Logan movie review

Kai Christiansen, A&E Editor

Logan is the most recent Marvel movie and the final movie with Hugh Jackman and Patrick Stewart as the Wolverine and Professor X. The film follows the Wolverine as he is forced to look after a new mutant child and bring her across the U.S to safety.

This movie is by far one of the best and strongest parts in the X-Men franchise, and a lot of that comes from the nature of this film. Because the film has an R-rating, nothing from the film is pulled and all the blows, physical and emotional, come hard and fast. The first line in the movie is Hugh Jackman dropping the f-bomb as his car’s hubcaps are being stolen while he is sleeping in the backseat. He then proceeds to ask the men to stop because he doesn’t want to do this, this being murdering them. The following action is sloppy and tired and graphic, but in a good way. Wolverine is old and worn out and his healing powers are gone, so he doesn’t want to fight people if he doesn’t have to. This mentality follows Wolverine throughout the film as he struggles to mature and find peace in his life. It’s a great opening scene that sets the tone for the upcoming film.

Tonally, this film is really strong. It takes heavy inspirations from classic westerns, most notably Shane, and has a forlorn and maudlin vibe throughout. I respect the movie for not romanticising anything and, instead, going for a darker tone. Although humor and comedy was sprinkled in throughout, it never detracted from the overarching tones and motifs because the humor worked with the scenes and how the characters would react. It also felt like a western, visually and emotionally. The colors are bleak and comprised of oranges and browns, normally I would complain about this, but it worked well for the movie. The cinematography matched up with and enforced the tone of the movie, which is what helps with the dramatic impact.

Although the tone is strong, it relies heavily on the performances of the actors and how well they do. Hugh Jackman has always been great as the Wolverine, even in movies like X-Men Origins, and he never misses a beat in this film. He’s broken and tired and your heart aches for him throughout the entire film, even when you want to yell at him for being a jerk. His character is so relatable on such a basic level that it’s hard not to like him. His entire life he’s been forced to be a hero and save the world, and now all he wants to do is give up. The arc his character goes through is, despite being melancholy, amazingly happy. His character grows and learns what it’s like to have family, something he has never had.

Along with Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart and Dafne Keen were fantastic. All three of them complemented each other and had amazing chemistry. Patrick Stewart has always been great as Professor X and this film is no exception. He is a strong father figure to Wolverine and provides the proper motivation and emotional stakes for both Wolverine and Dafne Keen’s character, X-23. Speaking of Dafne Keen, she was really great. Good child actors are hard to come by and I think she did pretty well balancing some of the heavier scenes. Although her performance isn’t continuously great (near the end of the second act), she did a really great job and added to the emotional impact of the film.

This film also had some really well directed and intense action scene. Although the fight scenes are scattered throughout the film, every time action broke out on screen, I was hooked. Although the action isn’t comprised of long takes and well choreographed actors and stuntmen, the action was nowhere near disorienting or confusing. That statement is a strong testament to James Mangold and his directing skills. The action takes place near center frame and is clear. When cuts happen, the focal point stays relatively close to where the previous one was and required very little strain on finding where to look. Also, the action was brutal. I said it above and I’ll say it again, this is some of the most intense and graphic violence I’ve seen in a superhero movie and, unlike Deadpool, it served a purpose to the plot. It added to the tone and the hopeless feeling that was present throughout the duration of the film.

The film, for me, has very few negatives in it, the most notable being near the end of the second act where the film becomes a road trip movie. The pacing is rock solid for majority of the film, but after an intense scene in the second act, the film stumbles a little bit and slightly loses track of its end goal. It lulls for a couple of scenes, struggling to find its way to the third act, but after the hump, the film soars to the end. It felt like there could have been a better way to bring about the third act of the film.

Another problem I had with this film were some of the technical aspects of it. Although it’s a minor nitpick, it was still noticeable enough to catch my eye when it happened. In filmmaking, there is a technique called rack focusing where the focus shifts seamlessly from the foreground, to the midground and to the background seamlessly without having to cut. Whenever this happened in the film, the foreground would either expand or the background would compress. Although it’s a minor detail, it still caught my attention every time it happened and brought me out of the movie.

Overall, Logan is a fantastic send off to Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine (that’s not a spoiler, Jackman announced that long before the film came out) that has strong character choices, fantastic dramatic scenes, great acting and some awesome action. The film was grounded in reality in a way that most other superhero movies never could be, and with only a slight pacing issue along with one weird technical choice, this movie was great. 8/10