Fox's Logan-A Deeply Personal and Dark Ending to the Wolverine and X-Men Franchise

One last time.

Logan is a 2017 dystopian superhero film directed by James Mangold, written by Scott Frank, James Mangold, and Michael Green, produced by 20th Century Fox, Marvel Entertainment, TSG Entertainment, Kinberg Genre, Hutch Parker Productions, and The Donners' Company, and distributed by 20th Century Fox. The film is based on various Wolverine and X-Men comics by Marvel Comics. It stars Hugh Jackman and Patrick Stewart. The film was nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay, but did not win. This is the tenth installment in the X-Men franchise and the third and final movie in the Wolverine trilogy. It acts as a sequel to X-Men: The Last Stand as well as The Wolverine. It is followed by The New Mutants.


"You don't have to fight anymore." -Wolverine

Plot


In the faraway future, a grizzled and depressed Logan Howlett is caring for an aging Professor X. As the two of them hide in Mexico from mutant hunters, Logan meets a young girl named Laura who seems to have the same adamantium exoskeleton as Logan. When the mutant hunters find Logan and Charles while looking for Laura, the three of them must go on the run and get Laura to the border so that the mutant population can continue to survive.


Small Scale / Tone and Character Study Element / Wolverine and Professor X / Emotional Weight (SPOILERS!) / Themes / Villains / Jarring Shift / Rewatchability / Screaming / Comics / Wolverine Not Being Likable


Final Score


Positive Aspects


In an era where smashing, giant superhero spectacle films such as Avengers: Infinity War or Batman v Superman dominated the box office, I would not expect such a small-scale superhero film to have such a big impact. I have mixed feelings on the X-Men franchise. I find the prequel trilogy (First Class, Days of Future Past, and Apocalypse) much better than the original trilogy. However, Logan doesn't feel like any X-Men film. As a matter of fact, it barely feels like a superhero film.


It feels more like a dark character study of a star that is way past his prime. The film itself is incredibly drab and heavy, but it also is very thought-provoking. In every superhero movie, we see these people with supernatural, fantastical abilities, but we never really know what they are actually experiencing on the inside. And Logan gives you a front-row seat to what is going on inside of Wolverine's head. This film works so well because it is a departure from the usual superhero formula.


Wolverine and Professor X are at their best in this film. I find the original X-Men trilogy kind of corny and over-the-top, which is how superhero films mostly were before the MCU. I don't think Wolverine was that cheesy in the original trilogy, but I really am not a huge fan of Professor X until the prequel trilogy. And the prequel trilogy mostly has James McAvoy as Professor X. But Patrick Stewart's Professor X in Logan is fantastic, as is Wolverine. They are both brooding and depressed, which can increase the emotional weight. Jackman and Stewart give both of their best performances inside of the franchise, and it makes you love both of these characters even more.


This film also has big emotions at certain points in the film. The ending nearly had me in tears. I have to talk about it, so here's a MAJOR SPOILER WARNING. If you don't want to read this part, go back up to select a different section.



IF YOU HAVE NOT SEEN LOGAN, DON'T READ THIS PARAGRAPH AND SKIP BELOW IT!!!!!!



Wolverine dies in the end. It is so emotional and powerful as we see a character that we thought was invincible die. His sacrifice is heart-breaking. The pleas and cries of his daughter are hard to watch. But Wolverine's actual death isn't the part that gives you goosebumps.


His funeral could be my favorite part in any superhero movie ever. At his grave, there is a cross made out of sticks, which is the usual marking of a grave. But after all of the mutant kids walk away, Laura puts the cross on its side...making an X. This sent chills throughout my body. It was so powerful and wraps up Wolverine's character arc as well as the X-Men franchise perfectly.









This is also the most thematically poignant film in the X-Men franchise and the most thematically rich superhero movie since The Dark Knight. These themes are dark. There are themes of depression and death. Since Wolverine is so upset throughout the film and he is the character that you are following in every scene, you feel his depression and his sadness. It's hard to make you feel what a character is feeling. That is the mark of a good director.


Negative Aspects


I don't have any huge negatives on the film, but there are a lot of smaller problems.


To start off, I don't think the villains in this film are that strong. You don't really understand what they are doing until about halfway through the film, and if they ever state a motivation for the villains, I don't remember it. They feel like relatively generic agents chasing Logan, Charles, and Laura. The film isn't really about the villains, though, so it's not a huge deal, but it definitely took away from the experience whenever there was a scene with them explaining their evil plan. The one redeeming thing, I think, is Boyd Holbrook, the guy who plays the main villain. He was very charming and I thought he gave life to a pretty lifeless set of characters.

This is more of a mixed aspect, but it takes a little bit before you are fully comfortable with the film. It's such a jarring shift from normal superhero films. This isn't the best comparison, but the movie is almost like the flip side of Joker. It has a same kind of vibe, but it's a sequel that's wrapping up a depressed hero's story instead of a prequel that's starting a crazy villain's story. Either way, the departure from the X-Men movies into this can jerk you around at first.


Where this film will suffer is rewatchability and entertainment value. It's so heavy and upsetting. It is definitely not the most fun superhero film to watch. The action is fun and obviously it's a Wolverine movie, but the film has a lot of baggage that I wouldn't choose to put on at any time.


During the action sequences, there is a lot of angry screaming. It can get annoying when both Wolverine and Laura have these gruff screams as they brutally murder people. It wasn't too bad at first, but every fight scene involves a lot of screaming, and it eventually gets tiresome.


This is a minor complaint, but I absolutely hate that there are X-Men comics in an X-Men franchise. There are Spider-Man comics in Into the Spider-Verse, and I hated that, too. But I cannot stand that there are physically written X-Men comics in a universe based off of physically written X-Men comics.


Finally, even though I love his character arc and how it ends, Wolverine is not a very likable character in this film. He snaps and yells at Laura a lot, he rejects her as his daughter, he is rude to Charles, and his personality and mindset are so negative that it makes the viewer frustrated. He is doing heroic things, but that's really the only redeeming part. He can be very insufferable at times.


Final Score


Logan is a dark, violent, and gritty character study that has its flaws, but delivers on high tensions and emotions, great characters, and a perfect ending to Wolverine's story as well as the X-Men as a whole.


I will give it a Savory rating. Age range is 14+.


SWEET N' SOUR SCALE

Sweet (Great) Savory (Good) Sour (Bad)

Moldy (Terrible)


"Logan"


Fun Factor: 7.5/10

Acting: 8.5/10

Characters: 8.5/10

Story: 9/10

Quality: 8.5/10


Directed by James Mangold


Rated R for strong bloody violence, frightening and intense sequences, disturbing themes and imagery, language, minor nudity, thematic elements


Released on March 3, 2017


2 hours and 17 minutes


Hugh Jackman as James "Logan" Howlett/Wolverine, X-24

Patrick Stewart as Professor Charles Xavier

Dafne Keen as Laura/X-23

Boyd Holbrook as Donald Pierce

Stephen Merchant as Caliban

Richard E. Grant as Dr. Zavier Rice

Elizabeth Rodriguez as Gabriela

Eriq la Salle as Will Munson

Elise Neal as Kathryn Munson

Quincy Fouse as Nate Munson