It still amazes me that it’s been 17 years since we first saw the X-Men, and Hugh Jackman’s portrayal of Wolverine. 17 years, and 9 movies of varying levels of quality later it’s time to say goodbye to the character, but does it do justice to the characters, and the comic books they came from?
I can say without a shadow of a doubt that the movie is indeed a good movie, if not a great film. There are some flaws to the movie however, so it’s not a perfect film, but few are really.
Quick plot recap before head into spoiler territory, Logan is set in the year 2029, and some bad stuff has happened since we last left Wolverine in the future of X-Men:Days of Future Past. Mutants are all but extinct, the X-Men are no more, and Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart) has a debilitating mental disease which causes him to have seizures that put everyone near by in a psychic freeze. And Logan himself isn’t in his prime anymore either, he’s older, weaker, and sick from the adamantium poisoning that without his healing factor he’s not who he once was.
Also at some point he also recovered his memories as he goes by his birth name of James Howlett on his Uber like driver app that he uses for work.
He receives a message to take this girl, Laura (Dafne Keen) to safety at a mutant enclosure called Eden, but refuses to do so, until the people who are hunting the girl come after him as well. The Reavers, led by Donald Pierce (Boyd Holbrook –Milk) are cyborg bounty hunters trying to take this girl back as she’s not only a weapon, but the deadliest weapon, a cloned offspring of Logan himself.
The movie is many things, a comic book movie, a drama, a chase movie, a buddy movie, a western at times and most of all it’s a fitting end for the portrayals of Logan and Charles Xavier as played by Hugh Jackman and Patrick Stewart.
I did have some issues with how the movie played out, which I’ll get into here now in SPOILER territory, so if you haven’t seen the movie, I suggest stopping reading this..now.
On the one hand while I loved the brutality of the violence onscreen, I did feel early on in the movie writers Scott Frank (The Wolverine) Michael Green (Green Lantern) were blatantly using the characters of Logan and Charles to curse so that we could tell this was an R rated affair. By the fifth F-bomb in the first five minutes I got the point, it’s not for kids but usually these movies are family friendly, very clever writing guys.
I also wasn’t a fan of the vagueness of the plot at times, I get that in a film you don’t have time for backstory and exposition as much as in other mediums but still there were details that I wanted answers for that we just didn’t get.
There was a time, near the film’s climax that we were getting answers as lead villain Xander Rice (Richard E Grant-Doctor Who) was monologuing, explaining how the world got to be the way it was when he’s unexpectedly just killed, as if this were a video game and you’re given the option to kill at any moment in game such as in the Fallout series, and they chose that option and now we’re left to make up for ourselves how things got the way they did.
I also felt that maybe the metaphor of the movie was a bit heavy handed, with the fight of the film being between Old Man Logan and a young, brutal clone of his. We get it, he’s fighting himself, that beast that we all have in us. All the good enemies of Wolverine to choose from, and instead we get Man vs Self? Come on, it’s too obvious.
And also, I felt that Stephen Merchant (Hello Ladies) was wasted as Caliban, the mutant tracker, in this movie, he didn’t really serve much of a purpose, and they could have used a more traditional X character in that role, besides, we just had a Caliban in X-Men:Apocalypse last year.
As far as what did work, the majority of the film did work for me tremendously. James Mangold (Walk The Line) directed a genre bending movie, one where you can be the most casual of fans, or not even a fan but just like good movies and this is a great time.
It’s Wolverine Unleashed, finally in all the brutal bloody gory action that this character can deal out, and the action scenes are spectacular, and brutal. X-23 gets to shine as well , and the two of them together are just amazing, in both the action, and the dramatic aspects of the relationship and the story.
I liked also, Boyd Holbrook as Donald Pierce, he had a really casual attitude about the stuff that he did that made him almost likeable, but not quite.
There were a lot of feels to be had in this movie as well, great, tender moments that punctuate the violence on either side of them, It’s a movie about a real last stand, one more ride, one last time. In the end I’m most sad though that we now won’t get to see Hugh Jackman opposite Liev Schrieber in this role ever again, as Liev’s Sabretooth was one of the few good parts of the first Wolverine movie.
All in all though, you’ll most likely enjoy this movie just as much as I did if not more so, as not everyone is as geeky nitpick as myself. If you’re a fan of any type of movie you owe it to yourself to see Logan today.
Logan is in theaters now.