The Logan I’ve been waiting for!
It’s been a a while since I’ve been moved by a movie, even longer since one made me well up at the end. We’ll get to that in a moment. Logan shouldn’t be put in a category or genre of a comic book film even though its main characters are comic book icons. It’s a drama that will make you laugh, cry and think about your whole life and what’s its purpose and meaning are.
This is the ninth time Hugh Jackman has played Wolverine and quite frankly none of the other times compare with this one. He’s a grown up killer who becomes a parent and protector of a girl he doesn’t even know existed. Jackman holds the movie together giving it soul and spirit. Although he reminds you in the film how violent he can be, this movie is far removed from the other X-Men or stand alone Wolverine movies. It’s a fitting end to a great character. He’s in such bad shape, alcoholic ready to kill himself carrying a admantium bullet throughout the movie. His healing power seemingly fading fast, he is also the caretaker to Professor X (Patrick Stewart).
Patrick Stewart’s last take on Professor X might have moved me the most. Battling Alzheimer’s, his seizures could kill all mutant kind, and they allude to an event that happened where one of his seizures has killed a large population of mutants, maybe even most of them. Logan battling his own demons and suicidal thoughts, has to be his caregiver. I own a business that deals with dementia and Alzheimer’s patients and many times I have to talk with their families about difficult subjects. It pains me to have to see this on-screen as I can relate to it very easily. Professor X’s ability to never give up on Logan and to see how much he cared for him really hits the heart. It’s the father/son relationship of two amazing characters. Stewart’s ability to get across Professor X’s mannerisms is incredible. This performance should make viewers look at “comic book movies” in a different light.
The fact is, the only way for the superhero/comic book movie genre to survive and thrive is for films to push forward telling new stories that haven’t been made before. They need to surprise audiences with all new twists and turns. They have to make the stakes more than some big battle that could end the world. What I loved about the Logan footage is how it’s about the characters and felt like a western without the normal rules of a superhero movie. In almost every superhero movie you never get the feeling something really bad could happen to your protagonist. In Logan, you are seeing characters at the end of their rope. For Star Wars fans Logan is the Force Awakens of the X-Men franchise, a play on audience nostalgia that passes the franchise torch to a younger generation while respecting and admiring the older one.
X-23 played by Dafne Keen is a revelation for a girl who doesn’t speak a word for more than half the movie. Keen’s wild-eyed, charismatic Laura is memorable not only for her adamantium-claw action scene but also for her ability to convey the young heroine’s ferocious yet innocent nature. Initially a second choice, the director James Mangold obviously made the right choice. Dafne Keen could be the new Natalie Portman. I fell in love with her as she reminded me of my 3-year-old daughter. Of course not for her killing people but her behavior and love towards Logan at the end, holding hands with him as I would my little one. It made me sad when Logan dies because I would never want to leave my daughter fatherless and directionless at that age. Especially one who has been manipulated her whole life to be a weapon. If Keen doesn’t win an Oscar for some future film I would be shocked!!
Caliban played by Stephen Merchant was done very well. His caretaker role for Xavier is one of true friend and selflessness. For all of Jackman’s brilliant performance, it’s the self-sacrifice of Merchant that acts as a buffer in between the two X-men. His performance should not be undervalued.
After watching Logan for the second time I will go out on a limb and say it was the best genre movie, even better than the Dark Knight, of all “comic book” movies. Logan is a punch in the gut in all the right ways. Logan earns its keep. The cursing and destruction aren’t just there for effect. They’re there because Logan is about finding redemption in an imperfectly lived life. To remove them would be to sugar-coat a story, and character, that lives on the darkest time line. The X-Men have always been about celebrating outcasts, but Logan was their biggest outcast. If he was going to find any kind of solace, he was going to have to go to some bleak places first. I gave this movie a 4.5 out 5 stars. I hope you all enjoyed it as much I did.
If you enjoyed that then AI Comic Pod team also spoke about Logan on the podcast! You can check out the episode below!