Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Logan

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion (or other commenters), that's fine. To each their own. These reviews are not meant to be statements of facts or endorsements, I am just sharing my opinions and my perspective when watching the film and is not meant to reflect how these films should be viewed. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 0-5. 0, of course, being unwatchable. 1, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being great and 5, being epic! And if you enjoy these reviews feel free to share them and follow the blog or follow me on Twitter (@RevRonster) for links to my reviews and the occasional live-Tweet session of the movie I'm watching!  One last snikt, bub.



Logan – 5 out of 5

It’s pretty amazing when you realize that Hugh Jackman has been playing Wolverine for 17 years now.  The man has put his body through the ringer to get in the most ridiculous shape in order to play the old canuck and it’s hard to imagine the role being portrayed by anyone else.  However, all good things must come to an end and now Jackman has entered his 9th film as the character with Logan.  Does this final hurray go out with fireworks and warm felt thanks for all the work he did or are we all lining up to take our turns urinating on his grave?  Well, obviously it isn’t the second option.

                                                                                                         20th Century Fox
"You should see the other guy...he's dead."

In the year 2029, mutants are on the verge of extinction and one of the most famous X-Men; Logan a.k.a. Wolverine (Jackman), is attempting to live a quiet life as a limo driver as his aging body is starting to die and rebel against him and his adamantium skeleton.  In secret, alongside the mutant Caliban (Stephan Merchant), he cares for a sick and dying Professor Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart), who is losing control of his powers.  One day, a young girl named Laura (Dafne Keen) stumbles into Logan’s life and it’s revealed she was part of some secret and dangerous experiment.  The Reavers, a group of mercenaries who are endowed with cybernetic enhancements, are on their way to collect Laura for the organization that is responsible for her.  All they have to do is get through Wolverine.

                                                                                                         20th Century Fox
His stare is just as sharp as his claws.

When I heard that the latest Wolverine film was going to be rated R, I was a tad concerned.  I wasn’t worried because I have something against R-rated films but rather I was worried about the Deadpool effect.  Deadpool was a hard R-rated film and it made a killing at the box office and was well received by the fans.  This immediately had studios saying, “We’re going to make more R-rated superhero films” and that’s all fine and dandy but it needs to be done for the right reasons.  Deadpool succeeded because it captured the spirit and essence of the source material.  Remember when Batman v Superman said their extended cut was R-rated?  Why was it?  Well, in that case it was a marketing gimmick because nothing about it was R-rated but I feared the studio was going to do Logan wrong and make a R-rated Wolvie film that didn’t remain true to the character and was just an excuse to throw in some boobs and F-bombs.  I’m not a prude but just having these elements doesn’t make a good movie.  Sure, it works for some people but I was very worried that Logan was going to be needless excess with no substance.  I will admit that there was a completely needless boob shot and hearing Xavier say “Fuck” is a tad strange but, thankfully, the movie did its rating justice, rather than using it as an excuse.

                                                                                                        20th Century Fox
Play "Radar Love" for full effect.

The times that Logan very effectively worked its R-rating is with the action and violence.  This is the first time we’ve really got to see Wolverine at his more ferocious and feral and this level of shocking and very exciting action is mirrored with the character of Laura (X-23).  The fight scenes are fairly simple and won’t wow you with creative fight choreography but this a sharp brutality to all of it that makes it pretty amazing to take in.  The only downside I had with this was there are a lot of times that the action is crafted right in among the characters so tightly that it was hard to see what was going on occasionally and there were times that it was pretty blurry.  

                                                                                                         20th Century Fox
One of the Reavers has to have a cybernetic butt.

On the cast front, the film doesn’t falter.  You still have Jackman and Stewart proving why they set the standards as Wolverine and Professor X respectively (and Jackman even takes it a step further by leading us into uncharted territories as we see sides of Logan that we have yet to witness in Fox's X-Men Cinematic Universe).  Additionally, you have some new faces along for this movie and none of them disappointed.  Boyd Holbrook took the role of Pierce, the head of The Reavers, and he was so conniving charismatic that he made one of those great villains that you want to punch in the face but can’t get enough of his antics at the same time.  We’re also treated to the always likable Stephen Merchant as the mutant hunter Caliban and, while his screen time is limited, he does provide some amusing and entertaining moments.  Finally, I was blown away with how amazing Dafne Keen (in her first movie role) was as X-23.  She mirrored Jackman’s badass and ruthless portrayal excellently but also had a softer and even mysterious side to her that made her pretty engaging to watch.

                                                                                                           20th Century Fox
Have her team up with Eleven from Stranger Things and they'll rule the world!

Finally, the thing that really makes Logan work is the fact it’s a solemnly, very personal story that is both simultaneously heartbreaking and tragically beautiful.  Director James Mangold crafted a film that proves the naysayers wrong and illustrates that the comic book adaptation well isn’t running dry but rather still very rich with potential and new ground to break.  Abandoning the popcorn fun of the MCU, disregarding the grittiness of DC’s movies and altering its path from the other X-Products that have been seen by Fox, Logan goes for a film that feels very personal and small with an emphasis on hopelessness and redemption.  It could have been a needlessly dark and depressing affair like DC but there was a haunting beauty to the journey Wolverine saw himself on.  The story strikes the right balance where things feel down and deeply depressing but it also has a glimmer of light that highlights the edges and provides promise for the future.

                                                                                                           20th Century Fox
I love Stephen Merchant and never thought I'd see him in a comic book movie.
And he worked so damn well as Caliban!

Logan is, without a doubt, one of Fox’s most impressive uses of the X-Men property and the best film to feature the character as the predominant protagonist.  Not only is it this but the film is also a successful exploration of what a comic book adaptation can be and it opens up the genre to new heights of potential.  I was very impressed with everything that the film offered up.  The underlying heart, the emotion, the drama, the action, the visuals and the performances all came together
to make a film that is not only entertaining but a fantastic curtain call to Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine.  

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