One of the most anticipated comic book movies of the year has dropped, and we popped along to take a look at Logan in all its R-Rated glory.
With Logan, we are witnessing the culmination of the long, emotional & sometimes complicated story arc of James “Logan” Howlett aka The Wolverine. Given that the first X-Men movie came out in the year 2000, it’s possible that some of our readers were not even born when Hugh Jackman first assumed the role (after Dougray Scott dropped out!). It has been a long seventeen years where some movies were great, some were meh and others were just plain awful – we’re looking at you X-Men Origins: Wolverine!
In these seventeen years there has always one constant. Even when we got younger versions of Professor X, Magneto, Mystique, Jean Grey & Cyclops. Even when the continuity became so muddled thanks to Days of Future Past meddling with the timelines. Once facet of the X-Men Universe was always the same. Hugh Jackman was Wolverine… and now he dons the Adamantium claws for one last time.
The year is 2029. There has not been a new mutant born in 25 years. The rest of the mutants have seemingly been wiped out in some sort of extinction event. Logan & Charles Xavier, both getting on in days and in rag order, are hiding out beyond the Mexican border while Logan works on getting them somewhere safer. Their routine is disturbed when a young mutant by the name of Laura emerges with powers very similar to that of Wolverine’s. Despite Logan’s resistance, the trio set off on a journey cross-country while on the run from a villainous corporation who are looking to take back Laura, their “asset”. Lots of gratuitous violence ensues.
We don’t want to give too much away, but what we will say is that Logan is one of those few comic book based movies that manages to transcend the usual copy paste template associated with the genre and set itself apart as what many may deem “a proper movie”. Like Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight or Captain America: The Winter Soldier, despite their source material there’s something clearly different about these movies – it may be tone, theme, imagery or several other aspects but they broke the mould. Logan fits into the very same bracket. Its roots are born from a comic book but had it been released a few months earlier, you could argue it could have sat aside Hacksaw Ridge & La La Land as an Academy Award Nominee.
The core and real charm of Logan is in the relationships between the three core characters; Logan, Charles & Laura. All along their journey through the American south & mid-west they squabble, they joke, they laugh and (albeit with some resistance in Logan’s case) they love. How these characters, played by fantastic actors, interact with each other is really what makes this movie special. Between Logan’s dedication to Charles, Charles connection with the first new mutant in a quarter of a century, and Logan’s reluctance to accept that Laura is his mini-me; we see these characters undertake a proper deep emotional journey and this really sets Logan apart from it’s other comic book counterparts.
As mentioned previously, Logan is allegedly the end of Wolverine’s story. Again, we don’t want to spoil anything (we’ll do that another time!) but it would be unfair not to comment on the ending of this almost two decades long tale. For all involved, it gets wrapped up sublimely. Wolverine’s long arc gets tied up in a more than fitting fashion. Perhaps one of the most fitting story endings for any character brought to our screens, especially as many of us would have grown up with Jackman as Wolverine. For fear of revealing too much, we’ll park that at that.
Admittedly, some hardcore X-Men fans may have some issue with *some* niggly little details but so long as you’re not overly pedantic you will understand that these details are there to fit the narrative. Despite not being technically accurate, they help charge the emotion in the story and in this context work just fine.
One of the aspects that caused the most hype in the run up to Logan’s release was the R-Rating it was awarded. We can tell you that while the violence is plenty and graphic, it doesn’t feel forced. It feels exactly as a film about Wolverine should be. Blood spatters, heads roll and much of the action is cold-hearted. Justified, but cold-hearted. It was, as sadistic as this may sound, quite beautiful to finally see in a Wolverine film.
Overall, Logan may well go down as a landmark piece within the comic book genre. For the main reasons is that it’s not just a comic book movie, but a cinematic treasure. In a space of time just short of two and a half hours, you’ll laugh, you’ll cry and you’ll almost forget that this is a story adapted from the pages of Marvel comic books. Just almost though. This is one everyone needs to see. Tell your family. Tell your friends. Tell your dog. Go see this movie.
Logan is in Irish cinemas nationwide now.