Well it finally arrived, that’s right, one of the most anticipated films of the year in Logan hit our cinema screens and it’s time to see what all the fuss is about!
Set in 2029 where the mutants are gone-or very nearly so. An isolated and washed up Logan is drinking his days away and making ends meet as a Limo Driver for hire! Holed up in a dis-used base on the border of Mexico accompanied by Caliban and an ailing Professor X, whose mind is now classed as a Weapon of Mass Destruction due to his inability to have full control over it during seizures. Logan is thwarted in his attempt to see out his days with minimal interruption, when an extraordinary young girl is thrust upon him! The claws are soon out as Logan battles his own inner demons as he pulls out all the stops to escort this girl to safety.
Ever since the second trailer hit the internet, the world had become obsessed with X-23 and this mysterious girl. She sure looked the part but would it transpire into a classic to give the send-off that we all craved as Hugh Jackman hug up his Wolverine claws for good?
Let’s break it down into a few parts – first up the R-Rating the film was given definitely gave it an edge over previous films. I think we have a certain Mr Reynolds to thank for the success of the Deadpool franchise that propelled Wolve
rine into this much needed rating. As far as action sequences go, I think you would struggle to find another comic book film that had the same ferocious side to it as Logan does. The impact of the Wolverine claws going clean through someone’s face is something that will long live in the memory. The whole opening sequence, where Logan practically takes out an entire Mexican Cartel, showed that we were in for something a whole lot different to what we experienced before. I think personally, particularly toward the start, there was a number of f-bombs dropped which were not necessarily needed, which left me thinking, have they just upped them in the script so they could get the final push over to the R side? Either way the action and the violence is quite frankly outstanding and I would be remiss to say that I was blown away by the direction and the impact that this had.
Linking nicely into that was the intrigue of X-23 coming into the film. A quite brilliant performance from Dafne Keen, who has surely set herself up for success and bigger roles in the future. The action sequences portrayed with this character as a miniature Wolverine, are some of my favourites in any comic book film, hell even in any action film. It seemed like it was filmed with the majority of the stunts performed by herself and it became very addictive to watch this fascinating 11 year old girl absolutely destroy the band of mercenaries sent to capture her. There she was casually eating her breakfast as they approached her, the camera swoops to the outside where you hear some gun shots and commotion, then out she steps with her back pack looking very innocent. It soon becomes apparent that things are about to get very real, as she unveils her Wolverine claws and Donald Pierce, portrayed by Boyd Holbrook, simply shouts no. As she takes them apart one by one, you get a scene of Logan looking shocked and surprised at what he is witnessing, and you kind of get the feel that’s how Jackman was actually feeling during filming! For me definitely the stand out of this film and I would definitely be signed up for a standalone X-23 film in the future!
I want to next look at the Logan and Xavier characters that have been portrayed by two absolute legends for 17 years. I will be honest, as I am writing this, I don’t know how I feel about seeing the characters of Logan and Professor X so over the hill and in complete decline. Don’t get me wrong, I completely get it for the story and also to have Wolverine, who has always been indestructible, to be so weak and even limping through the whole film. It also added so much into the plot to see Professor X as a frail old man, who for a number of times was literally carried by Logan to see his decline in health. What a scene it was as well when just for a second he was able to have his mind back as he controlled the horses on the highway, he had that gleam in his eye and a wry smile and Logan glanced him to say, there he is, that’s the real Xavier. So look I get it completely, however there was just something that didn’t seem right to me. I had grown up with these characters right from a teen through till now, it just felt wrong that the two top dogs of X-Men were in this condition and how it had come to this. I mean if that’s how Wolverine and Professor X end up like, what hope do we have?!?! I did however love the relationship between these two throughout the film, there has always been such a connection between them through all of the films. To see Logan, through all the damage to himself physically and mentally, his bad ass attitude and the perception he is a one man team, was quite endearing to see him taking care of the once great Xavier.
There are a couple of things that didn’t make it a bad movie, but didn’t really add to it being a good one, with one of them being the character of Zander Rice, played by Richard E. Grant. I don’t really know what he added to the storyline and I don’t really think it would have made a difference if he wasn’t in it. I also was the biggest fan of Caliban, I thought Stephen Merchant did a great job of playing him, but once he got captured he didn’t really play a role and add to the storyline at all.
For me the biggest thing that stopped me giving it 5 stars was the demise of both Xavier and Logan. I think going into the cinema I knew what was going to happen. The fact both Patrick Stewart and Hugh Jackman said they were now done, meant there was going to be no resurrection if any of the characters did meet the end. With both deaths I just didn’t feel the emotion of the scene, I am not saying I wanted to ball my eyes out, but in both of the scenes it was kind of just done and over with and move on. I thought the Xavier death was very clever, especially with X-24 being a young Wolverine replica, how they built that scene in that he thought it was the real Logan. There was just something missing when he passed that just left me wanting more out of it. The same for when Logan was slowly taking his last breaths and his daughter held his hand and we bid a solemn goodbye to a mainstay of our cinema screens for 17 years. I know I am not being specific here, I just can’t put my finger on it, I was just left feeling something was missing. I refer back to when Maximus Decimus Meridius met a heroic end in the film Gladiator and the emotions I felt at the time. Maybe it was the music playing over the scene or maybe it was the final words, there was just something missing!
Let me wrap this up now, I know there are a number of topics I have missed. I barely spoke about the awesome job they did with X-24 – was it CGI or was that actually Jackman? – I didn’t really discuss the relationship of Logan and X-23 when we found out it was his daughter. I also haven’t even mentioned how she was a mute for half of the film and then suddenly just started talking. I am going to let you make your mind up over those. Overall I absolutely loved this film, it is one of my favourite comic book adaptions of all time. Without doubt the best X-Men Film ever made but just behind The Dark Knight, my all-time favourite comic book film, mainly for how I felt at the deaths of Professor X and Logan. I will definitely go and see it again and would recommend as a must see of 2017!!!