by Dave House
Logan is easily the best Wolverine movie with some of the greatest scenes we’ve ever seen in the – Men franchise. Mature, uber violent, and brilliantly acted, Logan is a terrific entry into the superhero genre and a great swan song to everyone’s favourite man with claws.
In what’s said to be the last outing for Jackman’s Wolverine, mutants have mostly died out in the not too distant future. Old man Logan isn’t doing too well either. His healing factors are failing him, he walks with a limp, and he’s suffering from claw performance issues. Logan’s grumpier and more sullen than ever. (Read – more entertaining than ever). He works as a limo driver along the Mexican border and looks after an equally grumpy and old Professor X. The film could have been called Grumpy Old Superheroes. But as with Logan, this is also the best we’ve ever seen Stewart as Professor X. Suffering from early Alzheimer’s with potentially the world’s most dangerous brain; He’s angry, deluded, fragile, and brilliantly human. When a moody looking kid comes into Logan’s life and some guys with robot hands show up, our hero ends up being on the run with his wheelchair bound X-Dad and a little girl who’s tendency for grumpiness and slitting people’s throats with claws is suspiciously familiar.
Befitting the character of Logan, this is a Western, with nods to films like Unforgiven and even showcasing scenes from the classic Shane. But this is very modern western more like No Country for Old Men or even The Road. It is of course, also a road trip movie not entirely unlike, as Mangold and Jackman have said themselves, Little Miss Sunshine. Only with a lot of stabbing and dismemberment.
Those hoping for an adaptation of Old Man Logan, however, may be disappointed. This movie, whilst pertaining element’s of that story’s DNA, is still very much a film played safe, (despite the extreme violence), within the Fox universe. Even if, by now, the continuity makes no real sense at all.
The film’s first hour is nigh on flawless, containing some of the best scenes we’ve ever seen in an X-Men movie thanks to some great storytelling, pacing and brilliant character work from the film’s stars. The R rating means we get to see these characters let loose, swearing at each other and providing some of the best and funniest lines in any of the X-Men films. And, of course, we really get to see Logan let rip with his claws; chopping limbs, slicing faces and spraying blood all over the shop. And it’s not just Logan. The battles with X23 are some the film’s best scenes. In fact, every time X23 or Laura is on screen, the film is brilliant and as fascinating and entertaining as the character, played brilliantly by Dafne Keen.
Unfortunately, like Wolverine, before it, Logan suffers from a clumsy third act where the intelligent storytelling and pacing is lost in some odd story development and relentless action scenes that start to feel a bit samey and take away from the provocative development of the film’s first half. Initially Logan seems headed in a very dramatic and deeply emotional ark akin to the Old Man Logan storyline, but this is suddenly dropped in a crazed scene which then lays way to a slew of action. Were decisions made halfway through filming to change the film’s ending or were certain story points were simply edited out? You’ll be left kinda frustrated. But perhaps in the future, Mangold and his X team will release an X-treme edition where possible lost scenes are put back in..
Nevertheless this is the best we’ve ever seen Logan. The fight scenes are incredible and the acting brilliant. It may not deliver on all the fan-service people may have hoped for, there’s no pointy eared Wolverine suit, (aside from in the film’s meta comics), but Logan is still a solid and at times very powerful film and one of the best in the X-Men series. And, damn, it’s good to see those claws really do some damage.
Logan is out on DVD & Blu-Ray now!