BOLD, BRUTAL, AND HAUNTING.
Logan is a giant step for superhero cinema, considering it’s hardly even a superhero flick. It aligns itself more with the Western genre, populated with characters from X-MEN. It’s more comparable to No Country for Old Men than X-Men. There’s no rush in Logan – It’s steadily paced, unlike many superhero/action films. It’s the most stylistic, dark, and resonant superhero film to come out since Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight.
Logan is sort of the anti-Deadpool – Where Deadpool was juvenile and humorous, Logan is brooding and mature.
The film definitely earns it’s R rating. It opens with a scene in which Logan decapitates and dismembers a few unfortunate men trying to steal his car. Where the action scenes in Deadpool were generic and subpar, the action scenes in Logan are completely engrossing and utterly unforgivable.
Yeah. There’s plenty of that.
(Oh yeah, please don’t think that this movie is kid-appropriate. I found myself shaking my head every time a parent/child duo left the theater because of the violence and language).
One of the biggest treats of the film is getting to see “Old Man Logan”, played once again by Hugh Jackman. We get to see Logan as a broken, vulnerable, and mortal man, giving the story a relatability and poignancy that it didn’t have before. Jackman gets to show his acting chops beyond mere growling-and-leaping, and it’s by far his best Wolverine performance to date.
Sir Patrick Stewart turns in a lovely performance as Charles Xavier in the last stage of his life, and he and Jackman are as good as ever together.
The silent but deadly focal point of the film is Lara, a mutant girl played by newcomer Dafne Keen. She is mute for 95% of the film, but more than holds her own on screen with the male duo.
A superhero movie needs a terrific villain, though, and the villains in Logan miss the mark. The villains lack the humanity that all great villains need, but they are at least utterly nefarious. The film as a whole is more than just a hero v.s. villain narrative – It’s about the journey, the relationships, and the evolution of Logan. Where most superhero films revolve around saving the universe, the world, or at least a city, Logan is about Logan saving himself.
The film is shot beautifully and stylistically. Director James Mangold (3:10 to Yuma remake, Walk the Line) creates an endlessly watchable movie, one that has surely cemented itself as one of the best and most mature superhero flicks ever produced.
Logan is a structured, slowly paced, intimate film. It’s a great sendoff for a character Hugh Jackman has played for nearly 20 years, and it will certainly go down as one of the best films released this year.