Logan Review – A Hugh Jackman swansong I was not expecting
Logan wasn’t the movie I was expecting. Between all the gore and action scenes I wasn’t expecting so much character development, or love and mutual loathing between characters. Now this review does contain spoilers, but I won’t discuss too many details. But I will discuss what I wasn’t expecting. So here is my Logan Review.
The story certainly doesn’t start the way I was expecting, even though I had seen every trailer. Logan spends his time driving through the US-Mexico border area with a limousine service. Along with Caliban he looks after Professor X – who spends a lot of his time in an adverse mental state. It is never really explained what his problem is, but his dominant mental powers have proven to be lethal if he is not regularly medicated. Meanwhile, Logan’s powers are also waning due to old-age. An encounter with Mexican criminals almost goes wrong (for Logan), but it does draw the attention of mutant bounty hunters.
A road trip
Enter the one armed villain Donald Pierce, leader of the Reavers. Donald confronts Logan about the whereabouts of a woman named Gabriella and her daughter Laura. Logan confesses truthfully he has no idea who or where they are, but he is fearful for the safety of Professor X. Logan quickly does meet with Gabriella, she had for several days tried to solicit his service to drive her and her daughter to a place in North Dakota. Gabriella is murdered by Pierce and so Logan is forced to take care of Laura. Initially unaware she has any powers, as no mutant has been born in 25 years, she can only communicate telepathically with Xavier.
And so Logan, Xavier and Laura set out on their journey to the north. To the viewer it all seems surreal. Logan is sure there is nothing there in North Dakota. Laura has already shown she has claws similar to Logan as well as the same regenerative powers as Logan when he was younger. Xavier is certain that Laura is Logan’s daughter, artificially created by the corporation behind the support for Pierce and his Reavers. To Logan this implies yet another unwilling commitment.
The road trip eventually reaches its destination, but at a severe cost. Professor X is killed by a clone of Logan called X-24. A family that sheltered our three travelers is also killed. And Logan is killed. As are all of the bad guys. Only Laura and her fellow mutant clones make to the safety of – Canada. Yet the end result is not really what matters. Logan transform from the cynic he has been since the first X-men movie into somebody who can finally deal with his past and be who he wants to be. Even if that only happens in the last few minutes of the film.
Logan is a lot about death. Professor X’s advanced age and his talk about his own death set the tone well. Logan on the other hand appears to be in denial about his own mortality. He even plans to buy a boat so Xavier and he can sail on the ocean away from everybody. How that would work with Xavier’s dangerous mental breakdown is not explained. I interpreted it as a subconscious desire for suicide.
I had a hard time deciding what to write for this Logan Review. It is not a happy movie, but it is a hopeful movie. The world of Logan is a depressing one. Illegal human experimentation, intimidation of small businesses by larger ones and a government that is an unwitting ally at best of those corporation performing experiments. Yet a few people are totally unfazed by any of this actively resists becoming inhuman. And they manage to turn Logan into one of them. That is what makes Logan such a powerful movie and worthy of the hype.
My hats go off for the three principal cast members. Hugh Jackman has put a lot of effort into Logan and Professor X has been given a lot of depth by Patrick Stewart, something that wasn’t previously possible. Dafne Keen performs equally wonderful as Laura / X-23. Often child actors (if I may call her that) act wooden. She does not, just like Chloe Moretz a few years back I hope to see more of Dafne Keen in the future. This was my Logan Review. I hope you enjoyed.
PS, was the audio in the cinema too loud for you guys as well?