In a nation obsessed with violence in movies, we have asked and asked and asked as comic book fans to get some rated R superhero films that are realistic. No more lasers and guys falling over without a scratch, even though they were just sliced open with an unbreakable, incredibly sharp mutant claw. No, we as fans have been clamoring for a gritty, realistic superhero movie and we got one with the final installment of the Wolverine films: Logan. With the incredible success of last years Deadpool, we have seen studios now more likely to allow violence, gore and swearing in superhero films because, they can be really, really amazing. Logan is a combination of great filmmaking, awesome storytelling, and an iconic superhero who has gotten one last movie with an actor (Hugh Jackman) who was born to play the part; and boy, did he play the part.
Set in 2029, we get Wolverine looking a bit older, downing whiskey and even more miserable than previously remembered. The world has not seen a new mutant born in many years and some of our favorite X-Men have perished due to a freak accident that gets discussed later in the movie. Logan is under his actual alias, James Howlett, driving full time in Texas for a chauffeur service, making money to help look after an elderly and incredibly unstable Professor Xavier (Patrick Stewart). Wolverine is no longer himself and seems to be a shell of who he once was to the world. We learn later in the film that the very thing that makes him so dangerous, his adamantium claws, are also what is killing him and causing him to age. He is no longer a killing machine, just a guy trying to get by.
Logan finds himself mixed up with a Mexican woman claiming she needed a driver to get her to the Canadian border with her kids and was willing to pay $50,000 dollars to do so. In that, her daughter Laura, seems to be a little different than most young girls and, if you had seen the previews, we know she is a mutant. With claws in her hands, feet and the ability to heal, just as Wolverine was able to in the past, Laura is truly a gifted little girl. She shares many qualities with Logan, including her crude sense of humor, blind fury, and anger.
Logan takes its time to show you the characters and really allows the viewer to feel the tough choices and predicaments that each person has to make along the way. Each character brings a different piece to the table and every act has a purpose to the greater story. James Mangold refuses to make the mistakes of past X-Men films in that it did not need a lot of big reveals, callbacks to previous movies or even big name cameos (although, Deadpool has a mini trailer in the beginning for Deadpool 2 and it is amazing). The storytelling in this movie does the heavy lifting and the action is very much the bloody icing on the cake. The gore did have its place in the film and there were moments when my jaw dropped to the floor at the pure brutality of the violence, and that’s a good thing. Making a rated R movie was the best choice for the Wolverine franchise and the best way to send Hugh Jackman off as that character. Logan is by far the best X-Men movie made to date and it’s because they allowed the storytelling and the dynamic character of Wolverine to be themselves in its entirety, with very little BS. So for that, the fans thank you and I know many people who have seen Logan loved it.
I really enjoyed how critical this film was about previous comic book stories, as Logan and the other X-Men are well known in this universe and even have toys and comic books written about them. So much so that Laura has X-Men comics to read and it adds to the plot of the whole film. Logan says in the movie how the stories in the comics always have a perfect ending and that is not how it really happened. It really showed how the actions of the past had jaded the Wolverine and shaped how the world saw him. The only reason Logan did not get a 10/10 in my eyes is that it reminded me a lot of the 2006 movie, Children of Men in its main storyline of there being no more mutants being born. It was just too similar to the dystopian society of Children of Men, as it also had no children being born and humanity dying out. I was a huge fan of the film, however, there were some originality points taken away for that, in my book.
Wolverine is an iconic comic book character that has transcended decades of pop culture and is still incredibly relevant today. The past couple of movies with Wolverine have been unsuccessful to say the least. From terrible plotlines to unrealistic acting, James Howlett needed a facelift. With the release of Logan this past weekend, director James Mangold and actor Hugh Jackman have successfully embedded the most famous X-Men mutant back into mainstream media and I could not be happier. All in all, this movie is a western in the disguise of a superhero blockbuster complete with showdowns, chase scenes, and tragic endings to some of our favorite heroes. This film was everything a comic book fan would dream of and so much more. From its savage gore to its strange, dark humor, this movie shines like very few superhero movies have before. Logan is almost the perfect comic book movie, with the exception of a few minor flaws. I would highly recommend you see this movie, even if you are not a fan of superhero genre, as it is just a really badass action flick.