Logan Review

Entertainment Value: 10.10

Critical Value: 7.5/10

It is the end of an era. After 17 years, Hugh Jackman presents us with his last outing as Wolverine. After the first two Wolverine films many fans, myself included, initially approached another one with a healthy dose of skepticism. Then the first trailer dropped and skepticism gave way to hype for many people.

Then the second trailer dropped, confirming that Dafne Keen would be playing X-23. The film was flooded with good reviews from Rotten Tomatoes and one of my favourite YouTube reviewers also gave the film his highest rating. Needless to say, I expected a lot from this film, and for the most part, it delivered. I won’t say that the film is on the same level as The Dark Knight (it got a lot of comparisons to it) but it is undoubtedly the best Wolverine film and one of the best films in the X-Men Universe.

Logan introduces us to a bleak(er) future where most mutants are now dead. Twenty five years have passed without a mutant birth, most of the X-Men are dead, and Logan is slowly dying as his healing factor burns out. He is aging more noticeably, healing slower and the adamantium in his body is now poisoning him. Meanwhile, Charles Xavier is suffering from a mental disorder. Early plot summaries said the disease was Alzheimer’s but it is never actually confirmed in the film. Either way, he is prone to fits of dementia and seizures, which have devastating effects on the people around him.

Logan now works as a chauffeur and is content to save money so that he and Charles can buy a boat and live on the sea. Logan is tracked by a Mexican nurse who eventually convinces him to escort Laura Kinney (X23) to a mutant safe haven and evade The Reavers, cycber-netically enhanced soldiers tasked with bringing X23 back.  Firstly, I have to say that X23 was insanely badass in this film, showcasing an agile fighting style that is in contrast to the brute force on display from Wolverine. Although Wolverine is feral in his own way, Laura shows us what could have become of him if he was raised as a weapon. Dafne Keen doesn’t have many lines for most of the film, relying on facial expressions and body language to create the character.

The makeup department did a great job in creating a weathered Logan, whose body tells it own story. Jackman is able to exude anger, coldness,sensitivity, love and caring seamlessly. Although his character seems to shy from caring or helping others, it is easy to see that he is only putting up a wall to protect himself from the pain of losing more people he cares about.

Charles Stewart brings us a different version of Charles Xavier. Although Charles still houses some of the wisdom we associate with the character, his disease has resulted in forced isolation. We see a Charles who knows his time is coming and is eager to enjoy the rest of his time, coming across as more carefree than any other version of Xavier we’ve seen on screen. The closest comparison is to his younger, broken self in Days of Future Past. 

Jackman, Stewart and Keene are the film’s center and their scenes stand out as my favourite emotional moments. At its core, the film is about family and it great to see the family grow stronger as the film progresses. Although he is not necessarily a part of the family, Caliban (Stephen Merchant) assists Wolverine in taking care of Xavier and his performance is another stand out in the film. He has a relatively small role but succeeds in picking away at Logan to reveal his mindset as they try to navigate the dangerous world they live in.

Needless to say, the action is amazing, giving us the R-Rated glory we’ve been waiting to see for a while. People don’t just fall down when Wolverine swings his arms, they die in spectacular, gory fashion. There were many scenes that genuinely gave me chills. The film does feature some spotty CGI in parts. Fortunately, most of the effects are practical.

One of the weakest parts of the films, in my opinion, are the villains. Don’t get me wrong, Boyd Holbrook was enthralling as Donald Pierce. The issue is that it felt like he had little screen time. He and the man he answers to, were not developed very well in contrast to the other characters. There is one interesting goon that adds a new level of threat to the film, and the goon’s introduction is one of the most memorable in the film. However, I feel as if this mute goon could have been substituted for a stronger Donald Pierce.

While the film was not perfect, or as even as I would have liked, it was a solid end to Wolverine’s story. The ending, for lack of a better world, is poetic. Jackman has implied that he would be open to playing the role again if it existed in a different universe e.g. the MCU. However, he has also said that “This is it. This is the last one.

It is sad to see Hugh Jackman end the role, but I am happy that this is the film he did it with.

Edit: After more thought, had to bump up my ranking of Logan.

X Men Universe Film Rankings

Days of Future Past

X2

Logan

Deadpool

First Class

X-Men 1

Apocalypse

X3

The Wolverine

Origins

The Circle

I wake up,

Vowing that I will soon be free of the cubicle that defines my existence,

The cubicle that bestows me with a title,

I exercise,

Trying to prolong my miserable life,

I go to work,

Surrounded by strangers,

Loud,

Sick,

Only to leave them and then be surrounded by co-workers,

Loud,

Sick,

Annoying,

Rude,

I don’t work,

I endure,

For hours at a time,

Relieved to have a few minutes to unhook my leash and roam free,

I endure,

Until I can finally be free,

I go home,

Surrounded by strangers again,

Maybe I exercise now instead,

Surrounded by more strangers,

Loud,

Narcissistic,

All deserving of death’s embrace,

I arrive home,

With only a few more hours to spare before I must awake and return to my leash,

 

 

 

 

Resolution

New Year, New Me,

Or so I always say,

I have numerous resolutions for the year,

But New Year’s Eve reminded me of one of them,

Surrounded by friends,

Forgetting all of my troubles until I came across a single woman,

Then my mind shifted to other thoughts,

Thoughts shared by other friends,

Who held the woman’s interest better,

Happiness slowly evaporated,

Bitterness and self-doubt came in to take its place,

While everyone else kept enjoying themselves,

I spent too much time reflecting on my friend’s good fortune,

And reflecting on all my past failures,

I came across as miserable,

Pathetic even,

Which only hindered my appeal even further,

I find myself caught in this cycle too often,

Letting any perceived rejection drown out all the things I have to celebrate,

With a new year,

I want to work on being the master of my own happiness.

The Treadmill

Everywhere I go I come across people content to loaft through life,

Putting the minimal effort into everything they do,

Content to force their misery onto everyone they come in contact with,

Content to think about their life one day, one hour, one minute at a time,

They live for 15 minute breaks,

Half hour lunch breaks,

The last break comes,

They go home,

Using their free time to reflect on how much they hate their lives,

Or to seek escape through family and friends,

They hope something else comes along,

Yet they don’t work towards it,

Some do,

Knowing that their hunt will pay off,

Eventually,

It could be months or years,

Until then they have to bear their burden,

Some bear their burden with grace,

Adapting to stress and pressure,

Learning how to control or vent it effectively,

Others lack the fortitude and become walking vessels of rage and self-loathing,

Projecting their insecurities, fears and anxiety onto others,

We have too many of these people in the world,

I want them purged,

But we need them,

A twisted dependency that won’t end anytime soon.

 

 

 

 

Drama

Sometimes, it honestly seems like some people can’t cope without drama in their lives,

It gives them a sense of purpose,

Energy,

Belonging,

As long as someone else is being ridiculed it takes attention away from them,

By joining in the ridicule, they also get to  be part of the accepted group,

Even if that sense of inclusion is only in their heads,

 

I’ve fallen into this trap myself,

I was surrounded by people whose acceptance I craved,

I wanted them to like me,

So when they singled someone out for their derision,

I was quick to join in with them,

Even though I knew,

Deep down,

That I was not one of them,

It was hard for me to accept this at first,

I was in denial for months,

I ignored one comment after another,

It was harder to ignore the way everyone avoided me,

I was only a conduit for my roommate,

I only mattered if I knew where he was,

 

It was during this time I also noticed how quickly people follow a crowd,

My roommate was the most popular person on the floor,

He started hating someone,

So everyone else started hating that unfortunate person,

That person’s tics, habits, shortcomings,

Were magnified,

While the same ones were ignored in everyone else,

Even when I realized I wasn’t going to be accepted,

Part of me was happy that someone else was more maligned than me,

 

That was when I realized I wasted too much time trying to please these people,

Nothing I did was ever good enough for them,

And it took a while for me to realize that was fine,

For me to finally realize that I needed to branch out,

I wasted four months of my life in a miserable situation,

Before finding friends that I now cherish,

In  a way,

Those four months,

Saved me from wasting years

 

 

The Limit

Another day on the infinite treadmill,

Feeling like I’m only biding time until my death,

Spending 40 hours feeling hopeless, trapped

Surrounded by sycophants,

Idiots,

Whose voices and antics I have to endure,

So that I can save for a future I am unsure of,

The present is a torture chamber,

The future is an abyss,

The past is a fountain,

I look back at all the hope,

Dreams I once had,

Feeling like I had the world figured out,

Only to be assaulted by reality,

Feeling it chip away at confidence,

Hope,

Ambition,

I’m stuck,

Hearing of other people’s happiness,

Wishing that they could share theirs with me,

Work

Tethered to my leash,

Trapped in my cell,

Surrounded by cacophony,

Ringing phones,

Grating voices,

Verbal tics,

Trapping me for hours at a time,

Sinking into the quick sand of this world,

My body’s slowly breaking down,

One day I’ll be nothing but compost,

A part of the fertilized ground that the next herd feeds from,

 

Cell

Time has no shape,

Yet I always try to imagine what it would look like if it had one,

It’s power makes me think of something big,

A powerful beast,

A rhino,

A bull,

But that wouldn’t be right,

Time isn’t a behemoth that overpowers the things around it,

It is something much smaller,

That adapts to any climate,

Attacking everything in its path,

Time is no different than bacteria,

In everything,

On everything,

It can help us,

Save us,

But it can also destroy us,

Eating away at health and leaving death in its wake,

Delivering death in a smaller,

Slower, more painful package