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Logan (2017)

aka Wolverine 3

Directed By: 
Details: 137 mins

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The Best Of What He Did

Logan has, understandably, generated a lot of buzz as of late, being Hugh Jackman's last opportunity to reprise the role of the titular and well-loved hero. The R-rating attracted the public's attention after the success that was Deadpool. The introduction of X-23 excited many comic readers and spoke to the potential of seeing her more down the road (though Logan takes place in an alternate timeline). And the black-and-white images and tone of the trailers evoked the same emotions and ideas as the tragic narratives of lone rangers or the gritty realism focused on in The Dark Knight Returns comic.

Luckily, all of the hype and comparisons were not just deserved, they were testaments to how well this film accomplishes the goal that the trailers clearly establish.

Logan features Hugh Jackman as an old and weary Wolverine, a limousine driver working to get by as best he can while caring for his elderly mentor, Professor X (played by Patrick Stewart), who now struggles to remember much ...(more)

Logan has, understandably, generated a lot of buzz as of late, being Hugh Jackman's last opportunity to reprise the role of the titular and well-loved hero. The R-rating attracted the public's attention after the success that was Deadpool. The introduction of X-23 excited many comic readers and spoke to the potential of seeing her more down the road (though Logan takes place in an alternate timeline). And the black-and-white images and tone of the trailers evoked the same emotions and ideas as the tragic narratives of lone rangers or the gritty realism focused on in The Dark Knight Returns comic.

Luckily, all of the hype and comparisons were not just deserved, they were testaments to how well this film accomplishes the goal that the trailers clearly establish.

Logan features Hugh Jackman as an old and weary Wolverine, a limousine driver working to get by as best he can while caring for his elderly mentor, Professor X (played by Patrick Stewart), who now struggles to remember much of his past or control his powers without the help of pharmaceuticals. Their commonplace lives come to a halt, however, when they are wrapped up in a government hunt for Laura, a mutant whose powers mimic Logan's in a very palpable way. The team ventures as best they can across a dreary and depressing landscape as they try to save themselves from the soldiers hot on their trail and the internal struggles they face each day.

Something that I cannot stress enough is that this is barely a superhero film, and that's not a bad thing. Beyond one other mutant, Caliban, there are no other headlining characters from the X-Men lore to be found here, although there are some small references here and there. Rather, the film takes something of a step back from the potentially goofy and absurdist tales of the early '60's, occasionally pointing to the ridiculousness, to accentuate how far those same heroes have fallen and the ways in which they try to get by day to day. The emotions are palpable and well-deserved, making the film strong in its tonal and thematic endeavors.

The acting is top-notch, which is unsurprising coming from veterans like Hugh Jackman and Patrick Stewart, but the film's script and angle give each actor such diverse material for well-worn characters that I couldn't help but get choked up over seeing how low they had been brought and the sometimes self-inflicted nightmares that haunted them. Not only that, but the child actress playing Laura, Dafne Keen, gives a phenomenal performance, a pleasant surprise considering what a key role she plays in the movie. Keen's expressive face and ability to emote distinctly and appropriately make her one of the best up-and-coming talents I've seen on screen in a long time, more so even than the stars of Stranger Things in my opinion. She has been widely recognized for her role here and deserves to be. The other actors do a fine enough job, never distracting from the story and adding nice bits here and there, but our three leads are by far provide the standout performances, fittingly.

The setting and music, while not entirely memorable, help to create the desolate and depraved tone that the film lives and breathes, a constant reminder of the harsh world these characters live in. That being said, it never feels like anything is forced down the audience's throat. For the most part, viewers are trusted to deduce certain aspects of the story and new status quo without it being spelled out for them. There's clearly something very destructive and wrong about what's happening in the government and how people are forced to live, but it's all scene dressing you can choose to look for or not, and makes the universe at hand feel alive and palpable, like it still moves and evolves even when there isn't an audience to see it happen. With that comes a feeling of pointlessness to the venture, questioning why our adventurers do what they do, and if they accomplish anything, does it matter, again paying homage to the narratives of yesteryear. And while this may put off some viewers, I found it to be an engaging and fitting take on the characters and story arcs at hand.

While this isn't a superhero movie per say, the film is by far the best representation of an X-Man to date, as Wolverine is perfectly presented here, providing Jackman with a much more robust character to portray. No longer is Logan our witty and annoyed guide through the colorful world of mutants, but a depressed, angry, confused creature of habit wandering through an equally uncaring and inhospitable world that rejects him on a daily basis. There's real pain and rage to be seen, and the R-rating means there's no holding back on anything. This is the quintessential Wolverine film to date.

Are there problems I have with the film? Sure, that's why it's not getting five stars from me. As I mentioned, the music isn't particularly memorable, which is a shame in a genre that lacks many great soundtracks. The villain is rather ho-hum, more of a catalyst for the adventures afoot than a meaningful figure in his own right. And there are some plot details that I cannot disclose here, due to spoilers, that fall flat and come across as a little too contrived and symbolic.

But these issues don't take away from the fact that I was immersed in Logan from the moment it came on screen to the moment the credits rolled. Logan is a well-made, thoughtful film about one of the most memorable comic book anti-heroes to date, using the source material well while never being stuck copying it. For those of you expecting Old Man Logan the movie, you're not just kidding yourselves, you are missing out on one of the best and most film perspectives on a comic book to date. For the rest of you, make the time to see this movie not just if you're a Wolverine fan, but if you're the sort of person who's looking for a movie that encapsulates the feel of old Westerns without inherently being a Western. (less)

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gave

Someone HAS come along

Incredibly brutal, both physically and emotionally. Hugh Jackman's swan song for a character he's played for the last 17 years, and his best Wolverine performance, hands down.

This is not the kind of movie you go and enjoy; the action is not fun or blockbuster-y. Especially the violence performed by the young mutant Laura, played heartbreakingly well by Dafne Keen. This is about characters surviving in a bleak, violent, world, yet still growing to care for each other despite how much it will eventually hurt.

In my opinion, this is the best movie ever made in the X-Men universe, but for different reasons that what made any of the other movies good. It's on another level than the rest. This one will stay with me for quite a while.

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Brutal, melancholy, and often downright depressing. By far the most violent X-men film so far, this is also a tender and apt send-off for one of its biggest stars. I liked the hints at the wider world of 2029 and brief references to what has happened in between now and then, and even the little futuristic touches like the self-driving trucks.
But the main pleasure comes from seeing Jackman and Stewart taking their characters deeper, facing old age, disease and death and making their peace with that.

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Cast:

Small Logan / Wolverine
Small Charles Xavier / Professor X
No_movie_poster Laura
No_movie_poster Donald Pierce

Crew:

Small James Mangold Director
No_movie_poster Michael Green Writer
No_movie_poster Scott Frank Writer

Plot:

In 2024, mutant births are severely in decline, and people aren't sure why. A government-type operation is turning mutant children into killing machines. From this, Logan emerges as a mentor to a mutant girl, who has two claws instead of his three.