Logan

True Hugh Finale

         
 

03 March 2017| No Comments     by Sean Chavel

 

Without overreaching, it’s a good movie and yet it may go down as the superhero movie that dared to be a real movie – with plausible story merit, complex characterizations, a lack of over-glorified bulls***. Hugh Jackman gets to go all the way to stretch out as an actor, and play a wringed out and sick of it freak of nature as Logan, which is the tenth X-Men film and the third specifically to revolve around Jackman’s Wolverine. So truth be told, for better or worse: I have never gotten much out of the X-Men movies. I don’t find them particularly artistic, or fun on a superficial level because they’re bloated, CGI cesspools, and I don’t find their mythology that interesting because they’re, uh, just a little too good for their own good (what can’t they do with their superpowers?). Ten damn movies I’m not sure they’ve ever had a match worth fighting, and the last couple of movies, well, they kind of cause their own s*** that brews out of stupidity.

All those movies, so forgettable, but now I genuinely like “Logan.” I know, just a few years ago I gave “X-Men: Days of Future Past” (2014) a three-star review – but to be honest now, I must have found the time paradoxes nifty in the moment but months after… I cannot tell you what happened. Nor do I care to go back and look at it again. With “Logan,” set in 2029 El Paso with a chase that takes Logan rescuing one girl with special gifts all the way to North Dakota where it’s supposed to be an Eden for mutant children who have been subjected to secret government experimentation, I damn well do care and I will remember it.

It doesn’t even hit me as the one X-Men movie that spoke to me. No, what’s more accurate, and integral to my own personal film fanaticism, is that the future-set “Logan” is the movie captures the spirit of the nearing apocalypse, where society is beginning to crumble but hasn’t quite yet, in a far more impressive and satisfying way than 1979’s “Mad Max” was trying to do. Take note, I think the original “Mad Max” is kind of a dud, but make no mistake, it’s the rest of the saga by George Miller that abounds as among the best action movies ever made. I only wish his first entry achieved what it was trying to set out to do. But let’s not get too lost in my reverie.

Society is crumbling in 2029 in an America that is starting to look and feel like a dirty, washed up dystopia. Logan wakes up in the backseat of his limo only to find a crew of gang-banging Mexicans trying to steal his hubcaps. He beats those guys, but in a groggy, hangover fashion. He drives a limo for a series of rude and rowdy clientele, whether it’s drunken and lame frat guys or lewd bachelorettes. A Mexican nurse (Elizabeth Rodriguez) from a local clinic drops into his life promising a $20,000 payday, but Logan ends up protecting this girl Laura (Dafne Keen) who turns out to be gifted. She’s also not much of a chipper child, she’s angry and morose, and plain damaged. The consequences of Logan taking them on? Well, an evil doctor (Richard E. Grant) and his band of bounty hunters, then there’s a Wolverine clone where the mano-o-mano reminds one of “Terminator 2: Judgment Day.” But the point is, Logan has brittle bones, he’s woozy. He’s exhausted by his bad karma, and has no faith in the world. In other words, Jackman gets to play the character as a lost soul strung up by dilemmas. He also has little faith left in the world.

Its’ the bad guys who have to play detective and catch up on Logan and Laura as they make their odyssey up the American wasteland, and they are also after Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart) who has Alzheimer’s disease traits and suffers from frequent seizures, and Caliban (Stephen Merchant) who has some limited psychic ability. With each encounter, the run-in action scenes are actually compelling – I could care and wonder about the fatigue of Logan after every fatal dispatch, I could see Logan try to avoid making things a bloodbath even though, well, he just had to.

Darn good moviemaking so why only three stars? “Logan” is missing, well, genius dialogue that forebodes the future of the world to lift it up to classic status. At a script level, it’s solid, without accruing any special thought-provoking ideas. It’s not as if I’m looking for the demise of the Logan character as it would be interesting to feel more the demise of American civilization. The film is directed by James Mangold, though, who does what he can to take bold leaps. Mangold attempts more than his contemporaries, now let’s hope his contemporaries take this film as a lesson and try to imitate it because let’s face it, the typical comic book movie script has become so tired.

This “Logan” is R-rated, hyperviolent, gloomy and noirish, bleak and despairing, making this proud entry more “Mad Max” than “Wolverine.” At least to me it is.

135 Minutes. R.

ACTION-ADVENTURE / VIOLENT THRILLERS / WEEKEND BLOODLUST

Film Cousins: “Shane” (1953); “Mad Max” (1979); “The Wolverine” (2013); “Midnight Special” (2016).

Logan_Review _2017_Hugh Jackman Finale

Summary
Reviewer
Sean Chavel
Review Date
Reviewed Item
Logan
Author Rating
3
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Sean Chavel

About The Author / Sean Chavel

Sean Chavel is a Hollywood based author and movie reviewer. He is the Executive Director of flickminute.com, a new website that has adapted the movie review site genre by introducing moodbased and movie experience based reviews.

 

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