Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Logan (2017)

Logan (2017)

Director: James Mangold

Cast: Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, Dafne Keen, Richard E. Grant, Stephen Merchant

In the spirit of James Mangold’s new X-men movie: Logan (2017), let’s start this review straight to the point shall we? Logan is a swift kick to the nuts to all these comic book movies that we’ve been seeing as of late. You know the ones. The computer generated fuck-a- thons that we’ve gotten so accustomed to. The truth is that we’ve had enough of those haven’t we? Movies in which computer effects have taken over human emotion, they’ve taken away that feeling. You walk out a lot of those movies with numbness in your head. Logan is the complete opposite of that and it’s so goddamn refreshing!

Logan is the story of Wolverine in his last days, when he finds no pleasure in being alive. His “dad” is Professor Xavier, an aging empath who can’t control his powers. In comes a woman named Gabriela who wants’ the famous ‘Wolverine’ to help her find a place called ‘Eden’, a supposed heaven for mutants somewhere in North Dakota. Can Old Man Logan still do this? Will he agree to helping Gabriela and Little Laura reach ‘Eden’?

I honestly thought people were exaggerating about how good Logan was, because recent films that people have raved about have disappointed the hell out of me.  John Wick Chapter 2 (2017) I’m looking at you kid. So I went to see Logan with some trepidation, yet the first ten minutes of this film quickly put me in my place! It wasn’t long before I was saying things like “What. The. Fuck.” Should I put things in perspective? The films first words are “Aw fuck!”. On this film, Logan is a limo driver trying to forget his past with the X-men, he’s trying to live the life of a regular Joe. Basically, he just wants to be left alone to die in peace. Mutants are going extinct and Professor Xavier is a senile old man who doesn’t know where he stands. Holy bajeezus! What the hell is going on here? I wasn’t ready to see Wolverine and Prof. Xavier in such dire straits! It is this level of gravitas that makes this film stand apart, it’s not afraid to mess with the status quo, in fact, it throws the whole X-men universe out the window! Fuck that shit! Awwww I love it!

The great thing about this film is that it is a cliché breaker; it takes everything you expect from a Wolverine movie and turns it upside down. This is why it works so well, on this movie nothing is sacred and anything can happen. So you feel unsafe, you don’t feel like you can predict the film every step of the way, like you’d be able to predict a film like Kong Skull Island (2017) for example. I mention Kong Skull Island because I actually did a double feature of Logan/Kong and went from the ultimate anti-cliché movie (Logan) to a cliché by the numbers movie (Kong). So trust me, Logan is like a bucket of cold water being thrown down your back. It’s the ice bucket challenge, but for X-men fans!  

Why does this movie work so well? Various factors play an important factor in this. First, moviegoers in general are tired of computer generated special effects, specially the kind that take over an entire film. You know how it is. Suddenly, nothing that is happening on screen is real; it was all created on a computer. This can go on for minutes and minutes on end. I mean, suddenly it’s been ten minutes and not a single actor, not a single set, not a single real location has been seen on screen and then you have to wonder, am I watching a live action film or an animated one? Wolverine keeps its visual effects to a minimum. This is not to say that it doesn’t have them, but it keeps them to a minimum, to enhance a moment. And even then, they don’t take over. They are simply used to enhance an illusion. Beautiful. It’s the way effects should be used. Second. This is a strong screenplay. Why? Well, because its not about saving the universe from another whole that’s opening up in the middle of New York City (again), rather, it’s a very personal story about Logan and Proffessor Xavier dealing with getting old and coming to the last stage, coming to terms with the end of their lives.

The third and final point is that the cast Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart and newcomer Dafne Keen out do themselves performance wise! They all bring their ‘A’ game here. I’ve heard some people talk about giving Patrick Stewart a nomination or something. That might be stretching it a little? It probably has to do with how different this take on Professor Xavier is. It’s great to see Logan playing the father figure to X-23, the scenes with both of them together, road tripping? Sweet.  One little thing though, I did feel that Logan turns suddenly into Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome (1984). Was director James Mangold paying tribute to that film? The reason I mention this is because the similarities are staggering. So that’s it ladies and gents. What we got here is a fantastic film that shakes the very foundations of the X-men universe. Wolverine fans should be pleased. Question is, who’s gonna be playing Wolverine next? Whoever he is, he’s got big shoes to fill.

Rating: 5 out of 5



Unknown said...

You are so right! We are tired of movies that you don't know if its a damn animated movie cuz anything is special effects. Don't get me wrong some special effects are damn awesome like Kurt Russell's young face in GotG. And this movie Logan was so genios. I'm still feel sad every time I see the movie tittle. It was hard to me to see Charles Xavier going away in that last moment of clarity for him. Great review as always man

Franco Macabro said...

Thanks for commenting Aida, glad you enjoyed the film and the review, here's hoping we get less CGI in films and more practical effects and good story and acting.

Unknown said...

Yes! Less CGI. I would like it would go back like school Spielberg's movie with "maquetas" you knew it was a model but it was so good and they put work on it. Now is easier with computer I guess.
Keep it up Franco.

ian!!!! said...

Was really surprised with Logan. Especially after how terrible the previous Wolverine films were.

If I have any issue it was with the "big bad" in the film. That felt a little phoned in for me. They could have used literally anyone/thing else for that role.

Seeing the first Prof X scene with him in the throws of dementia/Alzheimers was just incredible and at the same time hard to watch.

Best X-Men movie in their wheelhouse and it is really not about the X-Men at all.

SFF said...

"computer generated fuck-a-thons" lol!

Well, I for one cannot wait to see this film. The Wolverine pictures have been kind of the ray of light in the superhero market for me. I do enjoy them and they just kept getting better while the X-Men movies declined into CGI madness from the first two films.

I have to tell you, unlike most folks, I never liked the computer generated fuck a thons. So not only am I tired of them, I wasn't crazy about them to begin with. I'm glad to see others are starting to tire of them.

And by the way this is coming from a guy who enjoyed the very human qualities of the Bill Bixby helmed The Incredible Hulk. By no means perfect often, but I do believe there was more humanity in some of those episodes thanks to Bixby than there are in these GONZO MARVEL effects films.

Also, welcome back Franco! Pleasure to have you back!

Franco Macabro said...

ian!!!: Agree with ya on previous Wolverine films, specially the first one X-Men Origins: Wolverine. I actually enjoyed the second one, The Wolverine. It was also directed by James Mangold, the same director who made Logan, which is probably why its also good.Agree with ya, it seems like the villain wasn't really the main focus on Logan, it was more about the personal struggle Logan and Professor X were going through, getting old, and the possibility of death on the horizon.

SFF: Feels good to be back reviewing! I hope my readers haven't dissapeared! But yeah, "CGI Fuck-a-Thons, was actually an expression used by Mangold himself to express what he didn't want to do with this film. He achieved it. You simply have to see this one man, it's so different! If you hate CGI orgies, then you should love Logan because its a throwback to actual filmmaking.

Expect more reviews! I'm most definetly back! :)

Sergei Kolobashkin said...

Here's my issue with comic book movies. Every month we get a comic book movie. Every season we get a comic book show on Netflix or Amazon. I really expected nothing from Logan and, boy, was I surprised. The movie delivered everything I wanted. The villain was great. Patrick Stewart was amazing. The albino guy was the best. So many great things in one package.

There is definitely a comic book movie bubble and I really hope, that Logan is the first nail to the coffin. Don't get me wrong, I really enjoyed Guardians of the Galaxy and The Wolverine, but the rest of the stuff they 3D print every holiday season has got to go. We can't have that many guys in spandex.

Franco Macabro said...

Agree Sergei, Logan is a breath of fresh air in a genre of film that is currently overly populated. I honestly didn't expect this super hero craze to last as long as it has, it seems that its not going away.

Sergei Kolobashkin said...

Most genres die after a few solid box office bombs. Heaven's Gate almost killed westerns. We haven't seen a solid American-made animated 2D feature film since Titan A.E. Kids, that go crazy about the Avengers will soon grow up and Disney will have to find a new mule to fill the the theatres. I guess, that the next big thing will be video games. Video game adaptations had a rough start so as comic book movies. After Tim Burton's Batman everyone jumped on the hype bandwagon and started making comic book movies that really sucked in comparison. If not for the original X-men and Raimi's Spider-Man, we would've never got so far. Same deal with video games. Mortal Kombat was very entertaining and it was a smash hit. Everyone figured, that video games is the shit and bought the rights. We haven't seen a good video game movie so far, but Assassin's Creed really tried. Frankly speaking, I liked the Spanish Inquisition part. The assassins felt very authentic and straight from the video game. Warcraft was alright, Need for Speed was alright for what it was, The Angry Birds Movie made a shitload of money. There's definitely a bright future for these films, but they still need their X-men and Spider-Man to get the necessary recognition. It's a question of "when".

Franco Macabro said...

I agree, video game movies have had it rough, but then again, most video game movies have been bad. I guess they need to be treated with more respect by producers and filmmakers, there's a lot of potential in these movies, but at the end of the day what matters is that you give audiences a good movie, a good adaptation of the source material. Assassins Creed bored me to tears...what a wasted opportunity. I went to the theater all pumped up, left it so dissapointed. Here's hoping that one good video game movie will spark up a video game movie craze and we finally get a good video game movie era. Hey, one can dream!


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