Movie Review: Logan
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Logan made me cry.
Logan is the culmination of 17 years of the best portrayal of one of comic’s most famous and loved characters. Wolverine, as most know him, is not the man he was when we last saw him. His healing factor is slowing, and he is a shell of his former self.
The film revolves around a reluctant Logan (whom I will now refer to as such because he is no longer The Wolverine). Logan brings the first mutant born in the past 25 years, due to mutant suppressing chemicals in the food supply, to Canada to seek asylum from the men hunting her.
Unlike past X-Men films, this movie has blood and gore galore. In conjunction with explicit language, this earns the film a well deserved “R” rating. This was positively the right path for this film: Logan murders people, there are no winks or nudges or off camera innuendos. There is brutal violence, there are people dying, and there is an overarching theme of mortality, creating a dark and grounded feeling making it much more emotional, and meaningful when someone dies, which many people do.
Like I mentioned before, Logan’s healing factor is failing, he can’t just rush into a storm of bullets anymore. I felt a genuine sense of dread any time Logan entered combat as the movie truly perpetuated the idea that any fight might just be Logan’s last.
Laura, the mutant I referred to earlier, has similar powers to Logan. She is played by Dafne Keene and cast terrifically. Her portrayal bears great resemblance to her comic book counterpart, whom I will not spoil the identity of. Laura conveys more emotion, with just her actions and body language, than many actors can with their voice. I fully expected her to act as a plot device used to get Logan and Professor X on the road together to face some villains, but she is so much more than that.
For all the great things that Logan does, it certainly is not a perfect film. In an effort to prevent against spoilers, I won’t go into specifics. However, there is a certain character in the film whom I thought was interchangeable, and weak at best, with no real reason for him to be there. There is also a character that would have far better suited the role that was completely omitted.
The film is very much structured like a western and it is fully aware and even references that fact. The slowness of the second act is very much a characteristic of the western film. A film tactic to build tension for an action packed third act generally when our protagonist prepares for his final show down with the antagonists.
In conclusion, Logan is not only my favorite superhero film, but one of my favorite films. It was an emotional ride, where we saw Logan at his best and at his worst. It is fantastic that we finally got to see the full-on unadulterated Logan with blood, gore, and swearing, which is amazing for a fan of the source material. But it also introduced us to one of the most intriguing characters I have seen in film in the last five years; Laura and Logan’s relationship is the highlight of this film, and it genuinely brought me to tears.
Logan earns a ‘best movie ever’ on my sliding scale of best movie ever to worst movie ever. It is the most dramatic and grounded superhero film of this century, and more than likely ever. I recommend Logan to not just fans of the X-Men series of films but anyone who enjoys a solid drama movie with plenty of action.