I’ve finally seen Logan, the third film in the least coherent trilogy of all time, only this time it’s good, like really good. You’ve probably heard the hype by now and I’m here to tell you that yes, it is pretty much all true, we finally get to see what a man with blades coming out of his knuckles can do and it is gloriously brutal. Read on to find out my SPOILER FREE thoughts.
Logan is set in a what seems like a not too distant dystopian future, with the mutant now struggling to make ends meet, driving a Limo and caring for an old and unstable Professor X. That’s until a new mutant comes along, with a power set not to dissimilar to his own, who he reluctantly decides to try help escort to the Canadian border, far away from an evil company that is tracking her down.
This film is unlike any superhero film you’ve seen before and it is very refreshing to see. I was excited not to know where this film was going from scene to scene, ever wondering where the story may end, unlike previous Wolverine and superhero films where you know he’s going to have to fight the big bad at the end and save the day. You can tell that this film had a lot of thought put into the story and character before adding all the flashy elements, for the most part it plays like a Western where it just so happens the characters inhabit superpowers. It’s shot very nicely, the production design is beautiful and more importantly real and the characters feel very flawed and human. Time has taken its toll on these larger than life characters and grounded them in a way that makes them feel more relatable. The story still falls into some obvious movie tropes but for the most part, this film is about living and what it means to be human and these are the bits of the film that really stand out, not just the brutal action scenes, but yes those are pretty cool as well.
Yes, this Wolverine film is R rated, or if you live in the UK like myself, it’s got a 15 certificate. You won’t be bringing your kids to this one. As I stated at the start, Wolverine using his claws is gloriously brutal, nothing gets covered up, you get to see what would happen if somebody did have blades shooting out of their knuckles and then punching people in the head and although I thought this may grow old, it never did, the fight scenes are some of the best in the whole X-Men/Wolverine franchise and they are little more than Wolverine or Laura (the young mutant) killing hordes of mercenaries. It’s not just the violence that is upped in this film but the language and darker story themes as well. The language takes a little getting used to at first because we’ve only really heard Logan curse a few times in the franchise, now he’s swearing a lot and it works for his character and the place he is in. The one character I didn’t think it worked for was Professor X, thankfully he doesn’t swear as much as the film goes on but near the start he does quite a bit and it did feel a bit unnecessary, like James Mangold, the director, was trying to make full use of the adult rating for the sake of having it. Where the adult content works best however is in favour of the themes of the story, nothing needs to be sugar-coated here, this is about a character who is at the end of his tether and has had enough of the world, things get dark for him physically and mentally and it was nice to see a film handle this maturely.
This is Hugh Jackman’s final film as Wolverine and although he will probably be recast in the next five years, it was nice to have this film be a great send off to the actor and the character. It sucks that in his seventeen years as Wolverine, his final film is the one he is truly allowed to sink his claws into, pun intended. This is without a doubt one of the best performances of Hugh Jackman’s career and easily his best performance as Wolverine. He has put his stamp on this character, so much so that when people talk about Wolverine, I rarely see the comic book version anymore (no matter how much I want to see that costume in full glory on the big screen one day), I see Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine. It was also nice that in this film we could be introduced to another great performance from a 12-year-old actress, Dafne Keen, who is destined to be a star.
Although this film is great I did have some problems with it, the biggest being the emotional moments didn’t always hit with me. Maybe that’s just me, maybe I need to watch it again but I felt that this was the fault of the X-Men franchise/universe being non-coherent as a whole, I never felt sad or worried that a character might get hurt or worse, the likelihood is that we’ll probably see some version of them again in the future. There are some great moments but I just don’t think that I was as emotionally invested as the film wanted me to be at the time.
I now want to take a moment to talk about the future of superhero films as R rated cinema in the future. It worked for this story and for this character at this point in his life, that does not mean that we need to do it for everyone. Spider-Man does not need to be R rated and neither does Batman or a lot of big superhero characters, that is unless the story calls for it. The worry is that some future superhero films will have adult content for the sake of having characters swear and show brutal violence, even Logan doesn’t always get away with this throughout the duration of the film. What this film shows is that filmmakers and studios need to think about the story and character first and leave the spectacle to last, and then only if the story calls for it. Marvel seem to be getting the hang of this and for the most part, have been pretty good at delivering good quality stories, but other areas of the superhero genre need to get to grips with the fact that not every superhero film needs to be the same or audiences are just going to get bored of them.
Logan is a refreshing addition to the superhero genre that treats the story and character with care, it sends Hugh Jackman out on a high in a way that we’ve never seen before in the genre. Some of the more emotional moments lacked levity for me but for the most part, it’s a great story and excellent film. I’m giving Logan a rating of 4/5.
What did you think of the film, a masterpiece or just another comic book movie? Let me know in the comments below!
Thanks for reading!