I like to try and sum up a film in a word. A bit odd, I know. Star Wars: The Force Awakens – familiar, Hot Fuzz – romp, Scott Pilgrim – electric, End of Watch – gritty, Rocky – ADRIAN!!!!!, Suicide Squad – WHY? I found Logan is very difficult to sum up in a word. It’s bloody amazing by the way. I’m explaining why now (kinda), but go out and see it. Holy hell, see it. Go. Run to a cinema, throw some money at the ticket desk and park your arse in a seat. Now, let’s find a word to sum up the film!
Painful is one way to describe it. Not painful to watch like Suicide Squad or Fast and Furious. Painful as in it hurts you to watch Hugh Jackman portray Logan. Logan is in pain in every damn scene he’s in. He walked with a limp, a rough cough racking his body, plenty of scars, grey hair everywhere. Patrick Stewart looks old, dishevelled and tired. Stephen Merchant’s character can’t even go into the sunlight without burning. X-23 is 11 years old. An 11-year-old Wolverine. Remember how in the first X-Men film, Logan said it hurts every time he extends his claws? Yeah. That’d fuck anyone up. Everybody looks tired in the film. They’ve survived a ton of crap, made mistakes and it shows. Jackman gives the performance of a lifetime here, pulling out the stops and pulling no punches. Stewart is Stewart, kindly, charming but also oh so very exposed. He’s vulnerable due to seizures and is a source of concern in the film. Dafne Keen enters Hollywood as X-23, and plays the part to perfection. Sullen and damaged, yet vulnerable. Boyd Holbrook rams the savage country-bumpkin-o-meter to 11 and is menacing at points, especially in the first half. His merry band of muscle-bound morons play Immortan Joe to Logan’s (Mad) Max Rockatansky, which may be an interesting comparison (Male character who’s made mistakes in past and female who steals the show travels across country to escape evil old guy who owned the female previously, but not to the same level of intensity as Fury Road. Not many films can, actually…). My only issue is with Stephen Merchant being cast. His voice and demeanour sticks out like a sore thumb in my eyes.
Blood. Blood and guts everywhere in this one. Fox came to the realisation that letting a character with six massive knives on him 24/7 cut somebody into a biology experiment was a good idea to show on screen. It paid off. Deadpool showed silly worked for a superhero and Logan showed serious works. Honestly, people in the screening giggled hearing Stewart swearing on screen and hearing Jackman go on a swearing rant onscreen is really, really fucking cathartic. The opening scene shows this, with Logan cutting up a few assholes after they shot him and tried to steal his car. The farm scene and the aftermath is a perfect example of this. In X-Men or The Avengers, the fight would have no blood, no mutilations, no real stakes. Afterwards, Robert Downey Jnr and Chris Evans would have a little heart to heart, stare each other down, perhaps use the one PG-13 swear. I won’t say what happens in the scene, but OH MY GOD COMPARED TO THE STUFF OVER THE PAST FEW YEARS THIS IS SO MOTHERFUCKING REFRESHING! LIKE. HOLY CRAP. NO QUIPS. NO JOSS WHEDON WRITING. GOOD OLD FASHIONED BLOOD, GUTS, STABBY STABINESS!
This has been publicized as Jackman’s last run as Logan. He’s saved the best ‘til last. Stewart has done the same here. Jackman has been in the role ten times, including cameos in other films, while Stewart seven times. They’re both having a ball in the film, riffing with each other as the character should, they’ve known each other 30 years or so in universe. Logan is a swan song to these actors and their roles. There we go. Cheating, but two words to sum Logan up. Swan song. Beautiful, slightly haunting and it packs a knockout blow of a punch. A roundhouse, haymaker, jawbreaker, “just fuck me up” blow to your emotions, especially if you’ve followed the X-Men films over the past 15 or so years. Cash’s cover of “Hurt” was a perfect choice for the trailer. Sad, pain-filled and a fitting finale for the singer and the films. Bring tissues, you’ll need them. If you’re looking for a score of some sort, 13 Will.i.am’s out of 7 rebooted timelines. Just see the damn film please.
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