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I don’t think I’ve done a movie review since The Hangover back in 2009. I don’t make it out to the movies too often but I did get the chance to go see “Logan,” a movie about the X-Men character more known as Wolverine. As a kid I used to collect comics and while I’ve never considered myself the biggest expert on comic book lore, it seems that with all the comic based movies that have come out since my comic collecting days, a lot of the backgrounds of the characters I find myself familiar with from reading back in the day.
While I’ve watched a lot of the comic book based movies that have come out over the years, I’ve noticed a turn in how they are made. For example Batman & Robin with Arnold Schwarzenegger as Mr. Freeze is quite a bit more over the top with Hollywood gimmicks than some of the latest installments where things feel a little more raw and dark. I would say that in the case of Logan, it gets really raw and dark.
It’s hard to believe that the first X-Men movie came out in 2000. Two characters stand out in each movie; that of Wolverine (Logan), protrayed by Hugh Jackman, and Professor Charles Xavier, played by Patrick Stewart. I can’t really complain about the casting for these roles, but Logan takes it up a notch in what these actors deliver into these characters.
Wolverine is definitely one of the most prominent characters in the X-Men, both on screen and in the comics. He is brutish, tough, and perhaps one of the most unapologetically violent “heroes” in the Marvel universe aside from maybe The Punisher. While a character like Cyclops was for a time the leader of the X-Men, there probably will never be a Cyclops movie because after the third time he shoots some lasers out his eyes, he becomes less interesting.
Logan paints a bleak picture of where Wolverine and Professor X end up living under the radar, presumably after some many years where things like the Mutant Academy, the X-Jet, and matching rubber suits were at quick disposal. All of that seems like some happy faded memory. Logan’s health isn’t what it used to be, in the first scene he is beaten and shot by car thieves and his escape is by no means graceful. Professor X not only has physical health issues, his mind is starting to age in a negative way making his massive psychic mental abilities unstable. Logan is a limo driver by night and comes back to make sure Professor X takes his meds and is cared for. They live in an abandoned building in the desert but Logan has plans to buy a boat and take to the sea with the Professor. They never get to take their boat cruise.
While things aren’t happy in their lives, they at least have a safe house. Of course it’s only a matter of time before things turn to chaos. A woman seeks Logan out and she has a young girl who doesn’t speak with her. She just wants Logan to help her out because people are following her and she has some money to pay for the trouble of him escorting her to where she wants to go.
Not a day goes by and she ends up getting brutally murdered by the people following her and Logan finds the girl stowed away in his limo after finding her body. The connection between the girl and Professor X is instant and he believes her to be special while Logan would rather to have nothing to do with her. It’s important for her to get to a safe place all the way up to the Canadian border, which isn’t a small task because they are on the border of Mexico. Of course a bunch of mercenaries show up and the premise of the rest of the movie is Logan and Professor X getting the girl to her destination with a bunch of tough guns for hire and a few other surprises close on their heels the whole way.
That’s about all I’m going to say on the plot because I feel it would make the movie less fun to give away much more. However, there a few things that stood out to me. I’m hard pressed to think of a comic book movie where they characters are so flawed and suffer so much. This is not a happy movie. The main characters are in pain and exhausted the entire movie.
The movie is rated R due to some extreme violence. I thought this was fitting because making a movie about a guy with blades for fists should probably be violent because six razor sharp blades made out of Adamantium will leave a little more than a scratch. Actually there are heads and limbs flying around pretty frequently in the movie. This is not a kid’s movie unless you’re trying to get them used to very gory and bloody body trauma at a young age.
At one point in the movie the Professor and the girl are watching the cowboy-western movie “Shane.” In ways the haggard and worn Logan is like a lone cowboy standing up for what is right. I think a better comparison would be the movie True Grit. In True Grit the aging alcoholic “good guy,” Rooster Cogburn, escorts a young lady to track down her father’s murderer. There are some definite similarities, but (spoiler alert) the girl in Logan happens to have a few powers and is fairly badass when it comes to using them. The movie is edgy because it does involve some rather grizzly experiments on children.
Those who are into comic book movies and especially know about some of the immense background of the X-Men should love this movie. Overall, as a brutal and raw action flick, it holds its own. Now if they’d only make a rated R Star Wars highlighting Boba Fett.