So I left this review for a while. I went and watched it in the cinema on Wednesday and it’s now Saturday, I’m still not sure exactly where I stand with my feelings.
Logan is directed by James Mangold (The Wolverine, Knight and Day) and stars Hugh Jackman (X-Men, Les Miserables) as Logan/Wolverine, Patrick Stewart (X-Men, Star Trek: The Next Generation) as Charles Xavier and newbie Dafne Keen as Laura/X-23.
The main plot of the film focuses on Logan trying to live a normal life in the year 2029. As well as trying to find money and have a job (as a Limo driver), Logan also has to look after an old and fragile Charles Xavier. Soon, a woman finds Logan and the pair are forced to take her ‘daughter’, Laura, to North Dakota, sparking an action, emotionally packed movie with the three actors.
Overall I enjoyed Logan. Was it my favourite film? No. Is it my favourite X-Men/Wolverine film? No. Is it my favourite film of 2017 so far? Definitely not (that honour goes to Lego Batman). So what didn’t I like? Well, I’ll get into that first.
First of all, I felt the pacing was off. The movie starts well, and the second act is really good. But then when you get to the start of the third act everything just seems to slow down for 20 minutes and I found myself wondering how long was left. Not a good sign from a film really. However, the third act does eventually pick up and it does give a satisfying ending to the film and the story.
Another factor I didn’t like about the film was the relationship between Laura and Logan. I felt that, especially towards the end of the film, the relationship between the pair was rushed and forced just to give this big emotional pay-off at the end. I’m not saying the pay-off wasn’t there. But at the start of the film Logan doesn’t want to take care of this child and, for me, there wasn’t enough on-screen time between the two of them to show how they connected and how he came to care for her. I felt I was just left to assume, that for reasons I won’t disclose her as spoilers, that these two had a relationship that just came about.
A final point of the movie I didn’t like was the waste of some really good actors. Richard E. Grant (Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Corpse Bride) is also in this movie, he basically plays the big bad, but he was tragically underused. He makes a brief cameo in the first act, but only has about 30-45 minutes worth of screen time overall. From what we did see, his villain had a lot of potential, and he could have played a much bigger role in the story as a whole. This is where I think the genre of the movie came into play. The fact Fox made this a serious, non-comic book movie really hindered what they could do with his character and how bad they could make him.
Okay, so they’re the bad parts. Now for the good…
Hugh Jackman. I mean, I’m sure I don’t have to tell you, this should be obvious, but Hugh Jackman was by far the best part of this movie. Billed as his last as the Wolverine, viewers would be expecting to see Jackman giving his all, and he does. His dramatic acting in this was brilliant, he’s comedic timing also worked really well. Not only that but you also felt as if you really did know this character for 17 years and that this was his final story. Jackman’s role in this film was superb and he was by far the best part of the movie.
As well as Hugh Jackman, Newbie Dafne Keen and Sir Patrick Stewart gave incredible performances. Stewart adding that charm and calmness that you expect from Xavier but also a sense of frailty and terror when he needed to. And Keen, for a child actor, gave a fantastic performance. She easily showed how her character felt through her facial expressions, especially when her character doesn’t speak until over half way through the movie. Overall, these two supporting actors really stood out in a film that was supposed to be all about Logan.
The R-Rating was also a huge bonus. After the success of Deadpool last year, Fox announced they would be making the next Wolverine film (this one) an R-Rated (15) movie. This meant, to a lot of fans, that they would finally see Wolverine being as bad-ass and violent as he is in the comics. And I was not disappointed. This film is brutal. Really, really brutal. Not only is there blood and gore but there’s decapitations, amputatins and headshots. As well as the physically violence the film also throws in a lot of swearing, especially from Jackman’s Logan, something that was hinted at back in X-Men: First Class when Logan told Magneto and Xavier to ‘go fuck themselves’.
I really did like Logan, for me it just lacked in certain places. I can’t explain some of the reasons why it didn’t hit the spot for me, it might be because of the issues I’ve mentioned or it might also be because in the build-up to this film they were talking about who would be the next actor to play Wolverine, so I didn’t feel as if this really was the end to the character, which could have lost some of the films emotional punch.
But, Logan is by far one of the better X-Men films, It’s stunningly shot and beautifully acted and the action set-pieces are magnificent. If you love Hugh Jackman, if you love Wolverine and if you want to say goodbye right, go and see Logan. I doubt you’ll regret it.