Logan review: Logan is brutal, full of incredible acting and memorable action scenes.
Damian Lillard makes clutch 3, Meyers Leonard can’t feel his face by Gerald Bourguet
Throughout the years, we’ve suffered through quite a few Wolverine films. X-Men Origins: Wolverine is the film that stands out the most since it was absolutely awful. The sequel, The Wolverine, was a slight step in the right direction, but it wasn’t amazing either. For the character’s sake, Logan needed to be great and it definitely was.
James Mangold returned to helm this project as the director and Hugh Jackman, who’s been Wolverine for 17 years now, reprised his role for the last time. They were determined to deliver the most definitive Wolverine film yet and they did almost flawlessly. A solo Wolverine film doesn’t get any better than Logan.
Plenty of credit has to be given to the ‘R’ rating. For years, the character has had to be watered down compared to who he is in the comics. Wolverine is brutal and he doesn’t care what anybody thinks. He does what needs to get done, no matter how intense it may be. At the same time, though, he does have a heart and cares for those who are close to him.
Logan portrayed this perfectly. The movie was able to push the boundaries and expand on the character of Logan — no easy feat considering how many times we’ve seen him to date. The film perfectly showcases all sides of the character. He’s friendly and helpful when he needs to be, but he isn’t afraid to go full savage mode if necessary. Jackman deserves all the credit in the world for his performance.
This is, by far, one of the best performances of his career. After so many years studying and portraying this character, it’s hard to imagine anyone else playing Wolverine. He leaves the character on a high note and with some massive shoes to fill if Fox is looking to recast.
Much like Jackman, this is also Patrick Stewart’s final time playing Professor Charles Xavier. He’s been in this role just as long has Jackman has been Wolverine, which is impressive. He also delivers an incredible performance and showcases a different side to Professor X.
Professor X is usually a calm character who keeps his composure. We see shades of that throughout the film. However, because of what he’s going through, you can see his frustration in certain scenes. He’s able to control himself for the most part and be his same compassion when it matters.
Finally, there’s Daphne Keen. This is Keen’s first film ever and she absolutely nails the character of X-23/ Laura. If you’ve seen the trailer, then you expect even more of that intensity in the film. She’s someone who doesn’t know any better and usually resorts to one thing when faced with adversity: absolute violence. It makes for some brutal fighting sequences.
The three main characters mentioned above all deliver the best performances in the film. We didn’t mind Boyd Holbrook as Donald Pierce, but he felt like the face of a much bigger scheme. He felt kind of useless when it came to dealing with the task at hand.
Let’s get back to the fighting sequences since they are absolutely spectacular. Faint-hearted people probably shouldn’t watch it. It’s extremely bloody and violent; one of the bloodiest films we’ve seen in a long time and definitely the most violent superhero film ever. We love all that stuff, though, so it was awesome to see it in action.
The only complaints we have are very minimal and don’t take away from the film entirely. We do believe that there is plenty of time which can make for some boring moments. There are some pacing issues, including jarring transitions from action-heavy scenes one minute to lots of dialogue the next.
This isn’t necessarily a bad thing since there’s plenty of character development and the storytelling is great. We just wish it wasn’t so abrupt from scene to scene. It ruins the pace of the film.
Logan also felt a bit long. It could have benefitted the film as a whole if it was 30 minutes shorter. It sort of dragged on a bit after awhile. Thankfully, it makes up for it at the end.
To sum it all up, Logan is a fantastic film. Despite some very small negatives, the good in this film outweighs the bad by a ton. It’s easily the most brutal superhero film ever. Jackman also delivers one of the best performances of his life and leaves the role of Wolverine on the highest of notes.
We highly recommend you check it out and get ready for what could be the best superhero film of the year, even with plenty of 2017 still left to go.
Logan Movie Review
Logan Director - James Mangold Cast - Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, Daphne Keen, Stephen Merchant Rating - 4.5/5
“Guys, you don’t want to do this.” We’ve been in this situation before. Logan is surrounded by half a dozen goons. They’re usually armed. Depending on where he is at that moment, he could be attacked by katanas, revolvers, or like this time, with monkey wrenches. But he warns them. It’s only fair. They don’t know who he is, what he’s capable of.
This is how Logan begins. But this time, events don’t pan out like they used to. Wolverine doesn’t have a wry smile on his face as he hacks and slashes his way out. This time, he gets beaten to a pulp, the blows break his bones, rip out his flesh. The wounds that once used to heal immediately are left gaping. There’s blood everywhere. And lot's of swearing. This time, unlike the countless times before, Logan almost dies.
From the first moment, Johnny Cash’s mournful voice graced that terrific trailer, there was a sense that Hugh Jackman and director James Mangold were not going to play by the rules anymore. For Jackman, it was his ninth time playing Wolverine, and for Mangold, it is another shot to perfect what he almost achieved in 2013, when he sent Logan to Japan.
For both of them, however, it was now or never. Jackman’s missed no opportunity to tell everyone that this would be his last time playing the Wolverine, the character that defined his career, and would probably continue to define him for the rest of his life. Perhaps it was this pressure to do well, to erase bad memories (hopefully, after this, X-Men Origins will be forgotten), or perhaps it was the freedom afforded to it by the success of Deadpool, but Logan is unlike any superhero film you have seen. Like that Cash song, it is minimalistic, meditative, melancholy, and has nothing to lose anymore. We’ve seen him go through hell, we’ve seen him watch on as everyone he loves dies, and all he can do is keep living. All Wolverine can do is keep fighting. But what for?
The reason comes in the form of a girl, no older than 10.
When we catch up with Logan, grizzled, visibly older, the scars on his body like haunting memories of the past, it is 2029. No mutants have been born in the last 20 years. They’ve become folktales, legends passed on in comic books, and perhaps even movies. Logan scrapes a living driving a limo near the US-Mexico border. The little money he makes goes into buying medicine for his friend Charles, Professor X. They live in the desert, away from everyone else, together, like they have been for so many years. They’re all they have in this world.
And then, Laura arrives. She’s a lot like him, Charles tells Logan. She’s a mutant. The first one to come along in decades. And she’s the only hope they have. It is rumored that thousands of miles away, in North Dakota, there is a safe haven for others like her, like them. That is where they must take her, away from the bad men.They do the only thing they can. In a subtle homage to the first X-Men movie, Logan takes the girl under his wing. They steal a car, grab some snacks, and take to the road.
It is said that the superhero movie will soon go the way of the movie Western (not by me, but by better minds, like Spielberg and Lucas), how it has arrived at a saturation point, how the six-shooters and cowboy hats made way for spandex and force fields as they journeyed towards their final destination. For an uncommonly grim film which would much rather contemplate mortality than gleefully demolish a city, the idea of Logan reviving a dying genre – two dying genres – is almost poetic.
There is only one way to push this genre forward, to prevent it from becoming obsolete. And that is to deconstruct it, to rip off all the excess CGI, all the capes, and cowls, and exhume the essence of what makes these movies so great. Logan does that. And then it does it again.
It takes cues from classics like Children of Men, The Wrestler, and even the great video game The Last of Us. It is uncompromising in its brutality and fearless in its reverence of these iconic characters. It’s a testament to the power of storytelling, and what creative freedom can produce.
Logan’s cinematic journey began 17 years ago in a forest. He was making money fighting in cages. A young girl saved him then, she showed him what it was like to have a family, what it felt like to be good. In Logan, it takes another girl to show him who he really is, to remind him that his life was worth something.
It is the perfect swansong he could’ve got.
'Logan' movie review: It doesn't mention "Wolverine," the comics-inspired trilogy it brings to a close
The first sign that "Logan" isn't your average superhero flick comes with that title, which consists of a single name. It doesn't mention "Wolverine," the comics-inspired trilogy it brings to a close. Neither does it mention the "X-Men," the lucrative, long-running series from which it was spun off (and crossed over into).
There's a good reason for that, though. Director James Mangold -- who directed the series' previous chapter, 2013's "The Wolverine" -- and actor Hugh Jackman seem eager to convince audiences that "Logan" is a different kind of superhero movie. In an era in which so many movies in the genre seem to follow the same formula, that's an intriguing prospect.
What's more, it doesn't take long for Mangold and Jackman to deliver on that promise. The New Orleans-shot "Logan," it becomes quickly apparent, is, indeed, a different breed of superhero movie -- and thankfully, stirringly so.
For starters, it is unapologetically R-rated, so it features more than your average superhero movie's share of graphic violence. Similarly, it indulges in the kind of language one would realistically expect to hear when, say, a person gets run through by a mutant with lethal blades protruding from his knuckles.
Yes, "Deadpool" did that first when it landed in theaters -- and thrilled audiences with its irreverent, envelope-pushing sense of humor -- last spring. But while "Deadpool" used it to comic effect, "Logan" goes deeper, which is where it really sets itself apart.
It's not R-rated just for laughs, violence or other such things (aside from one embarrassingly gratuitous breast-flashing moment that feels weirdly out of place). Rather, it's R-rated because it has grown-up things to say -- things about mortality, aging, guilt, regret, and about what happens when superheroes, tired of being superheroes, start thinking very dark, very human thoughts.
In short, the rules here are different than in the standard superhero screenplay. That opens a new world of possibilities for what had been quickly becoming a threadbare genre. In fact, "Logan" often doesn't even feel so much like a superhero movie. It follows the Western tradition as much as it does the superhero tradition.
Grim, gritty, threadbare: That also happens to be the mental state in which Jackman's lead character finds himself at the beginning of "Logan." Though set in the year 2029, the world he occupies will be a mostly familiar one to audiences, except for one key fact: It is a post-"X-Men" world. They're all gone -- or almost all of them, anyway. The man everyone once knew as Wolverine is now a reclusive, past-his-prime legend. He drives a limousine to make his money, which he spends on pint-sized bottles of brown liquor.
In other words, while his world might look familiar, and while Jackman has played the character on-screen for 17 years now, this doesn't feel quite like the Wolverine with which audiences are familiar. He's still a mutant; he still has that adamantium skeleton that allows him to produce razor-sharp claws from his knuckles when he needs them. He's also still got that self-healing ability, although it is decidedly dulled now.
The big difference is that now, he's old. He's got a bum knee. He needs reading glasses. He's got gray whiskers in his beard. And he has decided not to be Wolverine anymore. He is just Logan now.
He's so tired of it all, in fact, that he carries in his breast pocket an adamantium bullet, which he reasons is the only thing that could possibly end his life of pain and guilt.
Until then, he's left crossing the border from the American Southwest into Mexico, where he delivers medication to nonagenarian "X-Men" founder Professor X (Patrick Stewart). It's a task Logan does out of duty as much as anything, because he clearly derives no enjoyment from it. Or from anything else in his life.
He, it is clear, is just waiting for the end -- or for the nerve to introduce that adamantium bullet into his mutant brain.
Then a young girl named Laura shows up in his midst. She is 11 years old and she's different -- different in the same way Logan is different and all his long-gone mutant friends were different. And, whether he likes it or not (spoiler: he doesn't), he's obligated for reasons that won't get explained here to deliver her across the country.
A quick word about the 11-year-old actress who plays young Laura. Her name Daphne Keen, and she frightens me. I don't mean that to say her character frightens me -- although, as intense as she is, she does. I mean that to say she is a frighteningly good actress. The "Wolverine" series is technically over, but I have a feeling we'll be seeing more of Keen as Laura on the big screen.
Early, it feels like "Logan" is working hard to become timely, not just because of the cross-border dashes and the fact that Laura is Mexican, but also because of the "X-Men" series' long-established argument against fear of the outsider, the misunderstood other.
Before setting that particular hook, however, Mangold and company take "Logan" in a different, but no less profound, direction. If you've followed the "X-Men" films, even casually, you'll be moved by where it takes you.
That, and it's grim, gritty outlook make it easily the best entry in the sprawling "X-Men" movie franchise, and arguably the best superhero film since 2008's "The Dark Knight" presented moviegoers with a similar sense of refreshing thoughtfulness.
That's because, while the first sign that "Logan" isn't your average superhero flick comes with that title, it continues to reinforce its singular approach, it's desire to chart a new path, over and over again -- right through to the powerful closing moments.
4 stars, out of 5
Snapshot: A superhero film that was shot in New Orleans in summer 2016, it sees "The Wolverine" actor Hugh Jackman reprising his popular "X-Men" role -- in what he says will be the last time he does so -- for a story set in the future and which sees him battling with alcohol, old age and retirement. And then a mysterious and gifted young woman shows up who needs his help.
Cast: Jackman, Patrick Stewart, Daphne Keen, Boyd Holbrook, Stephen Merchant, Richard E. Grant. MPAA rating: R, for strong brutal violence and language throughout, and for brief nudity. Running time: 2 hours 21 minutes. Where: Find New Orleans showtimes.