Logan Review

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Almost seventeen years ago, movie going audiences got their first glimpse of Hugh Jackman as Logan, aka Wolverine, in Fox’s first film about our favorite super-powered mutants, X-Men. However, Jackman getting the part of the grizzled, silver clawed badass was only due to a series of, well frankly, very fortunate events. Scottish actor Dougray Scott was ready to dawn the claws, but had to back out due to Mission: Impossible II, in which he played Cruise’s adversary, running over schedule. This opened the leading role, and led to “last minute” test screenings in order to cast the role as soon as possible. Hindsight being 20/20, it would seem actors would have been lining up for the part. However, the superhero buzz was in its infancy, and even Jackman was on the fence as to whether or not he should go for the part. In fact, his wife even advised him against it. However, the allure of performing alongside acting legends and idols to Jackman, Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellan, was just too much to pass up. A few screen tests later and a clutch decision by Fox, and we got our Logan, a role we can hardly imagine another playing now! Jackman has had his ups and downs with the character, both onscreen and off, and wanted to deliver one last great performance before passing the torch, or claws if you will, to his eventual successor. And boy did he deliver!
Logan is an emotional roller-coaster from beginning to end. At it’s core, Mangold’s film is less of a typical superhero movie and more of an emotional action/drama with superhero characters. The scale is personal and the action, though terrific, is tame compared to recent super hero films like Captain America: Civil War, Batman vs. Superman, and Fox’s own X-Men: Apocalypse. Instead, Logan relies more on its characters, story, and theme to carry it. At the start of the film Logan is a beat down and nearly broken, old man who has almost nothing left to live for. He seemingly continues on a mundane existence only to care for his best friend and father figure, Charles Xavier. Mutants are nearly extinct and those left are hardened and bitter at the world they’ve found themselves inhabiting. However, a new young mutant, Laura, with strikingly similar powers to Logan, finds herself in his care and on the run from a nefarious organization attempting to capture her. Logan, though hesitant to get involved at first, is coerced through suspicion, moral compass, and Xavier’s convincing to help the young girl.
The film is viscerally violent, being only the second R-rated film in the franchise. Thanks Deadpool! But unlike Deadpool, in which violence is glorified and even humorous in the most Deadpooliest of ways, the violence in Logan is both grounded and emotional. When people die, you feel it. The film makes an incredibly successful point of proving violence does not come without consequence, and said consequences are seen on the most personal of levels. In this respect, though it may be one of the most truly violent comic book films to date, it also serves as the most anti-violence comic book film to date, a feat that in and of itself, is remarkable.
At the heart of this story, and the biggest theme of the film, is family, and the things we will do to protect our family. Logan essentially gives up his life to protect both Charles, and others, and does it with little complaint. On their journey, Logan, Charles, and Laura are faced with many situations in which this theme is presented, and it’s done masterfully. The dialogue between Logan and Xavier throughout the film, and later between Logan and Laura is everything it needs to be. It’ll make you laugh. It’ll make you cry. And most importantly, it’ll make you feel. Another main theme is the acceptance of one’s self, and how battling one’s enter demons can lead to one’s own downfall, yet also, one’s rebirth. This is perfectly represented with Logan’s most dangerous foe in the film, appearing at about the midway point. It visualizes Logan’s inner-struggle, and gives a physical representation of his emotional state.
In closing, this was the perfect swan song for Hugh Jackman. Several months ago, Hugh alluded that he might never want to step away from this role. However, after seeing it, I completely think he’s making the right decision. This is Michael Jordan making the game winning shot over Byron Russell in the ‘98 Finals; a storybook ending to an illustrious career, and in this case, character! And though not everyone will appreciate it, namely the film equivalent of Jazz fans and Isiah Thomas, I truly believe this was the best film of the franchise to date. And if in a few years, Jackman wants to come back for one more film to team up with Ryan Reynolds for a Wolverine/Deadpool team up, we’ll all celebrate, just as we did when MJ came back to join the Wizards for one season. But, nevertheless, this was one for the ages!
Nick Smith – Geek Vibes Entertainment
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