Sunday, 5 March 2017

Farewell Logan

In the near future, a weary Logan cares for an ailing Professor X in a hide out on the Mexican border. But Logan's attempts to hide from the world and his legacy are upended when a young mutant arrives, being pursued by dark forces.

This film is the final portraying of Wolverine by Hugh Jackman, he has been Logan for almost two decades now, let that sink in... This movie is a strange contradiction as it is both the most violent film in the series and the most sentimental one - when it's not showering you in blood, it is (successfully, in my case) trying to make you spill tears. From an emotional standpoint, I was in pieces going into that film, then watching it while keeping that original feeling I was also very satisfied, this is more in line with what Christopher Nolan did with Batman for instance. This is a very sombre and serious drama that contains brilliant burst of action. 

Fans who grew up with Wolverine will quickly realise that Logan is not the same, time-heals-all-wounds superhero the X-Men movies introduced to us, but while there might be more of his blood on the floor than usual, you can still see the old fire break through at times. Wolverine is old, tired, broken down, beaten physically and emotionally. This man is a complete shadow of what he used to be.

This is a dark, violent movie, in which very little hope remains for these characters. Just a tiny shred of it remains in the characters' eyes. It is so engaging to see these characters we learned to love through the years, put in a place that is so dark, so small and almost completely forgotten in this universe, that you just want them to climb out of the hole they are in. Then, characters all grow to appreciate one another again, learn to help each other and be heroes again. 

The connection between Logan and Charles is fascinating to watch as someone who has seen their relationship grow over multiple movies, much credit must go to Hugh Jackman and Patrick Stewart who give their most heartbreaking performances of these characters yet. Indeed, it is heartbreaking to watch the once great Professor X reduced to an almost prison-like existence, born out of the fear of what his sick mind might do to the world. Unsurprisingly, Logan's bedside manners leave much to be desired and yet this is a softer, more caring Wolverine than we have seen before. Other versions of him would have left Charles behind or put an end to his misery. Here, all Logan wants to do is keep him safe. 

Hugh Jackman is once more and sadly for the last time, perfect; see our beloved Wolverine so broken was heartwrenching and he did a fantastic job at portraying that again. Though when his shirt comes off, revealing what is undeniably the film's best special effect: his impossible ripped and pumped-up physique, at 48, you just have to applaud the dedication. 
Patrick Stewart is a legend for always and always until the end of time. Moreover, makeup can only do so much to convey the pain of old age and the loss of so much. The rest was just them. Then, the little girl, Dafne Keen/X-23, is amazing and savage at the same time. For the majority of the movie she just sits there and stares at people but she doesn't "just stare", it is like she sees right through your soul. She is the daughter Logan never slowed down enough to allow himself to have. The loner here has to learn to put someone else first.

Plus, Boyd Holbrook, Pierce's opening scene is one of my favourite of the movie and he makes it clear from the moment he appears on the screen that this world is built for him. He is determined to recapture Laura but this strong desire does not make his character one-dimensional either. In contrast to Richard E. Grant's Dr Zander Rice, who is clearly lacking in this area.

This is also the first Wolverine movie to be Rated-R (thank you Deadpool), though this film is brutal, there are so much blood and limbs. I loved it! They did not hold anything back,. Wolverine goes absolutely crazy on people. This film is earning its R-rating multiple times over (the first word of dialogue is: "Fuck"), the opening fight sequence is a good indicator of what is to come. The action is particularly breathtaking, even more so than usual. There is a definite Western sense to this movie; that director James Mangold is going for. Taking it that far to make his character watch Shane on TV. Logan is most definitely not and X-Men movie. Hell, it is not even barely a superhero movie. X-Men Comics physically exist in this world and they are viewed as fictional stories that people wrote based on the real heroes. This is really smart 1) because we get Hugh Jackman as Wolverine reading about Wolverine in a Wolverine movie -cool and 2) because it takes place in the future of the timeline established in Days of Future Past, so you can do a lot with what took place between those two films. It is a fresh idea and why not a fresh start? 

Finally, there were a few "surprises" and mostly shocks in Logan, that I did not see coming and there is no way on earth I am going to spoil them here. What I will say is that, if you can accept that Logan is not really a superhero movie, but more a western about the relationship between a father and son, and a father and daughter, then you won't be disappointed. There is more depth to this tale than the ones that have come before, but that doesn't mean the hallmarks of Wolverine are missing. 

Overall, Logan stands out as not only a great movie, but as something which is truly different for this genre. This is not a fun movie and you will leave feeling a little bashed and bruised yourself. Give yourself a drink and half an hour to recover after watching, and I am sure you'll come to the conclusion that this is the Wolverine movie you have been waiting for all those years.

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