I watched Logan a couple of weeks ago. Despite I’m in Italy for the time being, I found a multiplex chain that actually screens movies in English (as many of you know, since fascism times every foreign production is dubbed in our language), and obviously this is the kind of movie I really want to watch how it was meant to.
After all, this is Hugh Jackman’s long goodbye to Wolverine, a character who’s cinematographic legacy started all the way in 2000, when I was just 7.
Now I’m 24, and it’s needless to say I literally grow up watching this incarnation of Wolvie.
Logan is exactly what we expected: loosely based on the Old Man Logan arc, a weary Logan works as a driver to buy medicines for a dangerously ill Xavier, and both of them are hiding from their legacy after the X-Men died in a genocide. But they realize they can’t escape their fame as a young girl asks for help to fight a dangerous enemy.
As you see, the plot is pretty simple: renegades, a young girl in danger, one last ride.
We’ve seen it often, yet it’s not annoying nor demeaning. The fact that Logan resorts to such a simple storyline helps the movie focus on the psychology of the two main characters, Logan and Xavier, after the extremely perils they have been through.
To be clear, as the X-Men movie continuity has always been fucked up, an inciting incident for their situation is given, in fact, by the genocide, yet as fans we see that some of the previous adventures affected them. Especially in the case of Wolverine.
Logan in fact does an amazing job in highlighting how Wolvie’s immortality made him tired of being alive. He saw many deaths, including of everyone he loved, and committed, willing or less, a bunch of murders. While the weakened healing power might or might not be a consequence of what happens in The Wolverine, I like to think is a result of his experience and his being fed up with the death stained life he had.
Of course, the last Wolverine representation is not the only highlight of the film. Patrick Stewart gives a damaged Charles Xavier the right dimension to have the audience feel sorry for him yet beware due to his power. In addition there’s one, simple scene in which he confess something to Wolverine. That moment felt so authentic due to the great emotion Patrick flows through his voice. One might think this is an easy feat. It’s everything but that.
Of course the movie has plenty of action: Wolverine finally slashes people brains, chest, limbs with realistic imagery. Nothing is sugar coded, finally. This happened obviously thanks to Deadpool, which convinced Fox to greenlit the R rated script. Thank you merc with a mouth. It also gives us a very graphic fight with what we could easily call a videogame boss due to its nature in the story. However, those fights were really pleasing my eye, so I can’t complain too much.
Anyways, it was somewhat surprising that even X-23, interpreted by an 11 year old Dafne Keen, was given graphic moments of violence. She also gives a very good acting showcase, especially considering her age and how damaged the character’s mind is. Kind of mindblowing. Even the other mutant we have, Caliban, while not really relevant to the goals the movie has, was played good enough by Stephen Merchant to not really mind too much.
With Logan, James Mangold steps up his game since he doesn’t have any of The Wolverine restrictions, and he goes all out even when it comes to artistic endeavors thanks to having the chance to represent the Wolverine he always wanted to give us.
Logan is without a doubt one of the best comic-book movies ever made, coming just a close second to The Dark Knight, and one of the best movies of the year already.
Do we as fans value this movie because we finally got the movie Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine deserved? Probably, but it doesn’t take away the fact that the character arc presented is basically flawless and emotional like most so called Oscar worthy movies never are.
Yes, it deserves an Academy consideration, but it won’t because it’s a comic-book movie. An utterly stupid justification.
Thank you James Mangold for this great last ride.
Thank you Hugh Jackman for this incredible character.
Now, let’s cross our fingers the next Wolverine will be half as good as this one.