A “Superhero Movie” Like No Other…
“You must be Wolverine! That remarkable metal doesn’t run through your entire body, does it?” – Magneto.
“I feel relieved I’ve exorcised my gnawing frustration,” Hugh Jackman said in a recent interview, promoting his last screen venture as the popular mutant: Wolverine. “I always felt we’d never really got to the bottom of this character.”
It is – yet again – that most common of premises: the near future, but for Logan, a future too near for his liking. How did the wise-crackin’, cigar-chompin’, adamantium-clawed, reluctant chocolate milk slurper get reduced to driving limos for hen parties?
What’s more: how the blazes did Brad get roped in to watch this third solo instalment, when the first was barely watchable, enough to dissuade him from sitting through the second?! As a HUGE fan of the X-men comics, this series personally felt like an unfilmable venture, with nobody capable of bringing these extarordinary characters – especially Wolverine and Professor X – to life, but since their stunning debut way back in 2000, they have exceeded my lowest X-pectations – ha!
Well, after preview screenings of ts opening 40 mins back in December, the unanimous praise tweeted as frenetic as fudge, piqued my interest.
But, of course, this is Patrick Stewart’s swansong as the professor as well as Jackman’s final outing in his most famous role. For old times’ sake, this just had to be watched.
Just two cinemas in the next town, and only one of those was showing Logan – built in 1911 and restored to its original style (two screens only), complete with a dinky wooden ticket booth (smaller than a phone booth!) plush carpets and ornate banisters, such a gritty, gory and – dare one say it, X-rated – drama seemed quite incongruous lurking within this most handsome and venerable little establishment.
Armed with his torn-ticket and chocolate milk, your correspondent ventured tentatively upstairs to check out the Screen’s drapes.
Oh my, methinks, hope this motion picture is equally as impressive as the decor…
“People don’t change, Wolverine. You were an animal then and you’re an animal now. I just gave you claws” – William Stryker.
The year is 2029, but this is a science-fantasy scenario. If there is any technology, you have to nab it, and the Mex border eerily reflects the desolate and hopeless circumstances of desperate and world-weary people. Charles Xavier is now an elderly shell of his former self. The world’s most powerful brain is deteriorating due to degenerative disease – a very dangerous state witnessed at least twice to chilling effect.
Logan has – rather shockingly – visibly aged since the last time we saw him. His claws bedevil his temperament with Arthritis. And those lacerations don’t heal so effectively like they used to; then again, his most painful wounds cut into him deeper than just his flesh…
Both Logan and Charles have fallen so far – it’s a looong way from the pristine hi-tech chamber of Cerebro…
Be warned: this Wolverine cuts, slices and skewers in full graphic detail – there are absolutely NO holds barred. Director James Mangold has deliberately set out to show the brutal, ugly and washed-up world of aging “superheroes.”
When you are just about to give this miasmic misanthropy a miss (not to mention these grisly sights makes that choco milk taste really bitter), these adult X-ways are enriched with one of the finest junior performances in recent times – Dafne Keen is sensational as Laura; she is full of surprises and wants to get ahead…
But what really freaked me out – the real milk-spiller – came in the excellent performance of Boyd Holbrook as cybernut Pierce: Good Lord! Honestly, it’s like watching a 17 year old Brad strutting around up there! The resemblance and mannerisms: uncanny! Jeez…!
Cyclops: “He’s not one of us. There’s no way he’s going to take orders.”
Prof. Charles Xavier: “Give him an order worth following. He’ll take it.”
Logan is far removed from the puerile tomfoolery of Suicide Squad, the underwhelming CG blandness of X-Men: Apocalyse and the hilarious irreverence of Deadpool, although the latter’s unexpected success showed that there is a demand for such R-rated material. Interestingly, this film looks more like a mutant road-trip movie, with two irascible old gits constantly barking at each other. No wonder Laura stays mute, and stares out of the window…
This is my first trip to the cinema since Rogue One – so obviously the next would have to be quite a formidable one. Watching a foul-mouthed Professor X and Logan deriding X-Men comics is worth the ticket price alone.
“There’s no living… with a killing.”
Too damn right.
Perhaps too much for us to view here; perhaps the brutality outweighs the drama too x-plicitly – it will be some time before my second viewing is made.
But it cannot be denied:
From Wolverine’s opening drink-addled expletive to Laura’s final symbolic gesture, Logan is a powerful piece of movie-making. Jackman’s Logan brought out the cheers, while Stewart’s Charles brought out the tears.
Logan’s run may be over, but he finishes as the first clear Winner of 2017.
Well, what would you prefer, yellow spandex?