Director: James Mangold
Production Companies: Marvel Entertainment, TSG Entertainment, Kinberg Genre, Hutch Parker Entertainment and The Donners Company
Running Time: 2 hrs 15 mins
Genre: Sci-Fi, Comic Adaptation
Release Date: March 3
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
A few days ago I went to see the new Logan movie, and as it turned out, the movie lived up to all the hype about it. I have decided to share a few thoughts on what I saw. As much as possible I will try to make this review spoiler-free for those who have not seen the movie yet.
The year is 2029 and an old and jaded Logan spends his days working as a chauffeur and hustling for prescription drugs in Texas. He has aged greatly because the adamantium fused to his bones has started poisoning him and impeding his healing factor. Logan lives with mutant tracker Caliban in an abandoned smelting plant across the border in Mexico, where they care for nonagenarian Professor Charles Xavier, who is suffering from a neurodegenerative disease which causes him to lose control of his telepathic abilities to devastating effect. The three are part of the few mutants left because no new mutants have been born in the intervening years. However, Logan’s world is disrupted when a young woman who claims to be a nurse with an equally mysterious young girl in tow reaches out to him to save them from an equally mysterious and violent laboratory. Logan must buckle up for one of his greatest adventures yet, and truly realize what it means to truly be the Wolverine.
My first thought about the movie was that making it R-18 was the befitting send off that they could give two of the most iconic actors in the X-Men Universe as Logan is the final X-Men movie where Hugh Jackman and Sir Patrick Stewart would be playing Wolverine and Professor X respectively. The movie also confirmed something I have always thought of (and which I am sure that a lot of people also agree with) that comic book adaptations are best when they don’t cram a dozen actors into two hours of screen time. I think the fight scenes were also awesomely choreographed and the sight of Jackman and the young wolverine Laura (played by Dafne Keen) ripping bad guys to bloody shreds made for an exciting if somewhat gory high stakes spectacle which kept me on the edge of my seat throughout. It made me realize that Marvel can actually do an intense action movie if they put their mind to it unlike the boring low stakes dross they have put out *coughs* Civil War *coughs* in recent times.
About the acting, all of the three characters were awesome. Of course, that is to be expected in the case of Hugh Jackman, who has played Logan/ Wolverine/Jame Howlett in nine different movies in seventeen years and could probably play it in his sleep. I also loved the quiet dignity that Patrick Stewart brought to the professor X role. in fact, he was so natural in the role that I had to go and Google his real age (he will be 77 in four months by the way). It did make me slightly depressed though that one of the icons of my teenage years (I am a Trekkie and I still have piles of my Next Generation books that my nerd cousin has not taken away yet in my locker) is approaching the end of his life (Here is hoping he proves as badass as the characters he plays and stick around for a bit more like Sir Christopher Lee did). But my medal has to go to Dafne Keen for the portrayal of Laura, she brought a lot of energy to the role and delivered a literally flawless portrayal of the antisocial and unpredictable Wolverine. I am also impressed that she didn’t end up like the typical Nollywood kid sidekick, the one with an attitude who won’t stop talking. One moment she is calmly eating cereal and the next she explodes into a terrifying rampage, ripping bad guys to shreds in instants, just exactly the way Jackman’s Wolverine was in his prime. I also love the movie for the action movie, quiet drama scenes between Professor X and Logan. I especially enjoyed the sniping at each other like an old married couple vibe between the duo, which makes the movie all the more realistic and makes for an interesting diversion from all the bloody slashing and the butt kicking. Also maybe it is just me but I seem to derive some perverse enjoyment from listening to Sir Patrick Stewart dropping F-bombs like it was going out of fashion (him being a supposedly old and polite British fella and all that)
That said, the slashing and the butt kicking, the movie’s quiet drama scene and the movie’s bittersweet ending notwithstanding, it is easy to forget that the movie’s plot is basically the same movie as X-Men: Origins (I guess it is not a rip-off if you if the movie you are ripping off is in your own series right?). Exchange Laura for Victor Creed, Professor X for Kayla Silverfox and the X-24 for the terrible Deadpool in Origins and you have the same movie. Logan trying to escape his past, Logan having to rescue some, some generic and forgettable mutants who have been/are in a lab, Logan having to fight an engineered bad guy clone of himself, with a relative he doesn’t like but he is forced to cooperate with, Logan losing something important to him at the end. The movie managed to have the bad guy in Logan be the son of the bad guy in origins like they just deliberately mess with the audience. Again while it seems the R-18 movies are always more enjoyable, it seems the recipe for being a terrible, forgettable villain is to star in an R-18 Marvel movie, once again the bad guy is another forgettable villain, but that is just me. Also, why did the Transigen army need to chase the kid mutants through the North Dakota forest to try and round them up instead of simply killing them there where they were hardly likely to be found? Personally. I think it is so that Logan can go out in the blaze of glory which he deserves, but again it is never an X-men movie if you don’t have a “villain carrying an idiot ball” induced headscratcher to plague you.
That said, I think the Logan movie, tacky side plot, generic main plot and forgettable villains aside, is a good movie to see if you think you have the stomach for a good action piece and you want something from Marvel to excite you after the dross the studio had the temerity to call “Civil War”. I will actually be recommending it to one and all.