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The Logan Effect
If a couple of years ago (when the X-men franchise was busy enjoying the success of Days of Future Past) if someone had told me that the 3rd installment of Hugh Jackman Starrer X-men spin-off (a.k.a Wolverine) is releasing soon, I wouldn't have shown much of the excitement about it. But it all changed a few months ago when fans came to know that not a "Wolverine 3" but Logan is hitting the theaters (that too with an R-rating!). This hiked the expectations and if we look at the audience and critics' reactions, Logan totally lived up to the expectation. It had great performances, a plot where any huge war or global destruction were not a concern, layered and evolved (emotionally) characters and a heart-melting climax. According to sources, it had a fancy weekend and will gross well at the box-office.
But before its frenzy ends and people move on to other releases, let's consider a few things here.
- It was an X-men spin-off which means its predecessors were totally commercial family movies which had overpowered characters plotting the global destruction for some silly reasons.
- It was a superhero movie.
As far as superhero movies are concerned, people have seen a lot of them recently. All of them promised to be novel, entertaining and somewhat massive. While some were more entertaining and engaging than others, the novelty was questionable most of the times. There was absolutely nothing novel about a young Mark Zuckerbergy Lex Luthor bringing Doomsday (BvS) or some Sokovia affected Zimo (or Zemo, whoever he was) taking revenge on the avengers (Civil war). While a bunch of badass villains forming up to do something good (Suicide Squad) sounded novel, a freaked out enchantress pushed it into the same old tone.
Apart from Logan, there were (and probably are) superhero movies which showed (and probably will show) some great fresh (Yupp! Fresh sounds better than novel) elements and characters. For example, Deadpool - A protagonist who is even more abusive than the villains themselves (R-rating it is) or Wonder woman which is the first big female superhero movie. Deadpool was fresh and people loved it. Doctor strange was different from other MCU movies and people loved it too! Guardians of the Galaxy was different and it got a phenomenal response (People are totally hyped for the 2nd part as well!). People will probably love Wonder Woman too! But that's not all. Just imagine an origin story of a golden haired hammer wielding Asgardian demigod in 2017. While that is not happening (since it happened at the right point of time) there are movies which have their own concerns. Tom Holland is definitely the best choice for spiderman. But a 7th standalone spiderman film in 15 years with 3 different spidermen definitely kills novelty. MCU has broken these barriers before and they will probably break it this time too but we never know till the film arrives.
It wouldn't be much of an issue if it was only Deadpool or only Guardians of the Galaxy or only Logan or only Wonder Woman, but since all of them decided to show up in a short span of 4 years, the audience is well aware of how fresh or distinctive superhero movies can be. And they definitely expect more of it. This is the Logan effect. While people will definitely not miss the upcoming big banner big budget superhero movies such as Spiderman, Thor: Ragnarok, Justice League or the Avengers Infinity war; they will expect them to be better than their predecessors and probably fresh too. Fans know the plots. They know that Hulk will join Thor, Darksied will show up against Batman and the rest of the Justice league and Thanos will attack the Earth. Now, the teams behind these movies need to make these facts interesting enough so that these films don't turn into another Age of Ultron or Batman v Superman. And so, we are glad that Logan was different and it confirmed once again that Superhero movies is a wider genre than we think. This should have a long lasting impression on directors, producers, writers and viewers and should inspire more of such films!