March 8, 2017

Logan Review

Dang it! I keep flattening these spares!

Making a serious comic book is much easier than successfully making a serious comic-book movie. (Just ask DC.) Logan makes it look pretty easy. 

Writer-director James Mangold and writers Scott Frank and Michael Green smartly rework Mark Millar’s Old Man Logan, in which a broken, battered, old Wolverine struggles to survive in a mutant-less world controlled by supervillains (and an evil Hulk clan), into an exhilarating and sad denouement for Marvel’s other big superstar. The world is still mutantless, and a broken Wolverine—Hugh Jackman, in the most reflective of his nine appearances as the hirsute hero—must protect an aging, ill Professor X (Patrick Stewart). Suddenly, Wolvie is thrust back into the role of hero when a young mutant named Laura (Dafne Keen) arrives with the Reavers, led by Donald Pierce (Boyd Holbrook), in hot pursuit.

Thanks to Deadpool, which blazed the trail for an R-rated superhero flick, Logan finally allows Wolverine to prove he’s “the best there is at what [he does]. But what [he does] isn’t very nice.” The clawed mutant is able to go berserk, slicing and dicing nameless baddies like a Ginsu through a soda can. He also curses like a sailor, as does Stewart’s Professor X, which is pretty hilarious. But the freedom of an R rating is more important than a few (dozen) pierced heads and F-bombs. The rating permits Logan to be a grown-up film, not a live action cartoon. 

Wolverine is more human than his better-known comic-book peers. He’s a tragic figure—created by nature, perfected by science (and the military), haunted by his own killer nature. Often, he is consumed by sorrow, and Logan is buoyed by that depth of emotion. The film is not more than a mere comic-book movie; it is a rare comic-book movie that captures how multi-layered its source medium can be. Yet another candidate for best superhero movie, Logan is the movie Wolverine has long deserved.