I caught Logan (2017) on HBO this week. I had intended to watch it in theaters back in the Spring, but my plans never worked out. I was happy to watch it now, even on the small screen. This is purportedly the last film featuring Hugh Jackman as Logan / Wolverine, and Sir Patrick Stewart as Charles Xavier / Professor X.
Wow. What a film.
I’ve recently been appreciating films and shows that don’t follow the typical script or plot lines. That are different or more realistic, instead of the happy ending films. I acknowledge the previous Fox X-Men films are PG, but Wolverine stabs all of these people and no blood? It’s a violent act and it’s like a video game with no consequences. It’s not realistic. Also, I find it difficult to watch many films these days that have predictable plots, or retread previous films. Where’s the creativity?
Logan blew me away. As I mentioned above, it’s the third film in the Wolverine-centric film series that started with X-Men Origins: Wolverine in 2009 (blech) and continued with The Wolverine in 2013 (better but couldn’t stick the landing.) Director James Mangold helmed both The Wolverine and Logan. I’ve seen some of his other films (Identity, Walk the Line, and 3:10 to Yuma) and I think he does a nice job with visuals. Anyway, the film is R rated, which allows us a mature story with adult themes. I found this so refreshing. We find Logan and Charles in 2029 living in hiding along the U.S. – Mexican border, along with mutant Caliban. Charles is around 90 and very frail due to advanced aging. Charles is also subject to these seizures that also generate dangerous psionic waves that can incapacitate and eventually kill. Logan’s own healing ability also appears to be severely weakened, and he has aged. Reminded me of Old Man Logan from the comic books. For some reason, the X-Men and all other mutants are gone, and no new mutants are being born. Mutants appear to be feared and quietly hunted again. It’s all very dire. After the events of X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014), you have to wonder what befell mutants a mere 6 years later.
Logan is soon requested to transport an 11-year-old girl, Laura, to Eden, a refuge in North Dakota. Soon Logan, Charles, and Laura are on the run from Alkali-Transigen (yes, same Alkali from the prior films.) The situation is dire, and the stakes are high. Laura is soon revealed to be X-23 from the comics, a young clone of Wolverine. And Transigen wants her back.
Through Charles and Logan, we see how our heros (first introduced in 2000) are clearly at the end of their life’s journey. And it’s a little sad. Charles is clearly very old, but to watch Logan limping, with a severely weakened healing ability, and struggling to win in fights he shouldn’t have difficulty with. Our heroes are dying and fallible. Between this film and The Last Jedi, in sending a common theme.
The film is well directed and the story grips you early. In the back of your mind, you’re wondering what has h happened to all our heroes in the past few years? With our protagonists in such dire straights, and the threat of violence and death ever-present, you’ll be tense. This is a fantastic film, and a tragic end to our heroes. It’s a much watch.