Logan interested me as a film for reasons that are probably obvious to most people. I became even more intrigued by what it potentially had to offer once I heard they were turning this comic book tale into a film that was geared strictly toward adults. As someone who believes that certain movies about superheroes can only be shown this way, this was a welcome turn that happened thanks to the success of Deadpool. Capitalizing on this new approach is a start, but as the last picture in the Wolverine trilogy shows us, how you finish is just as important.
Set in 2029, Logan (Hugh Jackman) is hard at work trying to earn enough money to move he and Professor X (Patrick Stewart) to a place safer than the hide out they live in near the Mexican border. With the days of being some sort of hero in the distant past, he’s simply seeking the kind of refuge that a person who’s seen, experienced and caused a great deal of violence may dream of. But those dreams prove to be mere fantasy when a young mutant named Laura (Dafne Keen) shows up with a host of dangerous people attempting to track her down.
The opening scene in Logan start things off in a way that would lead people to believe that what they’re about to witness is what people like myself have been waiting for from a movie about this extremely popular character. This piqued my interest level so much while watching it, that I quickly settled down and allowed myself to become the fan that I’ve been ever since I was a child. Up until this point, we’ve never seen Wolverine shown like this on film, so you can understand why I was so excited for what was potentially awaiting me.
As it continued forward, my interest level remained high. As I sat through all the things we anticipate seeing when a movie is being set up, I watched, waited and remained entertained with what was being brought forth to us. All of this was cool, but some things happened over the course of time that made this movie less engaging and less attractive than it should have been. After a while, it was hard not to notice that Logan was having a difficult time keeping up with the level of quality that had been delivered in the first act.
Although it remained at least decent through most of the second act, the action became more and more generic and less and less entertaining as everything moved along. Honestly, there are only so many ways you can stab someone in the head and get a reaction. Actually making fight sequences with actual fight choreography could have assisted in keeping this portion of the picture interesting, but we don’t really get much of that after the opening scene. By the time we reach the end, the action is essentially reduced to chase scenes and characters awkwardly shooting powers out of their hands. At this point, the creativity was gone and so was my interest in this movie.
With Wolverine being my favorite superhero ever, I shockingly found myself not even caring about what happened to him as we were struggling to get toward the film’s conclusion. A part of this was the action that I just described, but another part was due to Logan once again not coming all that close to the type of superhero that turned him into a fan favorite years earlier. I didn’t mind Jackman being much taller than the character is supposed to be, but I was continuously hoping for something consistently closer as far as personality is concerned.
Along with all of the other actors, Jackman delivers a fine performance in this film that’s hard to complain about. The problem has always been that they’ve never really given him the opportunity to be the character that many of us have loved. That issue remains unchanged here as Jackman isn’t allowed to turn Logan into anything resembling Wolverine. As a matter of fact, X-23, a.k.a Laura, comes far closer to being “The Wolverine” than his version of Wolverine ever has.
Logan is also too long of a movie and does its best to suck the life out of you. Just by thinking back to some of the scenes, it’s obvious that they were trying to stretch this thing out in order to get to that 2 hour mark that superhero movies seem to always want to reach. I know Deadpool inspired the change in rating here, but I wish they would have understood how much that picture benefited from a shorter run time. That made everything even more fun in that instance. Doing something similar in this case would have greatly improved things.
An angle that I did like at first that unfortunately turned into a negative was the angle that included the comic books and action figures. It seemed like a cool thing to add, but I realized how little sense that made right before the movie finally came to a close. When you put everything together and remember that this is supposed to be a world where mutants are still reviled by most of the population, you realize that there’s no way that any company is going to be willing to make comic books or action figures glorifying people like Logan.
I would talk even more about what I didn’t like, but there are too many flaws here whether they’re what can be perceived as small things like the characters accents or larger issues focusing on themes that introduce the foolish notion that it’s impossible to somehow nurture rage. Nurturing rage isn’t all that difficult and definitely happens to kids in real life. While many might not have a problem with the film including something like this, it kind of aggravated me to a degree simply because it’s used as a significant device to push one of the main parts of the story.
I’m sure some will see many of my complaints as me looking too deep into things, but all of this also highlights why a world like the one we see in the John Wick movies works as well as it does. As unrealistic as what was created there may be, it still manages to make a great deal of sense. On the other hand, Logan stands as the exact polar opposite of that in many ways when looking at violent action movies filled with blood and gore.
This isn’t to say that some people won’t enjoy what they’re being sold. They very well might, but it’s best if they know they’re not watching something as smooth and as sensible as it could have been. It also could have been more faithful to the comics as well. That may or may not bother you depending on what you want from a Wolverine tale that has as much freedom as this one had. With that being said, you’ll find that they aren’t really using Old Man Logan. Instead, they’re using an old Logan who’s essentially a worn out drunk in the process of once again losing his powers.
Director: James Mangold
Richard E. Grant
Film Length: 136 minutes
Release Date: March 3, 2017
Distributor: 20th Century Fox
- Score - 4/104/10