Logan is a solid movie. I give it a B+ or a Kotaku 10/10. In comparison to all other X-Men endeavors, it is the best X-Movie, second only to Deadpool. This movie is a clear wake from Deadpool’s success. Hugh Jackman has finally reached his final form. Patrick Stewart is sublime in his ornery Chuck incarnation. I absolutely loved the movie and have seen it twice already. Spoilers ahead.
What Logan got Right
People are beating the things that Logan did great… to death… like a phoenix saga…
…and they are correct in that the brutality of a man with six knives in his hands has finally been realized. Rejoice!
The acting was beyond reproach. Jackman, Stewart, and Dafne pulled every possible heartstring available. I shed several tears on both viewings. Stephan Merchant and Boyd Holbrook absolutely crushed their roles.
James Mangold just placed Bryan Singer in his shadow. Logan is how you utilize top talent. People often blame Joss Whedon or Halle Berry for this scene…
…however, this is pure Singer direction. He let this heap of trash go to print. The wind is strong enough to lift a man off the ground, but he lets her whisper that line. She delivered it flat, it would have been so much better with sass. Utter trash.
In spite of Singer, Hugh Jackman is always a phenomenal Wolverine, every single time. Not the way I would have imagined Wolverine would be brought to the silver screen but he made it his own and killed it just the same. No doubt, Hugh Jackman is a superb actor and although he is way too tall and his physique only recently got on point, he has been acting the shit out of that role, through bad scripts and bad directing. He is a fucking champ and I love his portrayal.
Conversely, Stewart, who looks as though he was pulled straight from the comics, was finally given the opportunity to show the acting range we were all made aware of back in his TNG days. Rest assured his senile, gruff, and grandfatherly professor X is super fun to watch.
This was an epic sendoff. Jackman and Stewart will be missed in these roles.
What Logan got Wrong
A pre-growth spurt adolescent with an indestructible metal fused to their bones… yeah, I can still suspend my disbelief and look past that for the sake of the narrative. Seriously… are bone claws that difficult Fox? Is it just me or did they install adamantium outside of a chemical bath? Whatever, it was fun to watch and better than organic web shooters.
I don’t mind dystopic futures and revel in Mad Max movies. However, I dislike fear of technology and fear of capitalism. These are okay traits for characters in movies to have but a movie smacks of being preachy when the entire movie takes this stance. Technology is as neutral as capitalism. Knives spread butter and kill people, but if you fear knives because of the latter, you are a Luddite. The implementation is what’s evil.
Fear of Technology
In Logan, there is a scene where an automated semi truck runs everyone off of the road. These trucks were directed/designed to behave in a scary manner and were juxtaposed with a wholesome farm family that still owned and used the last outdated form of transportation, horses. I see what you did there Mr. Movie Director. But, how would such a dangerous device even be allowed on the road? To drive the plot of course. Just imagine the yelps on those trucks. Adamantium claws are more believable than such a bad implementation of automated cars.
Fear of technology and capitalism stems from ignorance and to demonize either without juxtaposing their benefits puts that ignorance on display and cheapens my movie going experience. Technology is effective, mundane, scary, wonderful, destructive and constructive the best movies about the future show all of these. For example, The Fifth Element, Blade Runner, and Minority Report do this dance quite nicely, Elysium, I Robot and Logan do not. The “future” aspect of Logan is a mere backdrop, hell even the drones in the movie are obsolete by today’s standards, but it doesn’t matter as the acting and the relationships shine.
The Future of The Wolverine
My biggest concern for the future of the role is we will get a Val Kilmer or Clooney portrayal next and not a Ledger. Otherwise, I’m super happy for Logan’s success. Unfortunately, this means Fox won’t release the reigns and certainly won’t put Wolverine on loan for an Avengers movie or Marvel Studios crossover anytime soon.