Logan: Brutally Emotional; The Perfect Sendoff – My Thoughts

I have not cared about a comic book movies as much as Logan since X-Men: Days of Future Past and what I often like about the X-Men or ‘Fox Marvel’ films we have, is that they each can stand alone, not being forced to link to all others and therefore, not being hindered in that way…Logan takes that freedom to the next level…

What I like about X-Men movies is the very fact that they have more freedom than most, they are not strictly in any sort of timeline or continuity and it leaves the door open for filmmakers to create the stories they want to create with the characters they want without it mattering who has previously died or who previously played who. Who knows which characters we’ll end up seeing in the next X-Men movie…and who cares what they’ve done before if it’s a good movie.

What Logan does is unlike any comic book movie I’ve seen, even the notable ‘Rated R’ (15) ones like Deadpool or Blade. Never has a comic book movie felt so raw, so deep, so grounded and so…not like a comic book movie. Logan benefits intensly from stripping away all that we expect of comic book movies and actually tells us a stunning story with excellent, emotional performances while providing consistency of tone and genuine stakes. There’s four things that even the CBMs we consider ‘good’ don’t always do. Think the majority of the MCU so far (very little real stakes), think Suicide Sqaud (inconsistency). Logan does not suffer from these usually typical things we see in the genre.

Hugh Jackman has molded the character of Logan over the past 17 years and with this film, so he states, his final appearance as the adamantium-clawed beast, he brings all the best parts together. Logan is now a grizzled older man, hiding out with the mutant tracker, Caliban (Stephen Merchant) and a dangerously unwell Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart) simply trying to survive in a world where mutants have all but disappeared.

I’m not here to give any of the plot away, you can get that from the trailers. I’m simply here to tell you that this is the finest X-Men story we’ve seen on film and would rival any of the multitude of comic book movies we’ve seen in the 21st century, particularly over the last 10 years, as the most heartfelt, layered, emotional and downright satisfying one.

For those who have seen Logan, I think you’ll understand when I say that when the credits started to roll, I coudln’t force myself to stand and leave. I just sat there, processing the film. Sat there processing what Jackman just did in order to give us the perfect sendoff of his Wolverine. And it’s not just Jackman who outshines himself in any previous Wolverine appearance. Patrick Stewart gives what I consider his best Charles Xavier in Logan; a very different Charles to what we’re used to seeing either from him or James McAvoy.

I cannot stress enough the emotion in Logan, not just from the story and the performances but the very nature of James Mangold’s directing, certain shots put in there and certain developments of characters that are conducted so excellently that you can’t help but feel the passion and love that this director and star has for this character.

And yes, let’s mention X-23 shall we. Dafne Keen you can be sure will blow up this year after this film. Her introductory performance as Laura, X-23 or ‘kid Wolverine’ (whichever name you prefer) is great. She does such a lot with so few lines throughout the whole film and on top of that, she’s a flat out badass. Her relationship with Logan proves for a good deal of this film’s emotional value and is portrayed excellently by the both of them.

If you like your superhero films flashy, fun, light and *wink…like the MCU, then it might take a bit of getting used to before you fully immerse yourself in Logan. But if you’re a fan of violence, deep storytelling and an overall sense of realism with your superheroes, you’re going to struggle to find a film this side of The Dark Knight quite like Logan.

Having said all that about this film and its raw and real nature, it doesn’t take it to the extreme of darkness like many people (myself not included) accuse the DCEU of being. This isn’t a movie filled with rain and scowling. This is a movie that has the anger, the violence, the struggle but also at times interjects a satisfying touch of humour without throwing ‘easter eggs’ at you.

I enjoy my comic book movies in most formats: fun and action packed (Guardians of the Galaxy), origin stories (Spider-Man), dark and intense (The Dark Knight), political thrillers (Captain America: The Winter Soldier) and even sometimes wonderfully over the top (Batman Returns). Logan brings us a new format, the format of not feeling at all like a comic book movie, feeling like a true human drama and that is its greatest strength.

Be sure to let me know your thoughts on Logan, use #PurpleDonMovies an check me out on Twitter and Instagram!

Keep a look out for reviews from the Manchester International Film Festival all weekend!!

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