Film Review – Logan (2017)
We’ve been waiting for it for months, and the time is finally here! The long-awaited, R-rated Logan is set to hit theaters this weekend. Naturally, I sprinted to my closest theater to see it for myself. The following review will be spoiler free.
Logan is directed by James Mangold and once again stars Hugh Jackman as Wolverine and Patrick Stewart as Professor X along with newcomer Dafne Keen as Laura.
The year is 2029 and Logan is in poor shape. His healing factor has severely declined immensely. In an attempt to lay low, Logan gets a job as a limousine driver in the Southwest while saving up his money to be able to buy a boat with Charles, who also is in pretty rough shape. However, before he can head out to sea, Logan gets caught up in the plight of the young Laura as she attempts to flee from a nefarious foe, leading to some disastrous results.
Everyone’s excitement level leading up to the release of Logan was most definitely high. However, there was also some bittersweet feelings involved as well since Hugh Jackman has made it abundantly clear that this is the last time he will play Wolverine in a film. Whether you believe him or not is entirely up to you. But, the creative team behind the movie certainly set up for Logan to be Jackman’s swan song, making the movie the first R-rated Wolverine movie to finally give the character justice while pulling story threads from the popular Wolverine comic book story line, “Old Man Logan.”
The trailers released for the movie definitely gave that darker, grittier feel that fans of the Wolverine character were hoping for. It was absolutely a change from watching Wolverine fight the Blob. James Mangold exclaimed that this movie would certainly be a departure from the typical superhero movie, saying that he would only make the film if the studio kept its meddling to a minimum. He set out to create a disconnected, different take on the franchise that can stand alone without worrying about setting up future movies. It’s always intriguing to see when a director attempts to make a movie that alters genre norms.
What I Liked
After two hours and fifteen minutes, I left the theater in awe of what Logan was able to accomplish.
I need to give credit to James Mangold and Fox Studios for the creation of this film. Logan was a major risk, so Fox is certainly deserves praise for allowing James Mangold to see out his vision in a time where all we hear about is studios getting too heavily involved in the production of massive superhero movies like Suicide Squad or Batman V Superman.
Logan is unlike any superhero movie. It plays liken an independent film at times. The movie isn’t afraid to have the pacing of the movie dip to give solid characterization. James Mangold’s vision for this movie is incredibly bold, pulling no punches (the crowd left in silence as the end credits came over the screen). The film certainly earns its R-rating, but the violence is never gratuitous, it fits for the material on screen. There’s also no massive end of the world stakes that the film resorts to in its final act, allowing for the performances of each character to shine.
What I Liked…Continued
The performances by Hugh Jackman and Patrick Stewart are out of control. Not only do we get to see Wolverine slice and dice people like never before because of the R-rating, we also get a very nuanced performance that we have yet to see from the character. Wolverine is a broken man. He struggles to find the desire to stay alive until he finds his purpose in this film. But even then he’s still very reluctant.
Jackman is so subtle yet powerful, which contrasts mightily to Patrick Stewart who is really tough to watch at points in the movie (which is one of the highest compliments I can give Stewart). Seeing a much older, ailing Charles Xavier played well with the overall tone of Logan, but also added a lot weight to the storytelling that James Mangold created. I know it’s March, but I’m heavily entrenched as the leader of the movement to get Patrick Stewart an Oscar for best supporting actor. He is THAT good in this film.
What I Liked…Continued…Continued
Logan achieves dramatic depth unlike any superhero movie in a long time (maybe since The Dark Knight), bringing you to tears in a couple instances throughout the film. Audiences are trusted to be invested in the characters. In fact, there’s much time between action set pieces to set up character motives. You understand each character, so when the action does occur, it becomes even more emotional and gripping. Logan is proof that we don’t need a city falling from the sky a la Avengers: Age of Ultron to be riveted by action.
Although the film stands alone, Mangold adds some nice little moments that honor the legacy of Hugh Jackman as Wolverine. At no point does the film feel overbearing, either. Every nod to Jackman’s character is very subtle, such as instruments in the score sounding similar to bagpipes as to simulate the end of an era. Everything about Logan is very tasteful, leading to a satisfying, deep ride. Logan is clearly a self-contained story. And yet, it’s a melancholy celebration of the joy that Hugh Jackman has given us as Wolverine for the past seventeen years.
Logan is easily one of the best superhero films of recent memory. It’s emotional, gripping, and incredibly tense. The film isn’t afraid to take risks. The result is an immensely satisfying movie that will stand the test of time. Logan gets an A+. If this film isn’t one of top five movies at the end of the year, then we’re in for an amazing year in film.
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