Movie Review: “Logan”
The year is 2029, and Logan (Hugh Jackman) is aging and his mutant abilities are not what they once were. Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart) is sick and the rest of the X-Men are gone. Logan and another mutant, named Caliban (Stephen Merchant), have isolated themselves in Mexico to care for Charles, in order to keep others safe from him. Logan has given up on life and it seems that Charles being alive is the only thing keeping Logan going. Logan's life goes on this way until a mysterious woman tracks him down and asks for his help. The woman is protecting a little girl who supposedly needs The Wolverine. Logan is reluctant to help until begins to see similarities between himself and the girl, and sees how desperately she needs him. Thus, Logan, Charles, and the girl begin their journey to get the girl to safety while being hunted by dangerous group of people.
The Pros & Cons
Old Man Logan (+10pts)
Bad Decision (-2pts)
The Other Mutants? (-2pts)
Pro: Old Man Logan (+10pts)
Make no mistake about it, the real antagonist of this movie was time. Time has finally caught up with Logan, as we find him aged and relatively weak. His mutant healing is deteriorating which makes him more vulnerable than we have ever seen him before. He is also tormented by all the death that has surrounded his life for the past few centuries. Time is truly Wolverine's greatest nemesis, and this movie captures that perfectly. It is hard to imagine what a multi-century life of violence would do to a man, but Hugh Jackman made this totally believable in a really vulnerable and emotional way. You completely feel the pain that this character lives with, and you completely believe why he is so bitter and eager for his own life to end. I thought the filmmakers captured this element perfectly, and I cannot imagine a better conclusion for Hugh Jackman's time playing the character.
Con: Antagonists (-4pts)
Okay, while I said that time is the real antagonist of this movie, the antagonistic characters were (in my opinion) pretty weak. None of the antagonists would have been threatening if Wolverine was in his prime. To be fair, that could have been exactly what the filmmakers were going for, but I think this movie could have been so much fascinating than it already was, if Wolverine was faced with a tougher enemy than he has ever faced, while also being more vulnerable than he has ever been. There was one antagonist that would have come close to being a match for Wolverine in his prime (you will know what I mean when you see the movie), but Wolverine could easily have outsmarted and out-raged this antagonist. Fortunately, this did not hurt the movie much, because time was Logan's real enemy in this film.
Pro: Violent (+10pts)
I was hoping and expecting this movie to be violent, but it still absolutely shocked me with how violent it ended up being, and I loved every second of it. I will be honest and say that some people will be turned off by the violence, but if you know anything about Wolverine in the comics then you know how violent this character really is. This is an element that I have thought has been missing from Hugh Jackman's Wolverine in all of the previous movies and I know it is an element that Hugh Jackman has wanted to bring into the screen. This movie absolutely satisfied that thirst.
From both Logan and Laura, there were plenty of incredible, violent action sequences there were made even better was the seemingly perfect balance between the rated-R violence and Logan's vulnerability. These two elements of this story complimented each other perfectly. The vulnerability made it feel like Logan was in danger, and the violence made it incredibly satisfying to watch him get out of these situations. However, just in case anyone needs the warning, there are a lot of brutal deaths in this movie, as it very much earns its R-rating.
Con: Bad Decision (-2pts)
I thoroughly enjoyed this movie, which forced me to have to nitpick in order to find issues that I had with it. With that in mind, there was a pretty poor decision made by the characters in this movie, one that I thought was worth mentioning. Death and tragedy surround these characters. Danger follows them wherever they go, and these characters were well aware of it.
In this movie, Logan seemed to be the only one that was thinking about this. We have seen movies in which Logan struggles with this issue, so him wanting to stay in isolation is nothing new for this character. My issue here was with Charles, who seemed to make decisions while ignoring their almost certain, tragic consequences. I know this was Charles like we have never seen him before, but I could not help but think that even this version of Charles would never make such an obviously poor decision.
Pro: Laura (+6pts)
This character was an absolute blast to watch. She was incredibly violent and ruthless. It was like watching a tiny version of Wolverine, if Wolverine had never grown up with any rules or restrictions. The action sequences with this girl were so much fun, but there was so much more to this character than just the brutal violence. The backstory of Laura was pretty interesting as well.
I will not get into the specifics, for obvious reasons, but this girl has had a tough life, which made for a complicated character to portray. I thought the actress, Daphne Keen, did a fantastic job capturing this character’s complexity without much dialogue. My only complaint about this character was that I would have liked to have heard more from her. Does she speak in the film? You will have to see the movie to find out, but I would have liked to have heard more from her perspective. Overall, this character was a huge success thanks to a great young actress.
Con: The Other Mutants? (-2pts)
This was something that I thought should have been more of a focal point in this movie. The fate of the rest of the mutants was one of my major questions before seeing the movie, and the filmmakers did a poor job of answering it. They kind of threw out two vague explanations, and left it up to the audience to fill in the blanks. I am not opposed to making the audience have to fill in some blanks, but to do so for such a major aspect of this story felt like a weird move. We kind of got two explanations for the fate of the other X-Men. One came from a villain toward the beginning of the movie, and the other came from Charles during the transition between acts two and three. Fortunately, the story hardly focused on this aspect of the story, so the plot of the movie was not really affected by this issue, but this was an aspect of the story that I thought the filmmakers could have made a lot more clear.
Grade: A- (93pts)
I had high hopes going into this movie, and it absolutely lived up to my expectations. I will be honest with you, I am a big comic-book movie fan. While I enjoy Marvel Cinematic Universe movies more consistently than the rest, Wolverine is, and always has been, my favorite superhero. I say this so that you are aware that I may be at least somewhat biased here. That being said, I thought this movie gave me everything that I have wanted to see in a Wolverine movie.
The action was unbelievably violent and so much fun to watch. Whether it was Logan, Laura or both of them together, the movie was filled with great action sequences that were very entertaining. Then to add onto that, the movie was a very compelling character story for Logan and Charles. I had some very minor issues with it, as no movie is perfect, but I thought this was a great movie and a fitting conclusion for Hugh Jackman's time playing the character.