LOGAN Review: Wolverine Finally Goes Berserker
With so many variations of Wolverine over the past years, for me it felt difficult for Hugh Jackman to find his footing for the character. It often felt with each X-Men solo movie he would play a different version of Logan depending on the situation. The character of Logan never really explored his built up anger, frustrations and daddy issues. With the recent success of Deadpool’s “R” rating, Hugh Jackman tackles a new side of Wolverine that the masses have longed for from the beginning.
At its core, Logan is a movie about family. The year is 2029 and mutants have nearly become extinct. Logan has kept off the grid and has sheltered himself with former professor Xavier and his new mutant tracker friend Caliban. They now stay hidden near the Mexican border until Laura, who is on the run from Transigen, comes into their lives. As the film progresses, Logan is tasked with taking Laura to a fabled Eden… a place where mutants are said to be sheltered.
What works really well in this film is the resemblance of a spaghetti western. It helps explore Logan’s character as a Lone Ranger, running from the past, helping the needy. The director, Mangold, who also directed 3:10 to Yuma explores various scenarios where Logan must help various characters throughout his journey. Unfortunately, this also creates the introduction of too many characters that are often not explored to their full potential. For example, Pierce is one of the main villains, but doesn’t really have a motive for chasing Laura. Also, he later becomes overshadowed by the introduction of a new antagonist. This, however, overlooked by the amazing acting performances from Hugh Jackman and Patrick Stewart.
Both actors dive into their characters like you have never seen them before. They have such amazing chemistry together. Logan through the film see’s Xavier as a father figure. This relationship between both the characters draws some really emotional moments in the film. I have to say that this is, by far, some of the greatest acting I have seen in any of the X-men films. The relationship between Xavier and Logan was so strong that it kind made the Laura and Logan connection fall a little short. I cannot go into detail with this as it can go into spoilers, but it could have been explored better.
It is awesome seeing so many great performances from the actors because of the R rating. It allows both the actors and director to delve into what Logan truly is, an animal – a wolverine. I want to follow this up by saying this film is very violent… parental guidance is necessary. With that being said, It is very satisfying seeing Logan dismember body parts and claw people straight through the jaw and out the back of the skull. However, one thing I noticed when starting the film is that it is very jarring to see the transition from PG13 to R rating. This is a Logan we haven’t seen before, and in the opening scene it was very hard for my brain to process the violence that hasn’t been in any previous X-men movie.
I can tell you right now that it is going to be very difficult seeing the previous films after you have seen Logan, which could pose as possible problems for the X-men franchise. Even though the R rating is great to see, I felt it often imposed on the films story. Often times it felt like the F-word was just being thrown around just because they could do it. Taking advantage of the R rating allowed for a lot of action and violence that could have been cut a bit and used to explore more of the characters back story.
There was one particular backstory that I wanted to know more about: the fall of the X-men. Charles Xavier is not the same person he once was. He is old and suffers from seizures that cause his brain to emit a wave a paralysis to anyone standing in a 50 to 100 feet radius. The reason Logan and Xavier have such a strong relationship, is because Logan sees him as a father figure for everything he has done for him in the past. [spoiler]In the film Xavier mentions that his seizure caused an incident that may have led to the demise of the team. Logan is resentful towards Xavier but because he still cares about him, he attempts to suppress his seizures. However this comes at a cost to Xavier, suppressing his powers. I wanted to know more about this incident.[/spoiler] It sometimes felt that they were so focused on the R rating, that they would forget about the small details and backstories that would improve the film.
Bottom line: Logan is a fun, emotional, and violent movie. It is by far one of the best X-men movie made and the Wolverine movie we have been waiting for. The spaghetti western genre fits perfectly with the characters, allowing for some amazing performances all around. Are they Oscar worthy? Probably not. However, this is a great way to end the Hugh Jackman Wolverine Saga. Unfortunately, it was far too late in the series and should have been done from the beginning.