Details: Released in 2017. About two hours and twenty minutes long. Stars Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, Dafne Keen. Directed by James Mangold. Rated R.
No spoilers in this review and for any of my reviews unless specifically stated otherwise. I usually have a small tagline or summary blurb that doesn’t really go into anything beyond the act one of the movie, but that’s it.
The superhero/comic book movie genre is a thing and there are now a ton of these movies out there. Among these movies, some stand out. Movies like The Dark Knight, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and Superman (the first one that starred Christopher Reeves). Those films try something new and stick out in your memory. They withstand the test of time. Logan may not be superior to these other films, but it is at least at the same level.
Logan takes place in 2029, sometime after all the prior X-Men movies. Wolverine and Professor Xavier are living alone in the desert when a young girl enters their lives. Together, they discover who this girl is and try to help her.
Firstly, I love that this has an R rating. The movie rating system in the United States is somewhat confusing. Certain things you know will garner an R rating. Things like nudity and graphic violence. Other things are less clear. Discussion of certain themes and ideas may garner an R rating. For instance, if you make a holocaust movie, that’s probably getting an R rating even if no one dies. Just the idea alone merits some censorship, at least in the opinion of certain people. There’s no references to the holocaust in this movie, but there are some adult themes and ideas. I won’t go into what these are, but expect some difficult ideas, especially involving children and discrimination.
Mostly the tone of this film likely required an R rating. This is a bleak movie with a lot of sadness in it. It’s not Schindler’s List, but there are real emotions here. The tones and emotions are reminiscent of ideas like mentally scarred veterans, broken families, and aging and death. It’s still a comic book movie, but it attempts and succeeds at being a family drama as well.
In regards to the action, it is amazing. While Wolverine does a lot in the film, the most amazing action scenes belong to Laura (played by Dafne Keen) in my opinion. Every bit of action with Laura was just amazing. The speed and tumbling that’s going on made me gasp out loud when she started the madness.
The performances were really great. Keen is ferocious. They really did cast the perfect kid for this part. Jackman and Stewart were phenomenal. You need to understand that Jackman and Stewart have played these roles for the better part of two decades. That’s a long time to do anything, much less play the same role for years. It’s clear from interviews that these guys love these roles and feel some ownership over the characters. You can feel that in this film. This film wants to explore these characters and make a definitive statement on them and their stories. As a fan of the franchise and as someone who’s watched these two actors perform these roles for so long, it was moving to see them bring out these deeply emotional moments in what could be their last time in these roles. If you didn’t know, both Stewart and Jackman have said that this is their last time playing Wolverine and Professor Xavier. Who knows if it’s really true.
Overall, I loved this movie. It takes an approach towards comic book movies that I think is the most interesting kind: it takes a real world situation or preexisting film genre and injects the twist of superpowers. Logan is a success at all it attempts and I’d recommend it to almost anyone. I will say that if you have no preexisting knowledge of the X-Men and what they’re about, this movie might be too confusing. This movie is meant for those who’ve watched the X-Men movies. If you haven’t seen any of those films, then maybe watch a couple of those movies before approaching this one.