Trying his best to earn the R-rating it was saddled with.
- The most tragic thing about these X-Men movies, and the overall universe in general, is that I actually like the idea of them moreso than the other Marvel properties. Instead of one superhero, you have a whole team of them. And instead of just generic supervillains, you get a story about how these superpowered people experience prejudice and how they’re divided into camps regarding using their powers to either save those who oppress them or fight back.
- However, combining comic book cheesiness with important issues is a very hard thing to do, and X-Men has never gotten the combination right with its numerous movies the way action movies like Terminator 2, The Matrix, and District 9 have in the past, mostly favoring the former at the expense of the latter. Still I had reasonable actions for Logan. While I doubted the whole “evolving the superhero genre” hype because next you’ll be saying Clannad evolved the harem genre, there was still a chance for it to function as a Blade-like action film, and being set far into the future away from all the tangled X-Men mess that had come before it meant that the narrative could be self-contained like The Wolverine, except hopefully not as throwaway.
- Unfortunately, the action scenes sucked, so don’t expect the movie to sell itself on that.
- Logan is set many years after the previous X-Men films where our adamantium-powered badass has become old and weary due to his healing factor not being what it used to be, and Charles Xavier has become a senile old man who can’t control his powers anymore. Mutants haven’t been around for a long time, and Logan does his best to make ends met by driving a limo, saying the f-word numerous times, and slaughtering anybody who messes with his car.
- However, things change when a little girl who doesn’t talk much and has adamantium claws of her own drops in his lap and reveals herself to be a new race of mutant created from the DNA of previous ones, including Logan. Obviously the people behind her creation don’t want her roaming free, and thus Logan is forced to take her and Xavier on the road in order to reach a rumored shelter that can keep the little girl safe whilst fighting off the mysterious organization and their own super-powered soldiers. Yeah, I got Darker than Black: Gemini of the Meteor combined with The Last of Us vibes from that plot summary too.
- So about those action scenes. Dear god, I hated how the camera would always get so shaky and close-up to the point that I couldn’t actually see any of the impacts that happened. For a film franchise that has mostly stayed away from that sort of “up close and personal” style of action, it’s disappointing that the one movie that’s supposed to sell itself as hyper-violent succumbs to it. Especially underwhelming considering I just saw John Wick 2 not even a month ago. Even if you take into account the changing times, this sort of action just does not fly.
- If you only care about the weight behind them, then Logan handles that serviceably for the most part. The dude is so old now that even normal people can beat the shit out of him for a bit, and he can’t rely on his super healing to survive severe wounds anymore.
- Most of the bad guys he faces are generic thugs, but that’s to be expected, and as long as the final bad guy he faces contrasts him well, it doesn’t matter, right? Well I won’t spoil who that its, but while the concept behind said final boss is a little silly, he contrasts Logan enough to the point that I cared a little bit about their conflict, even if it’s not on the level of Batman and Black Mask.
- The little girl does some of the more intense action scenes due to her youth, but because she’s so young, it makes it hard for her to take on the really strong guys. And Xavier is no help given his condition. Actually, he doesn’t really do much in this movie, so I wonder why they even included him in the first place other than to add to the depressing atmosphere.
- Because Logan is a very depressing movie. It’s Hugh Jackman’s last time to play the character after sixteen years, and by god do the characters bang on about how age is catching up both the actor and the role. They even have X-Men comics exist in this universe, with Logan calling them out on their campy bullshit because that’s not how the world works at all.
- I mean when you create a story about an old retired badass who outlived his friends pulled in for one last job, it’s kind of expected that the narrative would be melodramatic as hell. The problem though is that Logan doesn’t do anything unique with it. It’s clear that the plot is mostly just an excuse to sell the R-rating given how the narrative has fewer surprises than a temporary office job, and without good action to sell the camp, it causes the movie to feel really overlong.
- A lot of people seem to enjoy how it combines superhero badassery with a road trip movie, but a common mistake most current superhero movies make is that they seem to think that combining two genres in of itself is innovative enough to keep the genre alive, when all it’s doing is just making the films gimmicky like James Bond’s career when Roger Moore played him. Aside from the characters having superpowers, there is nothing inspired about this road trip in any way. You know that whoever meets our leads is going to die, and all the journey is in service towards is beating Logan down so he can get back up for the finale. And it’s not even a unique concept. Gemini of the Meteor did this with more inspiration seven years ago
- As for the finale, it’s not horribly out of place compared to The Wolverine’s third act, but it all goes back to the crappy way the action scenes are shot at the end of the day. And they weren’t much better there than they were throughout the rest of the movie.
- Logan is neither the evolution of the superhero genre that people want it to be, nor is it the hyper-violent action film I was promised from the advertising. As a send-off to one of the most beloved fictional characters in pop culture, The Dark Knight Rises had more to it than this. Anyone who’s caught up on all the X-Men films should probably see it at least once, but for anyone else outside that demographic, I’d say it’s safe to skip this.
- Does anyone actually call Logan by his superhero name anymore?
- So how ’bout that new X-Men TV series, huh?
- Yes, I am watching Legion. And yes, I’ll probably write about it later.