Thursday, July 13, 2017

Movie #412: Logan

Logan is, supposedly, the last movie featuring Hugh Jackman as Wolverine. It stars Jackman, Patrick Stewart, Dafne Keen, Stephan Merchant, Richard E. Grant, Boyd Holbrook, and Eriq La Salle.

Logan is working as a limo driver near the Mexican border, caring for an ailing Professor Xavier (Stewart) with the help of the mutant tracker Caliban (Merchant). He's also dying - his healing factor is failing and his skeleton is poisoning him, so he's drinking to dull the pain and trying to raise enough money to buy a boat and go live on the ocean (it's unclear if he intends to blow his brains out with his one adamantium bullet once he gets there, but it's implied). And then a woman (Elizabeth Rodriguez) finds him and begs his help to get a little girl named Laura (Keen) to North Dakota, and Logan embarks on a brutal journey that leaves pretty much everyone dead.

I've seen a lot of people saying this is the Wolverine movie we should have had all along, but I dunno. I grew up with Wolverine in yellow spandex and the comic writers trying vainly to have a dude with claws who didn't messily dismember everyone (before the 90s came along and said "fuck it, messy dismemberments for all!"), and who didn't curse because no one did. And that's basically how Jackman portrayed him in the first X-Men movies, minus the spandex, so seeing a Wolverine here that spits f-bombs like it's a Tarantino movie and goes for visible killing shots is a little jarring.

With that said, it's a testament to how well Jackman knows the character that it still feels very much like the Wolverine we got to know in the other movies. Stewart, likewise, falls back into Professor X perfectly, and does a heart-breaking job of taking this educated, distinguished, intelligent man and breaking him down into fragments (I have seen this happen firsthand, it sucks, and the filmmakers did a great job with it). I like that we never quite find out what happened to the X-Men, and that the exposition of where all the mutants went gets cut short because Logan gets impatient. This film pulls exactly no punches, and if you're going to go full western-noir (I guess), that's how you do it.

For my money, I'd have liked more time with the kids, seeing their powers, and I could have used a little more attention to continuity with the other films (like, is this the same timeline as Days of Future Past? If so...huh?), but taken on its own or as a trilogy with X-Men Origins (ugh) and The Wolverine, it works nicely.

My Grade: B+
Rewatch value: Low

Next up: The Mexican