If Logan is representative of where the X-Men franchise, if not Marvel, is heading, prepare for more than likable characters and sarcastic moments. You may actually end up feeling something. To the point of tears.
Characters & Storyline
The year is 2029 and after all Xavier (Patrick Stewart) and Erik have done to try to preserve the mutant race, it was for naught. Their kind is nearly all wiped out save for Logan (Hugh Jackman), Xavier, and a few sporadic ones who we never see or hear the names of. But, there maybe hope. Though not born mutants naturally, but rather genetically, there are those who could be the next generation. Something Charles badly wants to help with by first saving one girl named Laura (Dafne Keen). However, at his old age, and with seizures which are so powerful they have killed people, Charles is not the man who he used to be. So, as many times before, he turns to Logan to be the hero he claims incapable of being. But this time, it is so much more personal than him sharing a race with the person he is to defend. This time, it’s his genetic daughter.
Things To Note | Question(s) Left Unanswered
Deadpool is featured before the movie starts. It doesn’t tease or give anything away in terms of Deadpool 2, but just is a reminder that his movie is probably why FOX decided to let this one be rated R.
It Had Emotional Complexity
One thing sadly hard to find in nearly all action movies is depth. We may get relationships, main characters dying, and a lot of funny moments, but no action hero is ever really expected to do a serious dramatic performance. Logan kind of changes that, and I hope sets a precedent. For the relationship between Logan, Laura, and Xavier, just in this movie alone there was more done, in terms of relationship building, than perhaps any of the past movies. Be it the Wolverine spin-offs, the prequels, or the original trilogy.
At the center of it all is Hugh Jackman. Someone who you could easily forget can do more than be Wolverine, since it is his biggest role. But God! The connection he makes between Xavier and his character, much less what is built with Dafne Keen, I was honestly left in tears. I mean, not just crying either. There was snot coming from my nose.
Hanging With The Big Boys
As noted in the “Importance of a Strong Central Character” article, one of the things which crafts the next generation of actions is being in scenes with someone who challenges them. For Keen, sharing scenes with Patrick Stewart and Hugh Jackman, you can see her talent blossoming. You can see it in how the action scenes were done, how she adapted Marvel’s love for sarcastic moments, but where she really elevated things was the heart.
Often times, when children are in movies, they are accessories. They are the collateral damage which makes what happens to the lead more devastating. In this film, though, Laura is an active participant, she isn’t an accessory nor in need of saving. In fact, she saves Logan’s life a few times. But what Keen does which is noteworthy is she doesn’t get drowned out by the fact her character barely has lines for half of the movie. Also, despite her background not being told by her person, she still knows how to carry that weight of what Laura has been through. Making it where when her stunt double isn’t massacring soldiers, and she is forced to sit across from Stewart or Jackman, you get pleasantly surprised how she can hold her own. To the point that you could only hope that like how Kick-Ass launched Chloe Grace Moretz and The Professional launched Natalie Portman, this movie could do the same for Keen.
Is Stripped Down and Some Form of Realistic
The problem with the majority of action films made is they are more about style than substance. They want grand locations, big explosions, and whatever it would take for their audiences to never have a moment’s peace. Then, on top of that, they have their heroes have the strength and healing ability of a video game character. One which just needs a bandage or health pack and then all the bullets, stab wounds, and huge jumps they took, all that damage goes away.
That isn’t the case with Logan. Between the scars and Jackman’s movements, you can tell Logan is all kinds of messed up. Which I appreciated for when it came to the final battle, you could see the strain of him trying to keep up and live up to the comic book legend he was seen as by Laura and the kids.
Usual Forgettable Marvel Villain(s)
The strength of DC is the weakness of Marvel. DC has the best villains in the business and Marvel the best heroes. Logan doesn’t change that fact. The villains of this movie I can’t even remember the name of and I just got out the movies less than an hour ago. For, outside of perhaps Spiderman, Marvel, and the X-Men franchise, doesn’t invest in their on-screen villains that much. Well, outside of Magneto.
On The Fence
While the violence was eye opening and made me flinch, I must admit the constant dropping of the F-bomb, including by Professor X, got excessive at times. Almost like, after dealing with the PG-13 restriction all this time, they wanted to abuse the privileges R-rated movies could have.
Overall: Positive (Worth Seeing)
While the villains were piss poor as usual for a Marvel film, this one had more emotional depth and development than probably any you could name. Well, outside of maybe Spiderman. Hopefully signaling that there might be a change to the Marvel formula. If not, at the very least, how FOX will handle the X-Men franchise going forward.
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Sounds like I might have to check out another X Men film afterall and I thought I was done with this franchise. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
Believe me when I say, they wanted to finally do the franchise right and bring a certain type of maturity, and mature content, that I don’t think has really been seen in a Marvel movie. It’s to the point where you can understand The Dark Knight comparisons going on. In terms of this being a possible turning point for the X-Men franchise.