2017, dir. James Mangold
Marvel’s grittiest movie to date – without question. And I don’t mean it in a cliche way either.
Wisely (and probably after the success of ‘Deadpool’) Marvel have presented us a comic book superhero movie for grown ups.
Do not expect a motley crew of characters, colourful costumes and light-hearted fun. This is purposefully a joyless movie, which at the same time is stirring, inspiring and thought-provoking.
Set in a bleak, pseudo-apocalyptic world, we witness an ageing Logan (Wolverine) whose instant healing powers are slowing down to the point of major concern. We also see a familiar old face – Professor Charles Xavier – but happy times are long gone. In fact, it is achingly sad to see such a masterful old friend deteriorating from a brain disease. A brain disease, which by the way, causes widespread catastrophe as it is connected to his mighty telepathic powers.
When villains show up (for very surprising reasons), there is more than enough emotional weight injected into the action. And so we follow Logan on a dusty and brutal final adventure.
REASONS TO OWN THIS FILM:
A Highly Violent Wolverine
In previous X-Men films, things were toned down somewhat to appeal to a larger viewing audience. We’ve always known Wolverine as being rugged: He’s the first to drop f-bombs, light up a cigar and neatly pierce bad guys with his claws. However, this time (and for the first time) we are treated to a Wolverine who explodes into a full, bloody rage and viciously tears people apart – and we actually see it! No clever cut-aways or editing masks how gruesome his style of killing actually is.
Logan Works As A Standalone Movie
Wolverine fans might take for granted knowledge about the X-Men universe. Which is why it’s all the more brilliant how Logan makes no callbacks or connects plots to any previous Wolverine/X-Men film. It simply rides on the vague fact that everyone else (all our favourite mutants) died, so now lets follow the last remaining ones.
It’s Heavy On Emotion
There are spoilers coming up, so if you have not yet seen the film, please skip this section.
Logan is a grand ending to a superhero we’ve seen on our screens for nearly twenty years now. To witness the end of something so awesome is literally saying goodbye to a friend we’ve adventured with many times over the years.
Logan himself takes on a somewhat paternal role with a little girl called Laura Kinney, which predictably doesn’t end too cheerfully. Xavier, who has also been a ‘dad’ to Logan, also reaches the end of his life in this film and what makes it even sadder is that it wasn’t a heroic, sacrificial death at all.
Seeing old Wolverine struggle with his age is difficult to watch. His trademark claws are even getting jammed with old age.
Emotions on all fronts get prodded and poked. And in some cases, perhaps even lacerated.
Iain’s verdict: Logan
Logan makes a clear nod to 1953’s ‘Shane’, which we actually get to watch a small excerpt in one scene. It is one of the great American westerns – also the inspiration for the tone of this film. There is also an underlying reference to ‘Unforgiven’, another great American Western (the most recent western to win ‘Best Movie’ at the Oscars). It is about a badly ageing cowboy who is forced, through strange circumstances, to become a savage badass one last time to see justice done.
Throwing one of Marvel’s most beloved characters into such a story with an adult tone is a winning combination.
It’s a bleak movie, but certainly not depressing.