LOGAN [2017]

NOTE: This is the first film I have seen in this particular franchise. Yes, this is the first time I’ve watched my fellow Aussie in his most iconic role. The shame, the shame…

Directed by James Mangold

Written by James Mangold (story by), Scott Frank (screenplay

Starring: Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, Dafne Keen, Boyd Holbrook, Stephen Merchant


Unlike most other films of this genre, Logan is not afraid to get its hands bloody and dirty. From the start of the film, our hero (?) is obviously weakened. His powers are dwindling as each second passes, but his heart still beats strong. Even if it is being polluted with heavy amounts of alcohol, even if it sinks every time he is ferrying a drunk group of friends as a limo-driver. Tellingly, the opening of the film is far from the first time we see Logan’s unconscious face.

A big theme running through the film is his inability to become at peace with himself. He is lonely. He refuses to acknowledge his inner problems, and they eat at him, more so than the many bullets that fly his way. His mind is consumed by the people he has killed, the people he has lost, and those who he feels he is losing.

The two people he is concerned about are Charles (AKA Professor X) and Caliban, as both are suffering in a shelter down in Mexico. Charles has developed a scary, degenerating brain disease that causes seizures, and Logan is the only one who can bring medication from across the border. Caliban, a ‘tracker’, can’t be out in sunlight for it will burn his skin, and requires the same medication. But his situation is cushy compared to the fate that has met Charles, as when we first meet him, he is locked inside a giant metal tank, moving about randomly in his wheelchair, talking nonsense.

Logan is initially dismissive of Charles’ belief that there are mutants still being born; a thought that was deemed impossible. It was thought that no mutant had been born in 25 years, and that there were few left alive.

But the military like to experiment without a conscience, and in this case they are using children. Soon Logan is met by some impolite visitors who are after one of these young mutants, a young girl who has been talking to Charles telepathically, and she is immediately deemed a threat to national security, or a potential lab-rat.

What follows is a somewhat standard narrative about the group on the run, being chased by bad guys. It does have a few cards up its sleeve to keep you guessing, and there are some satisfying set-pieces. It also does not hold back when it comes to violence. This isn’t anything like some user-friendly, inoffensive superhero films, where the stakes are six feet under. As good as that sounds, a man driving his claws through faceless soldiers can get old. Quickly.

The group’s plan is to head north, where a supposed ‘Eden’ for young mutants exists. Interestingly, this idea of Eden comes from an actual X-Men comic, blurring the line between truth and fiction. But given this is all by far the most interesting narrative to accompany a film of this genre, its transparent nature is disappointing.

It maintains its gritty attitude, but this doesn’t mean much when most significant events barely register with the viewer. There are many conversations about mortality and death, but none are memorable or poignant.

The film is very bland regarding its colour palette, which fits the theme of the film as Logan is no longer Wolverine, and his future looks very much like the harsh browns and greys that we see for much of the film. Unsurprisingly, the action scenes are hampered by typical Hollywood editing.

You’d have thought that John Wick would have taught these fools a little something. But alas, this is far from the case. A shame, but it remains the standard. The film is very violent, but so haphazardly shot that it is near impossible to follow. The action is nitrous-fuelled, which sounds like a positive thing. Too bad we can’t see most of it.


As it dwells on mortality, Logan manages to create a compelling narrative despite its predictable nature, though there are a couple of surprises. Are the alleged leaders of our world above the terrible actions they perform here? There is perhaps not enough action, especially given the R rating, but this does has the effect of pulling you in when any sense of dread filters in. The lack of any emotional impact though weighs this down considerably. At times meditative, other times ultra-violent, this is a unique but ultimately flawed, underwhelming entry into the genre.

Two short of a sixer

4/6

 

18 Comments on “LOGAN [2017]

  1. I really liked it Jordan, I do feel that some of the deaths were underwhelming but death can be like that in real life. It seemed kinda poignant that a great man with so much history would just come to that end. It also works in a metaphorical way. I don’t know. There are nitpicks for me too but I find myself finding reasons for why those things were good too. Nice review though.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It certainly is the best film of this genre I have seen, easily. I wouldn’t mind a re-watch actually, knowing more about the characters’ history this time around

      Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s interesting this is the first X-Men movie you’ve seen. From the start, Jackman really carried this franchise. For me, as a fan of these films, it was nice to see his character get a sendoff like he did here. Hopefully Fox doesn’t recast the role. There are plenty of other X-Men available for future movies aside from Wolverine.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I agree, and this film makes me want to go back and check out Jackman’s earlier roles of Wolverine. If they recast the role I won’t be watching it, that’s a certainty! Seems like X-Men is the one franchise where I like the atmosphere. The PG-lite Marvel stuff just bores me to tears

      Like

  3. Great post. I have not seen this yet, but I have heard that some actually consider it the best of the X-Men franchise. Anyway, keep up the great work as always 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’d consider it the best superhero film ever made, easily. It was dark, it had attitude. The stakes were high. I’ve never felt any of that in most of the other movies

      Like

  4. Oy…I don’t think you need to see all the X Men but the fact this was your first…if you even once saw these two characters in previous films you would instantly cared. I thought the action scenes were terrific and I cared about the characters and it was for me by far so much more engaging than John Wick 2. The casino scene in particular was brilliantly done

    Liked by 1 person

    • Very good point about not having scene the previous films. I like the franchise, I’m gonna go back and check some out. I still can’t get past the rapid, ADD-like cutting of Hollywood action films though.

      And you’ve seen John Wick 2 as well?? Goddamn we are really getting screwed over with that movie. It’ll be online in 1080p before its even in our cinemas

      Like

  5. I know you’re not a superhero guy, but I’m glad you took the plunge with this one. It really is an excellent entry. I won’t go as far as to say it’s the genre’s best, because I’m still not over the greatness of The Dark Knight, but this is great. I don’t think you need to go back through all of the X-Men films. Seeing his first two big screen outings, X-Men and X-Men 2, would probably suffice. You could probably add in The Wolverine. Whatever you do, steer clear of X-Men: The Last Stand and X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Both are just putrid.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You know what man. I am writing a ‘take two’ review for this.

      If you keep your eyes out, you’ll see a review here about a Aussie film critic who famously once refused to rate a movie because he objected to the themes. Her literally only gave ONE example where his mind was changed about a movie. The guy is a close-minded, pompous prick.

      Reason I mention this is cos I totally back-flipped. Logan deserves two watches, as it was the second watch that made me really care about the characters, being new to the franchise and all. And there are so many memorable lines to end scenes too, like (paraphrasing obviously): Stewart “I’m locked in here, waiting to die”, Merchant “Your dying, I can smell it”. Its a heavy film and this is the attitude I like. The action wasn’t as choppy as I first thought, I guess I was expecting it and saw what I was expecting.

      I think more critics should revisit movies and offer their new opinions TBH. I mean proper critics, ya know, like the dick I mentioned above. Some are so close-minded it is incredible.

      Like

      • Cool. I will keep my eyes peeled for that. And yeah, real-deal critics should be willing to revisit and reevaluate films. Us human beings occasionally rethink things. It would be great if they would acknowledge that.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Indeed!! I’ll be posting about that critic I mentioned in a few hours, check it out. Its like a lesson in how -not- to approach film, the guy is so close-minded!

        Like

    • I absolutely LOVED IT the second time around! I’m going to write a ‘take two’ type review, revisiting my old points and correcting myself. I saw a very different movie the second time around. I will probably go again before its gone, cos the soundtrack is bloody great, and nothin beats the cinemas! 🙂

      I hope little O is doing well! Thanks for stopping by, I’ve been so bad with checking other folks’ blogs recently! Much busier than I am used to

      Like

    • I very much agree. I am going to write a take two on this movie, as I rewatched it after getting some background in that universe…. and wow, what a movie!!

      2nd best this year, behind “get Out” ;D

      Liked by 1 person

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