Friday, March 3, 2017

Logan review

By Nico Beland
Movie Review: **** out of 4
Hugh Jackman dons the Wolverine claws for the last time in Logan

            Hugh Jackman (The Prestige, Prisoners, Eddie the Eagle) and The Wolverine director, James Mangold (Identity, Walk the Line, 3:10 to Yuma) return in Logan, the tenth installment of the long-running X-Men film franchise based on the Marvel Comics series of the same name, the third installment of the Wolverine trilogy, and the second X-Men film to receive an R-rating (the first being last year’s Deadpool). Not to mention the final portrayal of Wolverine by Jackman, and man, do they knock it out of the park.
            Not only could it be one of the best X-Men films of all time, but quite possibly the best X-Men film ever made…period! This movie earns the R-rating with its violence and basically it’s the complete opposite tone than Deadpool.
            You know how in Deadpool, the violence and gore had more of a comedic edge? Logan on the other hand is absolutely brutal and serious from start to finish, do not take your kids to this one, I cannot stress this enough. Violence aside, what really makes Logan a contender for the best X-Men movie ever is its themes and story. The movie is based off the Old Man Logan story arc of the X-Men comic books and has a much more depressing tone than other X-Men movies, at least from what I saw, it’s probably the tone the 2009 film, X-Men Origins: Wolverine was trying to go for but failed.
            The film is pretty much an emotional drama that you would probably see nominated at the Oscars but with lots of excitement thrown in. It’s not like a movie that makes you sob your eyes out all the way through, the characters take time to show emotion and have fun when necessary.
Granted like most Marvel movies, there is humor thrown in but it is seriously kept to a minimum this time around. Nowhere nearly as much comedy as a Marvel Cinematic Universe movie or Deadpool.
Set in the year, 2029 where mutants have practically gone extinct, the film follows a washed-up, Logan/Wolverine (Jackman), who’s healing abilities have weakened severely and has been drowning in booze in a hideout on a remote stretch of the Mexican border with an aging Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart-Star Trek: The Next Generation, Steamboy, Green Room) who now suffers from seizures and dementia. But Logan’s attempts at hiding out from humans end when a mysterious woman comes into the picture with an urgent request, bring an extraordinary young girl named Laura/X-23 (Played by newcomer, Dafne Keen) to safety from a group of men out to capture her, calling themselves the Reavers led by the ruthless, Donald Pierce (Boyd Holbrook-Milk, A Walk Among the Tombstones, Gone Girl), with a metal arm but he’s no Winter Soldier.
Soon enough, Logan discovers that the girl is a mutant very similar to him, with retractable metal blades and a feisty attitude, who was created in a laboratory that experimented on mutant children to turn them into super soldiers (Kind of like Captain America’s story, except WAAAAAAAAAAAY more fucked up!). Logan’s claws come out once again as he and Charles make it their mission to bring Laura to the Mexican border and cross it to escape so mutants will continue to live on.
The film also stars Richard E. Grant (Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Gosford Park, Jackie) as Zander Rice, Stephen Merchant (The Office UK, Hot Fuzz, The Invention of Lying) as Caliban, Elizabeth Rodriguez (New York Undercover, Orange is the New Black, Fear the Walking Dead) as Gabriella, Eriq La Salle (ER, The Salton Sea, The Twilight Zone) as Will Munson, and Elise Neal (Hustle & Flow, The Soul Man, Scandal) as Will’s wife, Kathryn Munson.
Overall, Logan is a satisfying final portrayal of Wolverine by Jackman and by far the saddest installment of the X-Men franchise. The emotion is cranked up to “Academy Award Nominated” level and by the end, you’ll pretty much be emotionally destroyed, which is very odd because the movie starts off hilariously but ends depressingly (and if you’ve seen the movie, you know exactly what I’m talking about).
You get emotionally attached to Logan and Charles in this movie and want to see them succeed in keeping this girl safe. Not to mention just looking at an aged Wolverine and Charles Xavier is enough for me to start sobbing my ass off, just throwing that out there.
I’m so used to seeing Wolverine as this badass superhero, now he’s kind of a washed-up jerk and you feel very bad for him. Charles Xavier with dementia is very surreal and took me a while to get used to because again, he was the man of reason in the earlier films, now he’s a seizure experiencing, demented old man on the brink of death.
Strangely enough, I took this movie much more seriously than the entire Christopher Nolan Dark Knight trilogy. Don’t get me wrong, I love those movies, but the way Logan’s story is told here feels like an X-Men story that could be real in the future, if we actually had mutants.
If you’re a fan of the X-Men franchise, you’re definitely not going to want to miss Logan, it’s quite an emotional journey and a perfect farewell to one of the coolest superheroes of all time.

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