Superhero films usually fall into the love em or hate em column for most people. For people like myself, they enjoy the site of seeing the heroes from the pages of comic books coming to life on the big screen, even if they do not read the books. It serves as an escape from reality while also holding some real world meaning deep down.
These films often serve as a form of puzzle, as they typically exist within a universe that extends well beyond the two hours of the individual film. This is what first drew me into the Marvel franchise, as I enjoyed the idea of being able to follow a story over the course of many years. A subtle thing in one film could be laying a hint for something major to come down the road.
But then you have those who claim these films are nothing more than big action spots and repetitive stories. These people like to claim that these films all follow the same overall plot, with the good guy overcoming odds to take down the bad guy when all is said and done. As a result, they rip apart any potential plot holes and claim the film is a mindless adventure that requires no thinking. For these reasons among others (that I don’t agree with – but that’s a story for another day), superhero films usually get the short end of the stick when it comes to awards and respect for being a deep film.
Well, even if you fall into that second category, I would highly recommend Logan. In what is Hugh Jackman’s last go-round as the hero known as Wolverine, Logan provides audiences with a fantastic plot, plenty of emotion, and lots of action. To put it simply, the third Wolverine solo film is much more than a superhero film.
While the film revolves around the likes of comic book characters, it is a much darker tone than your standard superhero flick. There are no colorful suits or bright colors. It is set in a very real-life style setting with its characters dealing with down to Earth style issues.
Wolverine, is growing old. His body is breaking down and he simply cannot do things like he could when he was younger. He is losing energy and coughing up blood. As a result of falling on hard times, he has even contemplated taking his own life.
Then you have Professor Charles Xavier, who is not only suffering from seizures in his old age, but is losing his mind. He is constantly reminded to take his pills to help offset the dementia/Alzheimers (I do not recall the exact issue he is dealing with) that he is suffering from. He has reached the point in his life where he can no longer care for himself and must rely on others for basic things, including taking him to the bathroom.
Then we have Laura, who is the film’s kick-ass little girl. After going through some traumatic events during his childhood, she is left searching for a meaning to life in a sense. She is an orphan in a way, who happens to have her paths cross with her father. It seems her desire is to reach peace and have her father by her side, even if she comes off as cold towards Logan towards the beginning. Having grown up in the environment that she did, the rage that she exibits comes as no surprise either.
Logan is a film rich in characters and emotion. It is built upon several different relationships that help drive this story along. If you have followed all of the X-Men films, you know the long history between Patrick Stewart’s Professor X and Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine. So to see these two interact the way they do in this film is just fantastic.
In multiple instances, Logan refers to Charles as his father. While it may not be technically true, these two have always had that father-son relationship. Often it would be Professor X looking after the hot-tempered Wolverine, but this time around we get to see Logan taking care of the aging professor.
Then by bringing in X-23, that parent-child dynamic is furthered. Logan never knew he had a daughter out there. But after his DNA was taken at the end X-Men: Apocolype, Laura’s creation was possible without Wolverine’s knowledge. So here comes this little girl, who has been reading comics about her father, before finally coming in contact with him.
Wolverine wants nothing to do with from the first time he meets her. Now this was before he knew the connection the two shared. Once he learned who she actually was, he knew he could not simply leave her behind. But he also tries to keep his distance still, as he knows nothing good ever comes to the ones he is close with.
It are these relationships that help make this such an emotionally driven story. Add in the fact that it is likely the last time we will see Stewart and Jackman in these roles (I’m still holding out hope for a Deadpool 2 cameo by one or both) and this is simply a great film in every aspect.
So it does not matter if you are a superhero movie fan or not. Logan is so much more. Yes it draws its story and characters from the pages of the comics, but its tone and feel make it feel like any other movie that will leave you walking out satisfied. If you have not seen it yet, do yourself a favor and go get your tickets now. It is a tremendous film and has plenty to offer.