Film Review: Logan
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Rest assured this review will contain absolutely zero spoilers. All you need to know is that this is the best Wolverine movie ever, and you should all book your tickets right now.
First off, it’s got to be said: this is not a kids’ movie. I can’t emphasise how much you shouldn’t sneak your younger siblings into the cinema, regardless of how much they love the X-Men movies. Fox really went there with Deadpool last year, full of gore and swearing and inappropriate humour, but even that has nothing on Logan. Where Deadpool has the cushion of comedy, Logan is utterly brutal and adult, worlds away from the campy 80s-style ensemble films we’ve come to expect from the franchise.
As you can probably tell from the trailers, the soundtrack to the film is absolutely genius, and the whole thing is rooted so firmly in the landscapes — a surprisingly sophisticated bit of filmmaking, especially after Logan’s uncomfortable exploits in Japan in The Wolverine. Ultimately, it’s structured as a road movie, which takes note of its surroundings in a genre-defying move away from the bland cityscapes which have populated superhero flicks in the last decade.
Logan is comparable to Mad Max, with our hero as a mythic road warrior, reluctantly helping those in need. Hugh Jackman is, of course, as heroic as ever. Still an impressively huge jacked man even in all his old-man-Logan make up.
Though the Wolverine films have always been a little more serious than the X-Men films, Logan leaves the rest of them in the dust. You thought you’d seen iconic fight scenes before? Think again. The action is phenomenally visceral. The fast paced violence is brilliant, but it’s also perfectly matched with quiet introspective scenes that Jackman and Patrick Stewart do a fantastic job at carrying.
Stewart really is at his Shakespearean best here, with both Charles and Logan older than we’ve ever seen them before, carrying a huge weight on their shoulders. The atmosphere of loss permeating the whole movie is palpable, whilst the themes of family and renewal weave in hope in a way that's honestly more moving than any superhero has any right to be. The juxtaposition of age and youth is something close to poetic.
The young Dafne Keen, playing the mysterious Laura (if you know, you know), is reminiscent of Millie Bobby Brown in the power of her performance, and does an equally impressive job with the physically demanding action, the horror movie stuff, and the emotionally demanding drama too.
Boyd Holbrook and Richard E. Grant play somewhat generic comic book villains, but if you’re one for easter eggs you’ll go nuts for both of them. British comedian Stephen Merchant felt like a weird casting choice for Caliban when it was announced, but surprisingly he slotted in pretty seamlessly. Still a weird casting choice since he didn’t bring too much comedy with him, but I’m sure he had a lot of fun in the make-up chair.
Overall, the film is a fitting tribute to one of the best loved and most iconic comic book characters ever, truly capturing both the aesthetic and the depth: both Wolverine and Logan, as it were. The genius of titling this film Logan allowed it to peel back the heroic mask and tell the story of the man beneath. A perfect last hurrah for Hugh Jackman.
A tip for all you more casual fans - before you see the film, maybe rewatch the Wolverine cameo in X-Men: Apocalypse, and the after credit scene. The after credit scene because it has pertinent information, the cameo just because it’s hilarious.
Logan slashes its way into UK cinemas 3rd March.
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