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