Movie Review: Logan (2017)

Directed by James Mangold, Logan is a 2017 superhero/comic book action movie. The film stars Hugh Jackman as James Howlett aka The Wolverine, along with Patrick Stewart as Charles Xavier, Stephen Merchant as Caliban and Dafne Keen as Laura (aka X-23), a young, artificially created mutant. The film is a very loose adaption of the comic book series Old Man Logan, set in a near future and tells of an older, isolated Wolverine, now going by his birthname James Howlett, as he attempts to make enough money to care for an elderly Charles Xavier. A promise of much needed money leads Howlett on a roadtrip as he both attempts to protect young Laura, and protect his friends and allies from a ruthless team of cybernetic hunters.

+ fantastic performances from Jackman and Stewart, in what is being touted as their final appearances one way or another. The relationship they have built in their five movies together now is immediately apparent, as they snark back and forth like they have had this conversation a hundred times before
+ Dafne Keen was adorable and terrifying as the young X-23. In only her second acting role, and first movie role, she brought X-23 to the screen for the first time in a way that was seemingly impossible, especially for a girl only 11 years old.
+ the violence was somewhat gratuitous, but it was a refreshing change to finally see Wolverine actually use his claws without having a quick cut-away every time (one of Jackman’s best scenes in any movie was when he took out the SWAT team in the mansion in X-2, and this was basically more of that, taken to the extreme). Overall, the action was fantastic, with an incredible climax well worth the build

– the alterations to the comic backstory were a pleasant surprise, but they were only ever mentioned in passing. Had the film started with a scene showing the new horrors I think the tone of the film may have been set up that much more. As it stands, it is hard to buy into this version of Wolverine NOT being The Wolverine, because it was only one movie ago we saw him tearing shit up
– a very small handful of plot holes, or at least questionable outcomes did leave me scratching my head, or wondering why what did happen happened. Maybe I am just being pedantic by this stage
– I noticed surprisingly few references to previous X-men films, with not a single mention of Magneto, Cyclops, Storm or even Wolverine’s old would-be-lover Jean Grey. There is a sort of minor reason this may be the case (certainly a reason they don’t appear), but I don’t buy that would remove them from everyone’s mind altogether

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The film is violent, but then again so is the source material.

Alright, look. I know we were never going to get a proper adaptation of Old Man Logan due to the crazy ownership rights for the characters, so none of Hulk, Spider-man, Kingpin, the Inhumans or Red Skull were going to appear, nor Hammer Falls or Loki’s corpse. But if they were intending to base this on Old Man Logan, there is so much they could have done which would have made sense in the context of a straight adaptation. Even the fact that the opening scene of this movie is a claw-heavy murder-death-kill-fest is such a stark contrast to Wolverine’s reluctance to even get his claws out in the comics (which makes the double page SNIKT so much more meaningful). Maybe ten years from now, Marvel Studios, Fox, Sony and whoever else will all chip in to really make the Old Man Logan adaption I always wanted. Hugh Jackman deserves it.

> the character of Caliban previously appeared in Age of Apocalypse. Why they would use the same character in the same film series but use two different actors when actor recasting, or more appropriately actors appearing in a shared universe, is such a hot topic I can’t say

Should you see this film: It may be damning praise, but this the best Wolverine movie to date, and definitely in the top three of X-Men movies. Jackman and Stewart are phenomenal, and Keen is incredible in her movie debut. If this is the end for Jackman and Stewart, it is a fitting and, and I can’t think of a better way for Keen to start her X-Men career than this. I can’t and won’t say this is the absolute best superhero movie ever made, because I don’t think it is. But it is damned good, and you should go and see it on the big screen.

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