Thursday, March 02, 2017

"Logan": one-paragraph review

"Logan," directed by James Mangold and starring Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, Dafne Keen, Eriq La Salle, Boyd Holbrook, Stephen Merchant, and Richard E. Grant, is a 2017 film marketed as the "final outing" for the Wolverine character. Taking place in 2029, "Logan" is a bleak, almost post-apocalyptic story in which most of the mutants we know and love are dead. Logan himself is hiding out at the US/Mexico border with a 90-year-old Charles Xavier, the powerful psychic mutant who founded the X-Men and is now suffering from both Alzheimer's and ALS. This makes him prone to mental fits that manifest as psionic assaults on everyone around him, so Logan keeps him drugged up and docile most of the time. Into Logan's life comes tiny little Laura, a mutant who is essentially a product of Logan's DNA. Xavier encourages Logan to think of her as his daughter and to take her north to safety. Much of the film is a road movie as Logan, Laura, and Charles drive north, chased by the Reavers who are in the service of Dr. Xander Rice, who has been eliminating old-guard mutants and creating new ones that he aims to control. Hugh Jackman gives a great performance as a broken Wolverine; the character's healing factor is nearly spent, so Jackman spends most of the movie looking scarred, coughing, limping, and growling at Charles Xavier. Dafne Keen gives a spitfire performance that will remind some of young Chloë Grace Moretz in "Kick-Ass." The girl's got talent. Patrick Stewart, like his buddy Ian McKellen in "Mr. Holmes," gets to play a nonagenarian, and he does it with sentiment and wry humor. The plot moves along at a deliberate pace; there's plenty of action and "Deadpool"-level gore, but this is balanced out with a series of quiet moments. And while I was left with many technical questions, I found the overall story to be worthwhile—a good conclusion for a memorable character that Hugh Jackman has owned and inhabited for nearly two decades. Certainly, this is the best of all the Wolverine-centered films, and it may be the best of all the X-Men films in terms of how it emphasizes familial togetherness in the face of a cruel and pitiless world. Oh, yes: I'm not sure whether this qualifies as a spoiler, but don't stick around for end-credit scenes: there are none. The lack of such scenes reminded me, for some reason, of the "silent clock" in "24."


John from Daejeon said...

Kevin, you know me. As a crazed "X-Men," "Wolverine," and "Cable" fan, who read all of Chris Claremont's "X-Men" and "Wolverine" lore (along with thousands of various "X-Men" comic crossovers, one shots, and tie-ins over decades and decades), I was quite let down by this film's writer/director who picked and chose rather poorly from Claremont's and many, many other unheralded, and uncredited, Marvel "X-Men" comics writers' previous writings dealing with the comic book lives, and deaths, of Professor X and Wolverine/Old Man Wolverine. Here Comic Book Girl 19 gives a very decent review of "Logan" from a serious, articulate, female, and younger "X-Men" comics aficionado who is easier on the eyes than I will ever be. Luckily for myself, and other seriously insane Marvel (and DC and Image and Vertigo, etc.) comics fans, Professor X's son has his own TV show on FX, "Legion," and FX is most definitely doing Claremont's "New Mutants" creation justice on the small screen. "Legion" may actually be better than the astoundingly brilliant "Jessica Jones." Can "Legion" keep it up? Well, we have two more episodes to watch and judge. Disney and TV, for the most part, is doing Marvel right. While Fox films are not.

p.s. Good luck on the walk!

Kevin Kim said...


Thanks for the good-luck wishes. Much appreciated.

"You know me."

Indeed: you wouldn't be you if you weren't disappointed in a film I was reviewing. So here's the question: how, in your opinion, could "Logan" have been done right?

I've heard good things about "Legion" via Charlie at the YouTube channel "Emergency Awesome."