Second Union

Second Union

LOGAN – Movie Review

Logan is finally here! The highly anticipated conclusion to the Wolverine trilogy, it follows a much older Logan and a very unhealthy Professor X, who are hiding along the Mexican border after mutants have been exterminated in the distant future. Before I talk about the film itself, I want to talk a little about the teaser that plays before Logan. A very special teaser. If you go on YouTube, you probably know what I’m talking about, but screw it. Deadpool 2! There isn’t much going on in this trailer, but it’s still funny nevertheless. In it, the “Merc with a Mouth” tries to save a man who’s being mugged but changes into his costume in a phone booth too long. He then lays his head down on the man’s body and eats the Cherry Garcia ice cream from the man’s grocery bag. Then, Fox trolls us again. “Coming…not soon enough.”

Hugh Jackman in Logan

I was extremely excited for Logan. The X-Men movies have been a part of my life since I was very young, and I’ve rewatched them all in anticipation of this film. Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine is one of the best characters in the franchise, and not just because he’s a total badass. He has a troubled past, and throughout the films, you get to see that. Unlike most of the mutants like Colossus and Iceman, you can feel for the character of Logan in all of the films (yes, even the mega-terrible Origins) and that makes him one of the most interesting characters. This is the third film in the Wolverine trilogy. The first one, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, was really terrible. 2013’s The Wolverine was a lot better but had some issues. When the first teaser for Logan was released back in October, I was pumped. I love that Jackman was willing to have his pay lowered so that this film could be rated R. Back in 2016 when I saw the very underrated X-Men: Apocalypse, I thought that the studio definitely could’ve shot for the R rating, but I can understand why they didn’t. With Logan, the studio needed a brutal and epic sendoff for one of the 21st century’s greatest and most iconic movie heroes.

Hugh Jackman and Dafne Keen in Logan

Let’s talk about what I like in Logan: everything. This film is a phenomenal piece in the superhero genre and is actually the best superhero film I’ve seen. I would divide the film into three separate acts, and each one builds upon the first with such intensity and greatness. The acting is spot-on from Hugh Jackman and Patrick Stewart, and the young girl known as X-23 or Laura is frickin’ awesome. She’s doing flips in the air, slashin’ guys’ throats, stabbing their faces out, etc. Basically, everything I’ve ever wanted from a Wolverine movie. As for Wolverine himself, let’s talk a bit about his character. In the film, I could tell something was off right from the start. This dude is not in good health. He is older, and if you’ve read the comics, it’s pretty obvious the adamantium is affecting him and making him the way he is. The film doesn’t focus too much on that until the end, and that is pretty good for the story, which might have dragged a little if that arc was thrown in there a lot. There’s kind of an Easter egg thrown in, involving an old X-Men comic (written, drawn, colored and lettered by friend of Second Union, Dan Panosian btw–Jeff/Editor), and I really like how we get to see Logan’s perspective as he flips through it. He expresses to Laura that it’s not really true, and none of it happened the way it’s depicted. I like that scene a lot, and for that reason.

The action sequences in this movie are a blast to watch. I was grinning during pretty much every scene. And, for the record, there are a lot of action sequences. Not even 5 minutes in and Logan is already choppin’ off thugs’ limbs. It was nice to see the full picture, considering all other X-Men movies helm PG-13 ratings and shy away from the juicy stuff. While we still got many thrilling scenes in all of those, none are as effective as the brutal and punishing ones we get in Logan. Nothing is left up to the imagination in this film, as Jackman and newcomer Dafne Keen (who plays Laura) stab, slice, dice, and mutilate each and every one of their enemies. One of the best sequences in the entire film has Logan clawing his way through many men and watching Laura turn the tables on her captors. During these sequences, the camera work is unbelievably good. This is some really good direction, so kudos to you, James Mangold.

Some think the film drags in the second act, and I can kind of understand where they’re coming from. I don’t believe it to be that way, but I can get why they think that. The second act uses a kind of road-trippy feel to shape and develop the character of Laura. We’re seeing her origins via phone video, taken by the woman who died protecting her. I really like this entire sequence, because I’m never a big fan of flashbacks. I especially hate when they’re used to just set up an integral part of the next scene.

Hugh Jackman in Logan

When it comes to the writing, Logan is one of the best-written comic book movies ever, if not the best. I’m talking better than Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy. I know a lot of people weren’t huge fans of The Wolverine, and from a critical standpoint, you either love it or you hate it, but I personally swayed towards the former on that film. It got silly in its final act but it was pretty good overall, and I thought director James Mangold did a wonderful job. Logan is some next-level stuff, though. There’s some serious emotional intensity in the film as well, and while I’m not going to spoil anything, don’t go into the film thinking certain characters are destined to survive.

Thanks to last year’s Deadpool, the Batman v Superman Extended Cut, and now Logan, we might now have a wave of R-rated comic book movies on our hands. Logan does what it should, which basically means none of the gore or language feels forced. It’s just natural, and if I’m being completely honest, pretty damn amazing. This is what a Wolverine movie should be, and I’m glad it is that way. This is the sendoff Jackman and Stewart needed for their performances. Thank you both for a great 17 years. With that being said, let’s jump to the final verdict.

It’s safe to say that I loved Logan. I loved it a lot. It’s a truly beautiful film. If you’re a fan of the universe and characters and were disappointed by past films like X-Men: Apocalypse and The Wolverine, I think you’ll really like this movie. I think you need to have a connection to these characters to get the full experience, but the movie works as your typical action film as well. With great writing, acting, and action sequences, as well as some emotional punches to the gut, this film gives our hero the conclusion he deserves. I’m going to give Logan an A+.

Logan stars Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, Richard E. Grant, Boyd Holbrook, Stephen Merchant, Dafne Keen, Elizabeth Rodriguez, Eriq La Salle, Elise Neal. Directed by James Mangold.

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