You never want to watch your heroes die or get old.
Spending over two hours watching a brain-diseased Charles Xavier and a hobbled Logan who are two of the only remaining mutants on Earth and no longer resemble anything close to The Wolverine and Professor X of old is difficult. You become so invested in these characters over the course of their movie lives that when they actually show the part of life where it all has caught up with them it isn’t easy to take in. Secondly, I wanted Logan to be great, but it ended up being just good. From the first trailer, I loved the direction that Fox studios was taking by having something of an untraditional approach to a beloved superhero by plucking a very unique storyline from the comics that otherwise wouldn’t have been told on the big screen. I like this risk and to be honest, following the success of Deadpool, I would make the strong case that more superhero movies need to bend towards an R-rating because Logan captures the essence of The Wolverine perfectly and is a much needed visual from the neutered portrayals in past films. I understand that Marvel has the market cornered at the moment on how to make a successful comic book film, however, they have yet to grasp how to make a meaningful one. This is something that Fox and Logan have done despite its flaws in pace and story.
In the film, we find that through old age, Logan’s body is turning on him and he’s slowly dying while Charles Xavier’s mind is suffering from dementia is not only decaying but also posing a threat to everyone else around him. Logan, now a limo driver in Texas, no longer has any purpose in life and has embraced thoughts of suicide to the point where he carries around an Adamantium bullet with him as a “just-in-case.” I kept thinking throughout the movie that this was not how a fighter like him should go, through old age; despondent and regretful, but instead should die in battle with honor. Enter X-23, a new mutant that was created in a laboratory that has similar powers to Logan. They embark on a road trip to get her to safety from The Reavers that are chasing her because she’s special and end up bonding to some degree along the way.
I really struggled with liking Logan overall. I didn’t hate it by any stretch, but it didn’t grab me in any special way that I believed it would before the movie started. In the end, I appreciated the tone and direction the movie took and for that I am praying it does really well in the box office in order to reassure studios that a hard R-rating can be done well more than just once (Deadpool). The story took too long to get off the ground and for being so simplistic (bad guys wanting escaped girl, Logan & Co. protect) it seemed that its slow pacing held it back from truly exploring the surrounding world or diving deeper into the characters. That all might stem from uncertainty and budgets from the studio, but still it would’ve been interesting to see more of how the world is after all of the mutants have gone or what brought them to this point.
I truly believe Logan should be seen in theaters, but honestly, I would say it’s more because I think we should support comic movies that take risks like this despite their flaws because there are not enough ones that are trying to tell this type of story. I don’t consider Logan to be a great action movie or even a strong X-Men film. In truth, it’s just a good movie that gives off the feeling of being given the ability to say goodbye to a loved one before they are taken off life support. You don’t really want to see it happen, but without it, their story wouldn’t be complete. Now The Wolverine saga is finally finished with the ending it deserved and with a character that has stood the test of time, much like in the comics, throughout the changing landscape of comic book movies in the past two decades. For that, you should pay your respects by seeing Logan.
LOGAN – 4 GARYS