Logan (2017) – Dir. James Mangold.
Hugh Jackman returns, for what he says is his last outing as the adamantium clawed mutant, Wolverine. I’ll admit, when I heard they were doing yet another film in the series, I was a little unenthusiastic. Given ‘X-men: Origins’ & ‘The Wolverine’ who could blame me? However, when plot details emerged and the trailer was released, it seemed interesting enough to draw me back in to the cinema for a viewing (I skipped ‘The Wolverine’ ticket price and waited for the home release.)
I’m happy to report that ‘Logan’ is certainly the strongest of the standalone films. Some of the goriest scenes in a Marvel film to date (except maybe ‘Deadpool’) along with a few surprisingly emotional punches along the way. Mangold paces the film well and there are rarely any dull moments, whether it be the drama or action. At times it felt as if I was watching a road-trip drama, only to be reminded of the comic book origins by an action set piece along the way.
Dafne Keen all but steals every scene she is in, whether it be subtle comedic looks to Logan, or when she is leaping around during fights. Her character is mostly mute but she is an instant fan favourite. Imagine Hit-Girl on steroids, with built in claws. Patrick Stewart delivers an incredible performance as an ageing Professor X. It really is heartbreaking to see the once powerful mutant at the mercy of time and the effects it has on us mere-mortals. And of course Jackman – doing what we all love him best for. Although some of the “Oh look I’m a mortal who is almost always out of breath and coughing blood into towels, in-between swigging whisky” is a little overdone, it is interesting to see the character in this state.
Despite the praise, this is still far from a perfect movie. The first thing that stuck out for me was the casting of Stephen Merchant. Although he does well to hold his own (for the most part) against Jackman, it would’ve been nice if he could’ve at least lost his native accent for the role. It really stuck out for me. Replay value is another factor. Some films I come out of ready to watch it again immediately, but this wasn’t one of them. In fact, I found myself reasoning that although it was a decent couple of hours – would I really benefit from a repeat viewing in the future?
Another grudge is that the villains all seem a little hammy compared to the grounded feel of the rest of the production. Boyd Holbrook & Richard E. Grant both do alright, but I just would’ve preferred something more in line with the overall style of the film.
Anyway, clocking in at roughly 2 hours and 20 minutes, I couldn’t say there were any moments where I felt like it was overrunning. I’m glad I checked it out, but as I mentioned earlier, not sure I’ll be watching it again or picking it up on home release anytime soon.