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Logan (2017)

Josh Reviews Logan

March 6th, 2017
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It’s hard to believe that Hugh Jackman has been playing the character of Wolverine for almost twenty years now.  Mr. Jackman’s casting was one of the many minor miracles that made Bryan Singer’s original X-Men film from 2000 such a wonderful revelation.  It’s easy these days to bash Mr. Singer’s work on the X-Men franchise.  His latest X-Men film, X-Men Apocalypse, was a big misfire, and with Marvel Studios showing how successfully faithful adaptations of their characters can translate to the screen, it’s easy to slam the ways Mr. Singer’s X-Men films have, for the most part, eschewed many of the familiar tropes and story-lines from the comics.  But let’s not forget what a revelation that first X-Men film was, how thrilling it was to see these comic-book characters treated more like speculative fiction than superhero fantasy, with complex, fully-fleshed-out characters and real-world settings.  It blew my mind when I first saw it, and I still think that first film holds up well today.  Mr. Singer’s eye for casting was amazing, and it’s exciting to see two of those perfectly-cast actors, Hugh Jackman and Patrick Stewart, bring these characters’ stories to a close two decades later, here in James Mangold’s dark, violent, riveting new film Logan.

Logan.cropped

Logan, set in 2029, shows us a world in which mutants have all but vanished from the Earth.  The X-Men are gone (their ultimate fate a tragedy gradually hinted at as the film unfolds).  Logan is no longer the Wolverine.  He’s a physical wreck, his healing factor no longer able to restore his body from all the grievous injuries it has sustained over the years, no longer able to save Logan from being slowly poisoned from within by the adamantium bonded to his bones.  Logan lives a day-to-day existence as a driver, trying to earn enough money needed for the drugs he needs for Professor X.  Xavier, in possession of the most powerful mutant mind on the planet, is slowly succumbing to dementia, and without drugs to keep him subdued, his seizures could kill everyone around him.  Logan and the former mutant-hunter Caliban care for Professor X as best as they can, hidden away in an isolated stretch of desert.  When Logan learns of the existence of a young, mute mutant girl, the Professor urges him to help her escape the men chasing after her.  The Professor sees a chance for them to once again take action to help mutants and to make the world a better place, but Logan sees only the potential for more death and terror.  Eventually, they are given no choice in the matter, and events build from there to the film’s gutsy ending.

Logan is extraordinary, an intense, … [continued]