First of all a huge thanks to Ryan Reynolds and the Deadpool film as it surely has given the confidence to studios to go for R rated content. Logan, the last outing of Hugh Jackman as the Wolverine is a very emotional and deeply affecting cinema. Most of the films in the X Men franchise had the visual effects oriented packaging. But James Mangold who earlier made 2013 film The Wolverine, gives less emphasis on that and invites us for a journey that sort of looks deeply in to the characters.
The year is 2029 and there aren’t many mutants left. Logan is the driver of a rented Limousine and he is taking care of an aged and weak Charles Xavier in a secret hide out in the Mexican border. The plot takes a twist when a girl named Laura comes in to their life. The backdrop of Laura and the request of her mother make Logan protect her from a gang who are after her. In a deeply personal narrative, Mangold shows us the struggle of Logan in this mission which he unwillingly accepted.
Even in the last outing with Wolverine, James Mangold was interested in looking at the personal issues of Logan. I am not an ardent comic book follower. But over the years when I got to know these characters mainly through superhero films, Wolverine was one peculiar character who had this struggle of loneliness that haunted him in a different way. While the 2013 movie wasn’t that perfect in terms of looking at Logan as a person, this last outing looks commendably superior. Ageing and life experiences have torn the characters considerably and the film isn’t interested in showing the claws for entertainment. Towards the end of the film, Logan looks at the girl and says “So this is what it feels like”. That simple line and the face of Hugh Jackman while saying that establishes the terrible loneliness the character had to suffer all these time.
This will be Hugh Jackman’s last film as Wolverine and Mangold has given him a podium to perform as an actor and also to establish Logan as a more humane character. Jackman’s portrayal has that much needed external heft and internal vulnerabilities. Patrick Stewart does well as the struggling Charles. The rapport between the two also creates a charm on screen. Dafne Keen was superb as Laura.
James Mangold looks at the character’s internal conflicts closely. While the other films in the franchise focused largely on damage control sort of scenario, this one has more of personal redemption sort of feel to it. It is set in the future and they haven’t tried to make the future look too dark. The fights in Logan are undeniably brutal and you get to see the claws going inside people’s head, chopping their legs, hands and even heads. As the film is more character driven, the cinematography also gets a different color tone and you can see many close-up shots as well. The visual effects are minimal.
Logan is a fitting tribute to the character and Hugh Jackman gets to say Good bye to the franchise by delivering a really superb performance (for me this is his best in the entire franchise). If you have ever felt a bit sentimental about Logan’s messed up life, this movie has ample moments that sheds light on such emotions.
If you have ever felt a bit sentimental about Logan’s messed up life, this movie has ample moments that sheds light on such emotions.
Green: Recommended Film
Orange: Okay, Watchable, Experimental Films
Red: Not Recommended