As I sat last Thursday night with hundreds of others in a nearly sold-out IMAX theater, I couldn’t have been anymore excited for “Logan”. The Fox fanfare sounded off, the Marvel comics flashed, and the word “LOGAN” hit the screen, I then thought my brain was about to explode from the excitement. “Logan”, if anything, lived up to every ounce of the hype.
Before the first trailer dropped in October, my only interest in the at the time untitled third “Wolverine” film was that it was Hugh Jackman’s last go at Wolverine. Then, of course, the first trailer blew my mind and the rest is history. “Logan” delivers on the deep and moving character study that the masterful first trailer promised.
“Logan” starts off with a glorious, brutal, and gory action scene, and this scene sets the tone of the whole film. Our hero is weary, pissed off, and isn’t taking anyone’s shit. Logan slices through about four or five armed men in the opening scene in the bloodiest possible way, as the film conveys that this isn’t your average superhero popcorn flick.
Hugh Jackman gives it his all in his last run as Logan. You can feel all the emotion and pain Logan is going through because of Jackman’s fantastic (and best) performance as Logan. Patrick Stewart also gives his best “X-Men” performance yet as Charles Xavier. Stewart does something much different with Xavier than he does with his previous performance, because of this being a crazier and much older Xavier. You can tell Boyd Holbrook loves playing the villain, he’s probably my favorite “X-Men” villain yet. He’s so charismatic in the role. Dafne Keen was definitely a stand-out. For her first performance in a feature film, she was excellent. I would go as far to say Jackman’s and Stewart’s performances are Oscar worthy. Both Jackman and Stewart brought something new to both of their roles this time around. Jackman brought out the broken and angered Logan that we’ve all been waiting to see, and Stewart showed off an Xavier we’re not used to in what I think is Stewart’s best performance.
You can tell James Mangold really put his heart and soul into this film. He directs the entire film like a powerhouse. His action direction is fast paced and ferocious. For Mangold to get such a excellent performance out of a fourteen year old making her feature film debut is just awe-inspiring direction.
“Logan’s” pacing is practically perfect. Once it starts it has you locked in and never let’s up. Is it non-stop action? No, and don’t go in expecting that, but the parts that aren’t huge action set pieces, are so well acted, well directed, and well written that it never gets boring. The dialogue and banter between these characters is just so entertaining in itself.
The character development in “Logan” is so subtle but yet so telling. There’s simple scenes like when Laura plays a prank on Logan, or when Laura grabs Logan’s hand that are so subtle but develop these characters so much.
The blood is cool, the performances are great, and the direction is awesome, but what I love about “Logan” the most is that it’s a simple but such a deep and moving story. It has so many themes and undertones, and never feels discombobulated or all over the place. But at it’s core, “Logan” is a film about family, and finding yourself.
Most blockbusters now-a-days can’t capture the raw emotion that James Mangold does in “Logan”. Even if you haven’t seen any “X-Men” or “Wolverine” films before you see “Logan”, you still care about these characters. That’s another thing I love about this film is that it can stand on it’s own so well. It doesn’t feel like the third film in a franchise, or like it’s relying on nostalgia for you to care about the characters. Much like last year’s “Deadpool”, “Logan” is a true standalone film that doesn’t rely on previous franchise installments, and doesn’t directly set up any future films. It’s just one story with a beginning and an end.
I cannot give this film enough praise. “Logan” restored my faith in the comic book film genre while simultaneously delivering an ambitious, comic book film masterpiece that I never thought could’ve lived up to the hype.