Whoa! What was that??? Comic flick or Shakespearean drama?
In 2029 the mutant population has shrunken significantly and the X-Men have disbanded. Logan, whose power to self-heal is dwindling, has surrendered himself to alcohol and now earns a living as a chauffeur. He takes care of the ailing old Professor X whom he keeps hidden away. One day, a female stranger asks Logan to drive a girl named Laura to the Canadian border. At first he refuses, but the Professor has been waiting for a long time for her to appear. Laura possesses an extraordinary fighting prowess and is in many ways like Wolverine. She is pursued by sinister figures working for a powerful corporation; this is because her DNA contains the secret that connects her to Logan. A relentless pursuit begins – In this third cinematic outing featuring the Marvel comic book character Wolverine we see the superheroes beset by everyday problems. They are aging, ailing and struggling to survive financially. A decrepit Logan is forced to ask himself if he can or even wants to put his remaining powers to good use. It would appear that in the near-future, the times in which they were able put the world to rights with razor sharp claws and telepathic powers are now over.
Tomatometer: Critics 93%, Audiences 91%
To make it short: Yes, this is indeed the best Wolverine movie and the best X-Men movie. Period. But it’s also the most apocalyptic, world weary, thinky, feelsy, dark, drab, hopeless and negative X-Men movie ever.
Logan (Hugh Jackman) is old now and works as a disappointed “Uber driver of the future” (CBG19). Ok, let’s not get into the discussion about how hopeless anyone must be in order to fall for that scam and become a Uber driver … /me bitchslaps herself and mumbles “focus, bish, focus.”
Ok, old man Logan isn’t really a Uber driver but a limousine chaffeur. And we’re indeed in a slightly apocalpytic near future. More about that later. In his free time he
likes to take long strolls along the beach gets pissfaced and takes care of an even older Professor X (Patrick Stewart) who seems to suffer from alzheimers or something. We don’t know if president Trump himself has killed all the other X-men but in this American future mutants are a thing of the past and our not so dynamic duo are just some bumbling, always depressed geezers.
Okay, let’s talk about the future: To make it unmisunderstandably clear, this ain’t your typical X-Men fare, no glamourous Storm, Rogue, Cyclops, Magneto, Mystique or Jean Grey in this iteration of our favourite comic adaptation. Strictly no fancy costumes, no gay! Sorry for bringing up the Trump character but I really believe this is the X-Men’s comment for this special time of change to the worse in America.
No kids, this ain’t the movie you wanna watch but it’s definately the movie you got to watch! It even has some humour and will mildly entertain you. But the humour is disheartened and only shows how pathetic the lifes of our two oldies are. Prof X the disappointed father figure for the rebellious “son” Logan.
Anyway, not gettin into spoiler territory for the little rest of you guys who live under rocks and haven’t seen the movie yet. But into this stupid hopeless life of Logan, Prof X and their factotum Caliban (Stephen Merchant) we get a fourth figure induced: A young deaf girl, Laura (Dafne Keen), who seems to have the same adamantium fingernails like her father figure Wolverine. Doesn’t matter now how it comes to pass but soon we’ll see the prof and Logan being her chaparones and on the run from the Mexican border up to the Canadian border.
Is that another political comment for Americans, to only find hope and a save future north of the border? We all know the X-Men movie franchise was never totally free of politics and zeitgeist, so I guess yes, the refugium for mutant kids is located in Canada for exactly that reason.
When watching the photo above I gotta say how I was really positively surprised by Logan being rated R. That means we gotta see blood and dismembered and decapitated bodies. Not like in a cartoonish gorefest but at least the action was believable and had impact. That was what put me off most of the modern action films. All you usually go to see are hectic camera movements and even more hectic editing. But we never see a fist hitting a face, a bullet hitting an abdomen or anything in detail. But thx to Deadpool’s success, the producers of Logan went the same way. So, yes, coolio fight scenes with bbq sauce and everything.
Is Logan the perfect action movie? Nope. It is the bestest X-Men movie but X-Men were never about action in the first place, where they? They always had this (pseudo) political, and philosophical undertow, the wannabe comments on the zeitgeist. Of course they are adaptations of comic books. Let’s not forget that. As comic movies they aren’t allowed to venture into cinema verité, arthouse and indie territory.
But in their own little bockbustery Ka-Pow cartoonish way they are miles above all the other offerings. Bat-Man and Superman never went to the dark place were the X-Men and particularly Logan are at home.
With a runtime of 137 minutes Logan takes its time to tell its small story. Its not free of the one or other length but we really welcomed and liked the overall slow pace of the plot plodding along. 🙂 It suits this heavy movie and makes it appear mature well beyond its genre. I could swear I’ve seen some real arthouse moments in Logan.
X-Men arthouse? No, really not. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves here. But on the other side we’ve seen two top notch and pretty much very mature actors at the height of their abilities and we’ve seen a very carefully produced and directed movie. James Mangold rarely set a foot wrong in Logan and the daredevil decision to go for a R rating did the rest, to lift Logan far above the rest of the Marvels, even above the rest of the X-Men flicks.
Why didn’t I mention Laura yet? Oh, I did. Very briefly. But that was indeed all I gotta say about her. Not saying that Dafne Keen didn’t put enough effort in her one-wayish role but the character of Laura is … just … well … how to put it? She’s not a nice kid.
She went on our nerves. Yes, we know she grew up in a children’s concentration camp but she’s a short tempered shoplifter and assumed to be deaf. So 98% of her spoken text are growling and grunting noises. Add Logan’s adult version of wolfish speak to the mix and your ears have really earned an extended vacation after watching this movie.
Even when in the third act it turns out that Laura is able to talk … she speaks Spanish. Mostly. So her being a disturbing character doesn’t stop. All the other roles were played on par. I didn’t notice any cast members sticking out.
Oh, maybe Richard E. Grant as Dr. Rice. Haven’t seen him in any movie since quite a long time. He still nails the slightly greasy, unsympathetic roles on the dot. But in Logan, same as his henchman Pierce (Boyd Holbrook), he’s a generic villain and rarely gets the screentime to show of his talent.
CONCLUSION: I guess you’ve figured out by now what I think about Logan. A very well-played, well-executed movie that went the risky way and punched well above its own weight class. Yes, it’s still a comic adaptation … but not for kids. Logan doesn’t purvey a message as such but shows pure hopelessness. If you wanna observe Logan helping Charles on the toilet, then it’s the perfect vehicle for Logan’s last (ever?) outing.
WATCH IT? Not if you wanna be entertained and have a good time. Depending on your current state of mind this movie can be a real downer.
Quite unusually I’ll start with Comic Book Girl 19 today. Our girly got hit right in the feels and it really shows in her review:
Now the usual suspects. Roll in the clown:
And of course good old reliable Stuckmann:
And another girl:
The Three Stooges: