The last time I enjoyed an X-Men movie was… never and honestly, I thought, before going to see Logan, that it will remain as such forever. Turns out I was wrong and I’m so glad I didn’t give up on the X-Men franchise after it being a big pile of disappointment throughout the years. Because Logan, despite the way he ended up there, proved that sometimes a franchise can change things up so much, that it not only distances itself from the rest of the movies in the best way possible but it also launches itself into an award worthy territory that no comic book movie has ever dared to venture!
This is the spoiler alert, which means there are spoilers ahead.
There has been a lot of praise and positive reviews for Logan ever since it premiered, and I feel like all that needs to be said about the movie, has been already said. It’s amazing, it’s emotional, it explores the human nature through an animalistic character, and it is elevated to such great heights thanks to two very skilled actors – Patrick Stewart and Hugh Jackman. It’s a movie that is somehow simply a really good movie, while also being a superhero movie. It’s different, it’s unique, and if you still haven’t seen it, why the hell are you reading this, go and watch it, NOW!
Hopefully those who will continue to read have seen Logan already, and I bet many of us have seen it more than once. I’ve seen it twice on a big screen and no part of me regrets paying twice for the opportunity to cry my eyes out. During that second viewing though I realised how well Logan is actually written because it has hidden depths one could explore through many many viewings. There is a callback to a scene at the end of the movie, and when I saw Logan for the second time, I started to cry before anything bad had even happened! Because I was instantly thrown into that last scene by the mountain, I knew what was going to happen, and the emotions got the better of me. That simple touch, that tiny layer added there in the beginning, which you would only understand in the end, is wonderful. Despite the tears of course.
To understand the significance of Logan better, I asked myself whether any other superhero movie made me cry so much? The answer to that question was “no, Logan was the first,” and I’m not entirely sure that it’s only because it’s a movie about our hero’s demise. Death is not the only emotional theme Logan explores, it also tackles the essential element that is Wolverine’s identity, his lack of family, and about gradually morphing Charles into his father figure. It’s about being alone, a lone wolf, and that theme webbed together with the ultimate journey, makes you think about superheroes from a whole new light.
I guess what I’m trying to say, and probably failing miserably because it’s hard to express my feelings towards Logan, is that this is not a movie that aims to simply entertain us like all the other superhero films seem to do. It aims to emotionally cripple us through the notion that superheroes are not eternal, and they are still human, no matter how primal their instincts or screams may sound. For that, Logan is the best superhero movie out there. Not because it’s a superhero movie, but because it’s about a hero, who has lost everything but doesn’t stop fighting.
Before I end this praise filled review, let’s go over a few of the things I want to point out. Hugh Jackman’s performance being the most important thing because my god, does Jackman go all out or what? He tackles this character, a character he has known for almost 20 years, with a newly found passion and emotion, and delivers his best performance ever. If he does not receive awards for this performance, Logan himself will rise from under those rocks and reek havoc. Give all the awards to Jackman, please, he deserves them. And so does Patrick Stewart because just like Jackman, he re-identifies himself as Charles in Logan, and delivers some of his best work as well.
Two other actors who stood out for me, though being greatly overshadowed by Jackman and Stewart, were Dafne Keen as Laura and Boyd Holbrook as Pierce. While Laura was silent for most of the film, her presence was strong, and her willpower and determination came across so well throughout the movie. Holbrook was good too, as good as an underwritten villain could be, and I think it actually benefitted his character that he didn’t have much of a backstory. Like, he was simply a man, doing his job, which happened to be a bad guys job – simple, straight forward, and well delivered. Which brings me to the actual villain in Logan, X-24.
Did I see it coming? No! And that element of surprise for me was thrilling, it was like watching a horror movie which I think was exactly what was going on in Logan’s head, when he saw X-24 walking down those stairs. Was it fitting for Logan to die because of X-24? I think it made sense, I think it would have been less affective to have died because of someone else. It was more profound to be killed by his animalistic-self, something that Logan had suffered with since his origin, that side of himself which was able to kill with such force, such thoughtfulness. Which again is evident that Logan (as well as the comic book its based on) is written so well, and I can’t help to wonder, if not perfectly.
Last but not least, I want to praise the decision to make Logan an R-rated film. Not because it had the opportunity to be more violent and more graphic, but because hearing the word “fuck” a lot was what gave the movie a much needed tone of humour. Cursing also helps to deal with pain, and heavy emotions, which is what our main characters do a lot in this movie, and it aids the viewer to deal with it as well. It’s a more mature movie because of it, and because of its rated R, Logan is able to hit all the right marks.