Logan review provided By Josh Widdowson
There is a lot of buzz surrounded “Logan”. Critics are saying it was different than any of the films in the X-Men franchise. It introductes a young mutant who can kick butt, and the farewell performances of Hugh Jackman as Wolverine and Patrick Stewart as Charles Xavier. But this film in its gritty demeanor, dark story, and high body count makes for an amazing movie that will grip you from frame one.
The film is set in a not-too-distant future, and Logan has not been The Wolverine for many years as Mutants have nearly become extinct. Dying from what is suspected to be poisoning from the adamantium in his system, he works as a chauffeur to keep himself going and cares for his mentor Charles Xavier who slowly losing control of his powerful mental abilities due to a degenerative disease.
Logan hides in an abandoned smelting plant in Mexico with Charles and an albino tracer-mutant named Caliban (Stephen Merchant). While he is in the states, Logan is approached by TransGen’s security chief Donald Pierce, a cybernetically enhanced human who is looking for a Mexican girl and a nurse. That nurse and the young girl (Dafne Keen in her debut) later contact Logan and asks him to drive them to a place in North Dakota called “Eden”. Before he can start the journey, the nurse is brutally murdered, and Logan’s hideout is found out by Pierce. Outnumbered, Logan reverts to form in trying to take out the masses of security officers that Pierce brings with him.
It’s here that we discover the girl’s secret. The girl, named Laura or X-23, is like Wolverine. She also has retractable adamantium claws, an advanced healing factor, wild rage and superior physical abilities. It turned out, she along with several other children were part of TransGen’s experiments to breed mutants for their purposes. Logan, along with Charles and Laura try to make the cross-country trip.
The film itself was initially advertised with Johnny Cash’s “Hurt” playing in the background. This should give the audience an idea that this film is not going to be like the other X-Men entries. This is a dark, western-like film. It does draw on a lot of western film influences, and the scenery is epic (I saw this on a Large Format screen, and the vistas were amazing). The fight scenes, however, are the most brutal I have seen for superhero movies. The film is rated “R” for a reason. Not only is there strong of language, the fights and violence in Logan are intense and bloody.
Some of the fights made me wince as I could imagine the pain from those fights. Is the violence excessive? Well the fights didn’t drag on, but much like the comics themselves have gone into darker territory, the movies have started to follow with the darker themes. This is because the fan base wants to see the more mature material as they mature and grow older. Many of the people who would probably see “Logan” saw the original “X-Men” film in 2000. Since then their tastes have probably changed over the 17 years between then and now.
There is also a sense where redemption needs to come in, and Logan needs to accept that he is still human. No longer is he the weapon he was intended to be. We do get to see some of the depth of Logan’s character, and we learn that he is more than just a guy with claws who can slash through just about anything.
I would say that watching at least the original X-Men will give you an advantage. However, Logan is more than just a comic book movie, it is a great overall movie. The cinematography is top notch and gives the film a very different look from its predecessors.
This is a grittier and dirtier look to a character known as “The Cranky Canadian”, but it also brings Wolverine full circle. You don’t need to be a fan of the comics to see “Logan”, but it does help.
Directed by: James Mangold
Starring: Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart and introducing Dafne Keen
Rated R for Strong Brutal Violence, Strong Language throughout, and for brief nudity.
Grade: 4.25 out of 5 Stars
Author Bio: Josh Widdowson is a frequent guest columnist for The Inscriber, commenting on movies, sports, current events, and food. He loves sports, his girlfriend, Pittsburgh, cooking and good music, but not necessarily in that order.