I’ve never been the biggest fan of the X-men movies. I look at them like I
did the Harry Potter series: I’d go see the newest entry, have a fun
time, and almost immediately forget about it when I leave the theater
(the one exception being Matthew Vaughn’s far superior ‘First Class’).
In my opinion, Marvel studios and the MCU does comic book movies so much
better and more authentic to the source material, with characters who
grow throughout the series, and far more hits than misses, when compared
to the X-men movies. James Mangold’s ‘Logan’ made me reassess my entire
relationship to this series (but more on that below). Not only is
it far and away the best X-men movie ever made, it’s one of the best
comic book films and action movies I’ve seen in recent memory. I’d
compare the effect this movie had on me closest to something like Mad
Max: Fury Road. A huge burst of energy, imagination, and great character
moments, directed with so much skill and finesse that I was glued to
the screen from start to finish.
The plot of Logan is incredibly streamlined and straightforward, and it’s a
better movie for it. It gives plenty of time to develop Logan as a
character and where he’s at in life in the near future of 2029. Aside
from him, it also focuses on Xavier, and both of their stories are in a
totally different and unique place than you’d think when you watched the
previous X-men flicks. Logan is incredibly grounded, like it never has
been before. The near future setting feels rough and lived-in, with very
few mutants still running around (for reasons that eventually become
clear). The world reminded me most of Rian Johnson’s Looper:
recognizable as the future, but a believable progression from where we
are now. I’ve never read the ‘Old Man Logan’ series, (that I believe
Logan is somewhat based on) but it’s a perfect foundation and setup to
dive into a character we’ve all become familiar with over the past 17
years (man, we’re getting old).
I said above that Logan made me reassess my relationship with this
series. I first saw X-men when I was 9 or 10 years old, and it’s so
effective and powerful to have a character that has been around my whole
life wrap up their story in such a satisfying way. I’ve grown up with
these movies; we all have. Logan utilizes the real-world passage of time
to add a depth and a weariness to its characters. Without going into
specifics, the way that the previous entries (at least the ones with
Wolverine) all build to a beautifully realized crescendo in Logan makes
me retroactively love this entire series more. There have been ups, and
boy oh boy there have been downs (looking at you, X3 and Origins) but
this movie re-contextualizes them all to great effect. I never thought
I’d say this, but the upcoming Marvel studios films could learn a thing
or two from the way Logan utilizes the passage of time in long-form
I also wanted to touch on the direction of this movie, especially with
the action. In my eyes, this is James Mangold’s best movie, and I
LOVE Walk the Line and the 3:10 to Yuma remake. With free reign to be as
vulgar and violent as he wants (thanks Deadpool!) the action has never
been this visceral and realistic. There are two set pieces in particular
that are legit all-timers, and I think you’ll know what I mean when you
see them. Beyond action scenes, Hugh Jackman has never been better.
He’s giving it his all in Logan, and you can see the blood, sweat and
tears of almost two decades as this character right there on the screen.
He deserves some form of awards recognition for his work in this movie,
but this being a ‘comic book movie’ may hinder that. All in all, I
freaking loved this movie. I didn’t touch on nearly enough aspects of
Logan, but you get the gist. Go grab some X-fans (is that a thing?) and
go see this awesome flick.
That’s gonna do it for my thoughts on Logan. I’ve been busy with wedding
planning recently, and will continue to be for a couple more months, but
will write when I can. I’m actually planning on seeing Jordan Peele’s
‘Get Out’ tomorrow which I’m stoked for, so there will be some stuff on
that soon. As I mentioned in the last review, I made a website that I’ll
be transitioning to in the future, so keep an eye out for that.
Otherwise, please share the blog with any friends you know that might be
movie buffs, and as usual, thanks for reading!