Let me start by saying this. I am a HUGE fan of Logan/Wolverine.Also, I am a HUGE fan of Hugh Jackman. But I have also been repeatedly been disappointed by what Fox has so far tried to sell us as “wolverine”. I think Wolverine: Origins is an abomination. And really, when it was declared that this would be the last Jackman Wolverine movie, I was GLAD.
So I was pleasantly surprised when they declared it was going to be an R-rated flick. ( THANK you, Deadpool , for making this possible! And obviously thanks to Hugh for taking a paycut) And jubilant when reviews came out great. So, for the first time since X3, i went in to an X men movie with HUGE hopes.
And what i found out was that SOMETIMES DREAMS DO COME TRUE.
Anyways, I think the BIGGEST strength of the movie is the CHARACTERS.
Simply put, this is the wolverine comics readers have been waiting for for decades. If you are not a comics reader, then brace yourselves. You are about to meet the REAL wolverine. And it is NOT pretty. From the go, the character is brutal and completely DONE with everything. IIRC, he literally starts talking with a “Fuck” and doesn’t hold back – with his tongue or his claws. You might have heard or thought that Wolverine can go through a small army, but in this movie, you ACTUALLY get to see that. The movie has so many severed limbs, you might wonder if this movie was made by Quentin Tarantino!
James Mangold took the chance he was given with both hands and doesn’t hold back on the violence or the gore at all! The result is a movie that is surprisingly light on special effect, and still ends up one of the best action movies we have in CBMs.
However, as great that is, that is not even the center of the movie. At heart, this is a very character driven movie.We all know Hugh Jackman is a great actor, and he gives this EVERYTHING that he had. And this time, he has a story and director to back him up. Result of which is one of the most nuanced and well acted roles in comics book movies history. This, I believe, is what Nolan was going for during The dark knight rises, but sadly couldn’t quite capture. can’t say much without spoiling, but this a wolverine that you have never seen before. Wolverine has always been a really tragic character and Hugh has just poured his heart and soul into it to FINALLY bring it to the big screen.
2) Professor X :
Let’s be honest, Sir Patrick Stewart is JUST GREAT. We can write an essay on him only here. And he has always been fantastic as the Professor. However, what we see here is a sharp departure from what you have seen him play too. Both him and Logan has seen stuff, been through things that you can never come back from, and it SHOWS. Sir Patrick is just MIND-BLOWINGLY GOOD in his scenes. It feels like as great he was, previous movies have chained his talent to give us a watered down version of character that is pleasant and good to look at , but lost the depth that it has in comics.
Just go and see for yourself, if he cannot get tears from you, there is something wrong with you!
3) Laura/ X23:
Dafne Keen as Laura is perfection. Her age is somewhat an issue…
However, she is SO GOOD, you forget that. Her action scenes are BETTER THAN Wolverine’s and got the loudest cheers. I felt they were some of the best that Fox has ever done in this genre. She is a vicious and bloodthirsty little savage that you can’t help but adore! She has a resting bitch stare that is just amazing! I am sure sometimes she kills people with just that when she is too bored to use her claws. She does pretty well in emotional scene too and gives off aura of vulnerability that sells the whole movie to us.
This young lady, mark my words, has a bright future.
4) Other characters :
As long as the movie concentrates on the main three, it is just wonderful. Once it shifts to the others, it loses it’s brilliance. Don’t get me wrong, they did great with the huge limitation of resources they were dealing with. Boyd Holbrook‘s Donald Pierce is fun and can go toe to toe with Hugh in tongue but is a bit wasted when you look at it. They made an interesting decision to make up for lack of Hulk as the main adversary, which might not be to everyone’s liking but most will agree that while they can have done a few things better, sets up for a good show down.
However, the problem is that the characters are NOT THAT INTERESTING. There is very little backstory, they are new characters and there is just not enough for viewers to be invested in.
James Mangold is a real hero here.
As the writer-director, he has just hit it out of the park! The characterization is ON THE POINT. he has compensated well for lack of resources. Mangold has managed here to create a compelling story instead of a run of a mill super hero movie- striking a great balance between action and the emotional part of the story. There is a clear attempt to steer this into the western genre and it largely succeeds.
He has managed to build a relationship between Logan and Professor X that is just brilliant. In fact, the characterization and the payback of the interactions is so well done, that one feels cheated so far by the X men movies that have been given to us. There is a lot of bonding that happens between Logan and Laura too, with a strong influence from Latst of us.
Movie also has a damned emotional finale that is just too good! Wish I could talk more, but NO SPOILERS!
Logan is NOT all perfection though.
Like I said there are characters that could have been done better. Movie is long, and pace falls off in between, especially in second half. Some of it could have been trimmed. While there is undeniable bonding between Logan and Laura, it just feels there could have been 5-10 mins more on it and 2-3 more emotional punches to gut.
They also missed a trick with the world they built. It is much less post apocalyptic than it should have been. It doesn’t matter that much to the story, but it definitely reduces the impact of what happened. Unlike “Old man Logan”, the death of superheroes have not plunged the world into horrors and TBH, it appears that the world can live without them. They also missed a chance to show off some mind boggling imagery that ” Old man Logan” is famous for.
Plus there are things that happened in past which were not shown in anyway. Another thing OML ruled at.
There are are also some things in the finale that could have been done better.
All that aside, fact stands that this is the best Wolverine movie ever made, one of the very best X men movie, along with X2, and one of the best CBM ever.It is too far from your routine Superhero stuff and ends up being a deep and amazing movie.There are some pacing issues and some characters could have been better, sure. But the movie will have you on the edge of your seat. You will laugh, you will be amazed, you will feel the thrill of wolverine in action and you will cry! It is just awesome how much emotional it can get! The movie is so fun and yet so heartwarming that it ends up the best way to say good bye for us and for Hugh!
While almost everyone does a good job, the main 3 actors are JUST BRILLIANT.
And let me say this. I felt pushing Deadpool for best movie Oscar was a bit too much. But I would STRONGLY stand behind an Oscar nod minimum to Hugh for this. This was JUST AMAZING. The guy poured his soul out and gave a heart wrenching performance and the fact that it came from a CBM, should not detract from it.
They should also push for a best adapted screenplay, maybe?
It is a reach, but I remember screen writers guild recommending GoTG for best adapted screen that year for Oscar (as in according to them, it should have gotten a nod)
It is not Old man Logan, and it is not perfect, but it is still an awesome movie! It has set the bar for the CBM this year HIGH! For the amazing performances, I rate this movie a 9.1/10!