIED.
Shout out to that mutant kid, showing fat, short guys everywhere how to run with utmost efficiency. You go little round, you go and never stop.