Logan is easily one of the two best comic-book movies Fox has ever released. It would be difficult to argue with anyone that says it’s the best. For me, it’s not (more on that later), but that doesn’t really matter. What does matter is that Logan is a fantastic movie that serves as a bittersweet farewell to Hugh Jackman’s take on Wolverine. Before I go any further, activate your X-gene’s spoiler-blocking abilities, because it’s time for some random thoughts on Logan.
Adamantium-Hard R (Good): Some people were skeptical when they learned that Logan would be rated-R. They thought it was a “me too!” reaction to the success of Deadpool. Thankfully, the film takes full advantage of the rating and does so in a way that feels true to the character. Logan is extremely violent, as movies about feral mutants that occasionally suffer from berserker rage ought to be. The movie also features extreme language, which is used for some delightful effects. Let’s take a look at those two X-factors separately.
Oh Sh*t Moments (Good): Depending on how numb you’ve become to violence in movies, there are either a handful or dozens of violent moments that will make you (internally) scream, “Oh sh*t!” There are some creative and unexpected uses of adamantium claws that are glorious. As a longtime reader of X-Men and Wolverine comics, the violence felt appropriate for the character. Having said that, it could be jarring for moviegoers accustomed to the PG version of Logan. Those people are simply ignorant to the feral, bestial, and sometimes maniacal mutant that Wolverine is supposed to be.
Patrick Stewart F-Bombs Rule (Good): I was surprised by the vulgar language in Logan. The movie has a ton of cursing. The delightful part was the lewd banter between Wolverine and Professor Xavier. Hearing Patrick Stewart deliver F-bombs is sheer joy. I’ve always wondered what a Quentin Tarantino movie starring Patrick Stewart would be like. Now I know.
Professor Charles Xavier, THX Certified (Bad): When Professor X has a seizure and loses control of his powers, the world becomes a perpetual THX sound check. It kinda sucks.
Over Macho Grande (Good): Apparently there was a tragedy in Westchester where Professor Xavier lost control of his powers and killed a bunch of people. He’s not over it. Westchester is his Macho Grande.
X-23’s Glorious Debut (Good): While Hugh Jackman and Patrick Stewart have had several movies to establish their characters and their rapport, newcomer Dafne Keen deftly blends in as Laura Kinney. Known to comics fans as the former X-23 and current Wolverine, the young actress did a wonderful job at playing a damaged, vulnerable, and deadly mutant. Several of her kill sequences are up there with Wolverine’s. Keen did a great job at portraying Laura Kinney’s duality of being a deadly warrior and a naive child.
The Other Children (Bad): Sadly, the other child-actors weren’t nearly as impressive and some of them were annoying. I’m looking at you, Rictor.
Donald Pierce, Redneck (Bad): In the comics, Donald Pierce is a posh elitist that hates mutants and various people of color. He comes from old Philadelphia money. He becomes a cyborg after various ass-kickings (including one from Wolverine) and really starts to lose his mind. In Logan, Donald Pierce is a hick with a robotic arm and a poorly explained hatred of mutants. I like the comics version better.
Why Logan is the Best (Good): I won’t argue with anyone that says that Logan is Fox’s best Marvel Comics movie. It’s outstanding. The grim tone, the visceral action sequences, tired Logan, broken
Matt Hardy Professor Xavier, and the introduction of X-23 — these are all wonderful, wonderful facets to an excellent superhero movie. Fox has released a bunch of stinkers and mediocre movies, so the bar is low, but this movie is exceptional. It’s among the very best superhero films ever made.
Why Logan isn’t the Best (Good): For me, Logan is the second-best Marvel movie Fox has made. The top spot goes to Deadpool. I simply like the character better. I’ve always been a mark for Deadpool comics and Ryan Reynolds did a phenomenal job of accurately bringing the character to the big screen (the second time, anyway).
To use a pro-wrestling analogy, Wolverine is the John Cena of comics. He’s hugely popular, makes a ton of money, and the kids love him, but I like it better when he’s not around. In the comics, Wolverine has become boring. I love that he’s “dead” in the current Marvel Universe. I’m enjoying the comics more with Laura as Wolverine and alternate universe Old Man Logan hobbling around. While Logan is an undeniably great superhero movie, for my tastes it’s not as good as Deadpool.