This past weekend saw the release of the first R-rated Wolverine movie, Logan, the bloodiest, unhappiest, weariest X-Men movie ever made. This is a violent movie, full of gore and death. Many critics are also saying it’s the best.
This is technically a superhero movie, in that the characters are from superhero comic Marvel. But it plays more like a skeptical tragedy, a drama about remorse, personal failings, and demise. I walked out of this movie absolutely devastated, and impressed with the movie for bringing up those emotions so powerfully. Director James Mangold and his co-writers focus on the characters’ emotions, particularly their anger at the way the world turned out, at each other, and at themselves. And in the process, they find so many tragic, telling moments. Hugh Jackman and Patrick Stewart performed their hearts out in a movie that is a drama first and action-adventure second.
Hugh Jackman claims this is his final outing playing the superhero on-screen, and given how the movie ends, it’s easy to see why. This story is about the end of stories, But there are so many strikingly bleak moments before that ending arrives
Here, I will talk about the parts of Logan that wrecked me emotionally:
• We all have grown-up up watching Professor Charles Xavier and Wolverine saving the day as smart superheroes. Now, in Logan, it’s like they’ve passed some invisible line. Charles is so weak, a victim to the same powers that used to make him one of the world’s most powerful mutants. That, on top of seeing how Logan has weakened over time, drove me annoyed.
• What impressed me most is the way that confession is set up. Charles is sweetly tucked into bed, reflecting on how he’s just had one of his best days in years,. He remembers what he did. He knows that he’s murdered the very students he’s meant to protect, and he knows he doesn’t deserve peace for it. And then there’s no hope for redemption, no moment of reconciliation over the anger Logan clearly has, because Fake Logan murders Charles seconds later. Charles dying, believing Logan blamed him — and subsequently punished him — for an unspeakable accident. And Thereafter Logan literally trying to hold the life inside Charles’ broken body while saying “It wasn’t me.”
• The plot dives so deeply into the characters’ despair and mutual dependence and grief that it makes heartbreaking moments like Logan’s “Oh, that’s what fatherly pride feels like” at the end of the movie feel natural and beautiful, instead of cheaply manipulative.
• Logan’s daughter Laura is also a hugely surprising performance by Dafne Keen, you have no doubt from the moment she appears on-screen that she is daughter of Wolverine. Even from a stunt perspective, I still have no idea how they did many of Laura’s fight scenes
• There’s a point in the film where Logan and Laura are talking about taking lives. She tells him she’s killed bad people, and he replies that she’ll have to live with it all the same.
• At the end of Logan, Wolverine dies. Unquestionably dies. He’s killed, and not a single rock on his grave moves as a teaser for a possible return.
The Movie ends in the best way hinting a future where there will still be X-Men, even if they won’t called that. Without underlining it too pointedly, Logan gives us a group of kids with familiar mutant powers, because they’ve apparently been created from the DNA of familiar mutants — a new Iceman, a new Magneto, a new Wolverine, and so forth.
Let’s see if any further movie comes in this Mutant series what it will bring on our platter and How It will be.