Review: Logan (2017)

Logan (dir. James Mangold, 2017) – The arrival of a young mutant sends an ailing Wolverine and Professor X on the run.

Verdict

A near-perfect swan song for an aged hero, a brilliant origins story for a rising heroine.

4/5

Review

The stars are aligned as we bid adieu to the Wolverine. It has been a long time coming, and no better timing for his last run. With the evocative nature of farewells almost a given, director James Mangold has his work cut out for him. The recent resurgence of the western genre also comes in good time, falling right in place with his dusty town vision.

Then, there is that minor success with Deadpool, boosting the studio’s confidence in bloodier, adult-oriented comic book movies. Just as the superhero genre flatlines on novelty, Logan knows to grab the opportunity to break out of the tired formula. So all bets are on, and all for the better. At long last, the Man with the Adamantium Fists gets the grittier treatment he deserves.

Logan
Nothing to see here. Just an ordinary family and an ordinary car… accident.

No holds barred, Logan is handed the license to go berserk. But even if the carnage takes a walk on the wild side, James Mangold roots his story in relative realism, recalling the better half of his previous efforts in The Wolverine. Profanities never distract from his razor-sharp focus on one purpose: to hand down a fading torch that still shines a light on the face of its bearer.

That is even if his glory days are far behind him. Logan (Hugh Jackman) these days is a different beast, holding back his claws and down a job as a limo driver. Somewhere along the Mexican border, he cares for Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart), whose debilitating mind threatens mass destruction. With Caliban (Stephen Merchant) the only mutant on his side, things are looking bleak. Then, the appearance of the first young mutant in years changes everything.

Logan
The road to a solo movie is paved with great acting.

As mini powder keg Laura Kinney, 12-year-old Dafne Keen drives the layered story like a seasoned veteran. And in many ways, her spirited introduction is a fitting companion to Logan’s final outing. Not only is her gift a chip off the old Weapon X. Her feral instincts parallel the same hint of vulnerability underneath her impulsive rage, as well as hidden guilt over the heavy costs of her survival.

Logan shares her struggle – in not letting their dark violent pasts define them, forming an unexpected bond with his perfect legacy. Their familial relationship, along with Charles, is the heart and strength of this pensive tenth chapter, offering emotional depth that has hitherto been lacking in the franchise. Needless to say, Hugh Jackman and Patrick Stewart play their aged, weary heroes to perfection.

Logan
“Hi, child services? Please keep that child away from me.”

While emotions run high, the ruthless hunting ways of Donald Pierce (Boyd Holbrook) and his cyborg Reapers ensure plenty of action-driven bloodshed on the side. Led by an underused Dr. Zander Rice (Richard E. Grant), the worthy opponents belong to a corporation that sees gifted children as property, an antithesis to the X-Men’s mission in erasing the line between man and mutant.

The ensuing conflict is one of blood, guts, and tears guaranteed. It is a strong concoction that is unlikely to be a trend in face of merch sale quotas. But for now, this worthy tribute to Old Man Logan has shown us what a comic adaptation free of commercial pressure can deliver. And ’tis better to have had and loved, than never to have had at all.

Advertisements

19 thoughts on “Review: Logan (2017)

  1. What a fantastic review! Really enjoyed reading this one, pretty much in the same way I loved this film. It is a fantastic way to say goodbye to one of Marvel’s most completing characters who has been brought to life so well by High Jackman. The movie was certainly violent, but in no way did it ever lose sight of the story itself. It was a near perfect blend of action and story, and that was what made it so great 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much! And I completely agree with your thoughts. Modern superhero films tend to favour action over storytelling. Logan comes as a rare gem that balances the two. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks very much, Renate! 😀 I feel the same way. It’s such a great end for Hugh Jackman, and a fantastic beginning for Dafne Keen. I secretly wish their road trip could go on little longer… But there’s always hope that Laura might get a solo film soon!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I loved Logan. One of my fave comic book movies, which I hesitate to say because it’s really the anti-comic book movie. Nevertheless, I’d rank it up there with The Dark Knight because it’s such a powerful genre piece. It took me the entire month of March to process my feelings on it, and even then I could keep going. I suppose the same could be said of Logan, a character who really could keep going in the X-Men franchise. It’s so bittersweet, but I’m glad it came to an end. Crossing my fingers that it stays that way.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I totally agree that Logan is up there with the best! But I’d say The Dark Knight trilogy is hard to beat in terms of villains. Nolan’s Rogue Gallery picks have a much stronger thematic significance. Scarecrow sets up Bruce Wayne’s rising from his fears. The Joker was there to draw out the Batman’s violence. Two-Face’s transformation threatens to destroy Gotham City’s hope…

      To me, Logan’s seek-and-destroy villains feel comparatively one-dimensional. That said, the focus on the Logan-Laura relationship really kicked the minor flaw to the sidelines, as did that bold bittersweet ending. All that rambling aside, thanks much for leaving your thoughts as always! I’ll be sure to check out your post soon. 🙂

      Like

      1. Very true about TDK trilogy. Very memorable villains, whereas Wolverine, even less so, with only Logan being the one with an actual villain that posed a very real threat (physically and emotionally).

        I adored the Logan-Laura relationship simply because you don’t realize you’re watching a father-daughter relationship til the very end. The way Laura says “Daddy,” UGGHHH. Kills me every time I think about it.

        Glad you finally saw Logan! I finally have people to discuss it with! I’ve had to bottle in my thoughts for so long…

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Great review, and glad to see you liked this one so much. I really enjoyed this one. I was not a fan of The Wolverine, so I was hoping that this would finally be what we have been waiting for in a Wolverine movie, and it was great. Really. Holbrook also impressed the hell out of me in Logan.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. My favorite movie since Fury Road, glad to see high score on yet another movie blog! The performances were just outstanding and I cannot remember I laughed and cried so much during one film. Such an emotional and beautiful movie.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. We both found this movie difficult to watch – not because of the acting (which was brilliant by the way) but because this is Hugh Jackman’s last appearance as Logan. We had a sad face throughout the movie and some smiley ones when we realised a younger Logan could be introduced. Great review!! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hugh Jackman and The Wolverine are almost synonymous by now. It’s easy to see why the end would be a hard pill to swallow. But a younger Logan wouldn’t be half bad. Time to bust out the fan casting suggestions! Thank you for reading! 😊

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks much, Daniel! I kind of wish he had held the license from the start. 😉 And Logan really is great on both fronts, which is truly rare in this tired genre.

      Like

Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s