Logan: a comic book movie triumph


Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Hugh Jackman, star of “Logan,” at San Diego Comic Con

Alexander Gray

Thanks to the recent success of Marvel’s first R-rated movie, “Deadpool,” 20th Century Fox saw that there was profit to be made in a more adult-oriented comic book film.

From that success, “Logan” was born and, much like “Deadpool,” it joins the rank of one of the greatest comic book films ever made.

Set in the near future of the X-Men universe, nearly all mutants are dead, and those that aren’t are in hiding. Logan, also known as The Wolverine, is now suffering from a debilitating illness, which is severely affecting his powers. He hides out in a shack in Mexico, while struggling to keep the former leader of the X-Men, Charles Xavier, alive.

Their attempt to hide from the world is interrupted when a mother and her daughter seek out Logan for help from the militaristic forces pursuing them.

The marketing campaign did an excellent job obscuring the details of the plot, so to say any more would be spoilers for the movie.

This movie is certainly one of the greatest comic book movies I’ve ever seen, but it’s more than that. Similar to “The Dark Knight,” “Logan” is simply just a great film, transcending the comic book genre of movies we have become accustomed to in the past ten years. Had the rest of the X-Men franchise never existed, I still would have greatly enjoyed the movie as it is; It felt more like a western or science-fiction movie to me.

“Logan” also stood out from others in it’s genre in the scale of the action. Most of these movies (i.e. “Avengers,” “Batman V Superman,” even “Suicide Squad”) contained world-ending stakes. Again, similar to “Deadpool,” it’s much more grounded. The lives of protagonists and villains are the only ones in danger, and feels fresh, which I think makes the stakes feel even higher, like the characters actually have a chance at loss.

The characters are easily the highlight of “Logan.” Hugh Jackman has been Wolverine for nearly 20 years now, and gives his best performance yet in his final appearance as the character. Patrick Stewart was excellent as always, and takes Charles Xavier to a place we haven’t seen the character before. Dafne Keen, a relatively new actress stars as the character Laura, and despite being mute for most of her screentime, gives an excellent performance.

“Logan” certainly earned it’s R rating. The action was brutal, and more realistic in a sense, never once pulling its punches. For a guy with unbreakable, razor sharp claws on his hands, Wolverine really hadn’t dealt much damage in his previous appearances. Finally, “Logan” comes along and gives us the fast-paced, gory action Wolverine fans have been craving. There’s impalement, dismemberment, and pretty much any other “-ment” word you can think of.

A minor spoiler: later in the film, Logan and his party meet other mutants, and their powers are used in some of the most savage ways possible, ways never before seen on the silver screen.

It should also be mentioned that, unlike many other comic book movies, there is no mid or post credits scene in “Logan.” While I see nothing wrong with the post credits stinger in any other Marvel or DC movie, in this particular film I’m glad they decided against it. Instead, there is a three-minute short at the beginning, to the surprise and delight of everyone in the theater, but I’ll let you see that for yourself.

In what I would call a near-perfect movie, the only gripe I have is about a few of the special effects. With CGI, we have nearly reached a point where you can’t tell the difference between real life and animation, but there were a few shots throughout that looked pretty bad, but I only say this as a nitpick. For the most part, everything looked fine.

The actors, director and crew involved all clearly cared deeply about the production of “Logan,” and the universe behind it. The film was heartfelt, the characters felt real, the action was dangerous and had consequences, and the ending was perfect.  

“Logan” was a fantastic movie, and an amazingly satisfying conclusion to Jackman’s career in the X-Men franchise. Perhaps it is still too early to say, but I would go as far as calling the film worthy of some top spots in the Academy Awards. Even with “Spider-Man: Homecoming,” “Aliens: Covenant,” and “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” some of my most anticipated movies coming out in 2017, they are going to have a very difficult time stacking up against the masterpiece that was “Logan.”