Logan is now in cinemas, whether you’ve seen it or not then this article is for you as we’ve kept the spoilers to their own section.
THIS SECTION CONTAINS INFORMATION THAT CAN BE FOUND IN TRAILERS – NO SPOILERS
It’s no secret that Hugh Jackman has said that Logan will be his last time playing Wolverine although didn’t Johnny Depp say the same about Jack Sparrow a few years ago? If it is indeed Jackman’s last time to wear the claws then he’s picked a damn fine film to go out on!
With X-Men: Days of Future Past rebooting the X-Men timeline, technically Logan is set in an alternate timeline to the other Wolverine films as they never happened despite nods to them. It’s probably best to ignore all the other movies anyway or otherwise you start wondering how future Wolverine and Professor Xavier look significantly older than they did in the Days of Future Past future which is set about a year apart from Logan. With its graphic violence, strong language and R rating (15 for those of us in the UK) it is nicer to think of Logan as being the only Wolverine film.
Set in 2029 Wolverine is keeping a low profile as a freelance limo driver thanks to the future’s version of Uber but clearly is no longer the amped up mutant of the past – he’s older, scarred, drinks too much alcohol and is clearly an unwell man. Charged with protecting an equally unwell 90 year old Professor Xavier who is suffering from a degenerative mental illness, a road trip ensues as the two are pursed by government agents thanks to an encounter with a girl named Laura who is the last of mutantkind.
This significantly darker film sees Wolverine making bloody messes of his enemies as he cuts through The Reavers, led by Boyd Holbrook as Donald Pierce, who thankfully doesn’t share the comic version’s love of frilly shirts. It’s not all blood and guts though as there is humour along the way thanks to the interaction between Xavier and Logan, there’s drama aplenty and of course the usual Wolverine-agonising-over-looking-out-for-himself-or-doing-the-right-thing.
At 2 hours and 17 minutes, Logan is a master class in how to pace a film as it doesn’t drag at all as there are action sequences regularly and nothing feels wasted as every part of the film feels important while it builds to a finale as our heroes try to escape their pursuers.
While some may feel that Logan is a bleak film and some critics have been upset about possible metaphors over the future of America, border relations with Mexico and child refugees, it isn’t necessarily a feel good movie but it is the perfect Wolverine one. Director and writer James Mangold has said that Logan will be released as is on Blu Ray and DVD but there will also be a black and white version intended to enhance the film’s mood as a road trip western.
Overall verdict: Easily the best of the X-Men & Wolverine films, and one of the best superhero movies to date.
SPOILERS AHEAD FOR BOTH ‘LOGAN’ AND THE COMIC ‘OLD MAN LOGAN’
Old Man Logan
So is it the comic Old Man Logan? Not really. They share the idea of an old Wolverine in a more mature tale and there are certain similarities like the road trip, with Xavier replacing Hawkeye and the idea that the X-Men are all dead but that’s where the similarities end, mainly because Marvel Studios has the rights to the other major characters like Hulk, Hawkeye, Captain America and The Red Skull. The comic’s depiction of the future was grim but certainly wouldn’t have worked in the movie verse so it’s for the best that 20th Century Fox didn’t have access to the necessary characters. The only other idea transferred across is that the X-Men were killed but in the film it is by Professor Xavier rather than by Wolverine as in the comic.
The casting of the movie is perfect as Dafne Keen looks perfect to her comic counterpart of X-23/Laura, Boyd Holbrook is charismatic, charming and menacing, Richard E Grant‘s Dr Zander Rice isn’t a hammy scientist but rather he-thinks-he’s-doing-the-right-thing way and is still fairly evil while Stephen Merchant steals a lot of the film as the mutant Caliban.
While Caliban appeared in X-Men: Apocalypse, played by Tómas Lemarquis, Merchant’s depiction of Caliban is perfect to the version from the comics before he was transformed into one of Apocalypse‘s Horsemen. Putting Caliban into this film would on paper seem like putting Chewbacca into a Clint Eastwood western but he’s integral to the plot, well written, beautifully acted and the character is kept within the boundaries of being believable.
- As mentioned at the beginning continuity is a major thing here and you have to set Logan in its own timeline. Following Days of Future Past, X-men, X-Men 2, X-Men 3, X-Men Origins: Wolverine and The Wolverine were all essentially wiped out and didn’t happen but there are references in Logan to the Statue of Liberty battle and Logan being a cage fighter as seen in X-Men, the Adamantium bullet from X-Men Origins: Wolverine and the sword from The Wolverine. Does this mean that the events of these movies would happen in all timelines or is it going to just give everyone a headache working it out? The ageing of Logan and Xavier makes no sense either. Ignoring the history is for the best here.
- Xavier’s powers are another nitpick, he is a telepath and his ability to hold people in place is based on taking over the person’s mind. However, in Logan that isn’t the case as he simply freezes people in place as demonstrated by The Reavers being able to move their eyes and them falling when killed. Equally Wolverine and Laura can still move. This is a nitpick and it could be argued that Charles freezes major functions and then unfreezes The Reavers as they are killed.
- Logan’s allowing the decision making to be done by a senile 90 year old is a far stretch, especially when being chased by The Reavers. Common sense would indicate that sleeping at the Munson‘s home would endanger them so staying on the road would be a better choice. Personally I never let either of my Alzheimer’s suffering grandmothers make decisions, especially not life or death ones but then I don’t have retractable claws.
- The scene where Logan is trying to explain to Charles that it wasn’t him. A little bit more emotion was necessary in that scene, it should have been heartbreaking.
- While both Patrick Stewart and Hugh Jackman have said they won’t portray their characters again, both have said they’d be open to returning as them in the Deadpool films. Stewart is also open to returning as Xavier in the TV series Legion. Make your minds up fellas.
The Pros and Easter Eggs
- The introduction of Richter was nice as it now means we have a team of New Mutants, albeit not any incarnation of the comic line ups. Confusingly though, the New Mutants film in development seemingly won’t feature the kids seen in Logan.
- Wolverine’s claw jamming and not fully extending. A very nice small touch.
- The possibility of the Wolverine series of films continuing with Laura/X-23 as the main character is an intriguing one. The comics have killed off Logan and X-23 now is Wolverine so the movies could easily go in the same way.
- Laura doesn’t have a full Adamantium skeleton, only the claws and a healing factor.
- Dr Rice’s instruction to save some of Caliban’s genetic material means that we could see the hulk sized Caliban in the movie universe.
- The X-Men comics in the film aren’t real issues, they were created for the film but look pretty authentic.
- The CGI when it came to stunt doubles was flawless and completely unnoticeable. Want proof? Check out this article on it on Cartoon Brew.
- The mutants being ended not by some massive battle or by sentinels but by chemicals put into food is a brilliant plot twist.
- The first trailer for Logan used Johnny Cash‘s Hurt for the soundtrack while the end credits feature When the Man Comes Around, also by Cash. Writer and director James Mangold also directed the Johnny Cash biopic Walk the Line.
- X-24, the clone of Wolverine was also played by Hugh Jackman but anyone else notice that his haircut and beard make him look a lot like X-Men Origins: Wolverine‘s Sabertooth as played by Liev Schreiber? A nice touch which reflects that Wolverine and Sabertooth are flip sides of a coin and only Logan’s control over his rage separates them.
- Likewise, it may be my imagination and a re-watching of the movie would be needed to confirm it – Wolverine uses a variety of strikes in the film but Laura has had military training when it comes to the use of her claws and every strike she makes is to the body’s major arteries – neck (Cartoid), inner thigh (Femoral) or inner arm (Brachial). Each of these cuts would result in the victim bleeding to death within minutes.
- The film’s release date of March 3rd was an Easter Egg – 3/3, as in two sets of 3 claws. Likewise the UK premier was at 10:23 pm – 10 being X in Roman numerals, making X-23.
- The comic character of Donald Pierce was originally based on the likeness of Donald Sutherland in the movie MASH. Likewise his name is a combination of Sutherland’s first name and the surname of his character, Hawkeye Pierce.
- X-Men Origins:Wolverine began with Logan killing his father while Logan’s death comes at the hands of the X-24 clone who is essentially his son, meaning that Logan comes full circle.
Do you agree with us on Logan? Did we miss any Easter Eggs? Let us know in the comments!