Review: ‘Logan’ Is Marvel’s ‘The Dark Knight’
When it comes to X-Men films, a viewer can almost always expect grandiose superhero stuff like laser blasts, huge explosions, flying, a love story, and Hugh Jackman. Comic fans were skeptical over the casting because of something silly like the height of Jackman versus the comic book character. Now, there is no one a fan could picture as someone better than him as the self-healing experiment who you grow to love more after each film. Could you imagine X-Men: The Last Stand without him? No way.
It’s starting to look as if the franchise will be undergoing a reboot after this film, and the considerable disappointment by Apocalypse. Luckily, the final lap of the two different X-Men crews that include Jackman can go out with a bang. This is the best X-Men film of the bunch, and it’s one of the best superhero films ever made for Marvel. It’s basically the Dark Knight for them. It’s very different from that, but when measuring quality, this is up there.
Premise: In 2029, the mutant population has shrunk significantly and the X-Men have disbanded. Logan, whose power to self-heal is dwindling, has surrendered himself to alcohol and now earns a living as a chauffeur. He takes care of the ailing old Professor X whom he keeps hidden away. One day, a female stranger asks Logan to drive a girl named Laura to the Canadian border. At first he refuses, but the Professor has been waiting for a long time for her to appear. Laura possesses an extraordinary fighting prowess and is in many ways like Wolverine. She is pursued by sinister figures working for a powerful corporation; this is because her DNA contains the secret that connects her to Logan. A relentless pursuit begins.
Since the movie takes place in the future, you’d think there would be all of this typical future stuff all over the place. That’s not really the case with this movie. The overwhelming theme of the film is emptiness and pain, which is why the film primarily takes place in the desert. In a place that is so accustomed to being waterless, Logan is an alcoholic. I’ve not read a review of this film that has pointed out the fact that a person who is losing his healing powers further damages his body by drinking something dehydrating in an environment where water is precious. Silly point, but it ran across my mind multiple times as the movie played.
Patrick Stewart really adds to the heart of the film. After spanning so many films since 2000, Patrick Stewart with his portrayal of Xavier has been a staple that held everything together. Imagine if someone with the most powerful mind on the planet starts getting senile. Imagine if he started having seizures. Imagine what that could do to people around him if he had a seizure or something. Logan is there to take care of him because it’s like a father and son situation, even though Logan was born in 1845 (or close to it).
Laura, played by Dafne Keen, is a mysterious young girl with powers that are nearly identical to Logan. Not only does she test his patience, she’s also a total badass in a fight. All those reaction faces Hugh Jackman makes in the ads is the reaction you’ll have when you watch this film. Watching Wolverine completely decimate people is always fun, but seeing a little girl go berserk on some bad guys is reminiscent of Hit Girl in Kickass.
This film manages to do what other Marvel films including X-Men has had trouble with: have a good villain. Sure, X-Men has already had the best villain in Magneto, but they sucked that well dry to the point where we all expect Magneto to do the right thing and join the good guys. X-Men in 2000 showed he was a bad guy. X2 showed he will do the right thing for wrong reasons. X3 doesn’t exist. Days of Future Past show him sided with the good guys. Then the four movies with Fassbender show him changing sides all the time. The worst of which was in Apocalypse. I think he killed millions of people, but it’s cool, he chose to be good at the end. Logan delivers a great bad guy, and then delivers one that will blow you away. Finally!
If you’re going into this thinking you’re going to get a by-the-numbers superhero film, you’re in for a treat or a let down. This is probably one of the best films that Marvel can attach its name on. The R-rating isn’t just some gimmick that plays off of the success of Deadpool. It’s a necessary thing that allowed for Logan to be the closest to the character of Wolverine in the franchise. Wolverine is a foul-mouthed warrior who cuts people up. Can you remember a film with him where he really does that He usually just slashed or stabs, but they never really show blood or anything big. Want to know why? That’s what gives it the R-rating — the penetration of skin by a blade gives the film an automatic R.
Though this film isn’t quite as good as The Dark Knight, it’s still one of the best superhero films ever made. It’s the best X-Men film along with X2. I implore you go to see Hugh Jackman’s last outing as Wolverine. It will be all you want to talk about with people after you walk out of the theater.
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Jeff Sorensen is an author, writer and occasional comedian living in Detroit, Michigan. You can look for more of his work on The Huffington Post, UPROXX, BGR and by just looking up his name.