Logan: Third Time’s the Charm

Objectively, Logan was sweet, a defining and tested amalgamation of everything that adheres to the general consensus of the character Wolverine/Logan. Despite the track record of the X-Men franchise, Logan came hot off the heels of last years ‘gorious’ Deadpool; which served as a barometer in regards to R-rated comic book adaptations. And yes, this is nothing new in the realm of movies; Blade, Watchmen, and The Punisher were all rated-R adaptations that despite critical review have their fans. However, time certainly plays a factor in this recent rejuvenation of hard-edged movies; that and the climate in which we as movie-goers has been more or less consistent/homogeneous with the release of the first Iron Man. The Marvel Cinematic Universe has done well with what I can imagine an average of “B” ratings when it comes to their overall output of movies. DC has all but what the bed when it comes to their live-action sacrifices post Dark Knight Rises; but 20th Century Fox? It has been a mixed bag, with a partial shot in the arm to the X-Men universe and a desire to step outside the bounds of PG-13 territory, they are shaping up to be the perfect alternative to the family friendly model of Marvel.

The first thing they did right was eschew the overall story arc(s) and instead abridged the story succinctly; offering morsels of backstory and focusing on the passing of the torch. I mean, it is a Wolverine movie after all, yet, this installation does not share the burden of having to tie in the previous movies. With how far in the future this takes place it is conceivable for this specific outcome to exist; and when the next movie comes out, it is unshackled to this movie as well. That’s another thing 20th Century Fox gets points toward too, unlike Marvel, they do not have to follow a main storyline. Each spinoff, sequel or soft reboot can go along unrestricted to an overall story arc. Granted, it could be debated whether or not this tactic is as impressive, but that can fit into the charm and practicality of a studio more than willing to toy around with the concept of rated-R comic book movies; given that artistic freedom and leniency are welcome. Point being, if there ever was a time ripe for the making of Logan, now was as opportunistic as any.

The violence, oh good lord the sweet bloody grand time we have all been waiting for the past seventeen years; the kid gloves are off and the adamantium clause was met. Visceral, is the word that immediately came to mind in the beginning scene with Logan. There is something about visual association and the sound of his claws rip into enemies that tickled the back of my spine. Not only that, but we get X-23 joining in on the action and, at times, out-fiercing Logan when it comes to brutal God of War kills. Repetition plays as much as a strength as it does as a tiny fallback; after a while watching Logan and X-23 hack and slash at the mere scent of contact, the luster wears off.

Where the luster was still as bright as ever was the bond between Logan and Charles. Seventeen years of development with the same two actors in both roles culminating in one final movie gave weight to themes initiated in the first movie. Themes of community and isolation that Logan and Charles have dealt with, they know all too well the dangers that await their kind. In the beginning it was Logan who needed the aid of Charles in opening his mind and fulfilling self-discovery, it is Charles who is Logan’s last real connection to this world (until X-23).

Overall, this movie, I believe, was necessary in closing out the loop of past X-Men movies. The final hurrah of Patrick Stewart and Hugh Jackman in roles which they were undeniably born to play. Logan is a benchmark, that despite certain directions the X-Men universe took, it was nothing a little ret-con could not fix; with a rejuvenated sense of direction, and willingness to take chances with the X-Men universe, Logan ends the current form of X-Men and opens up the potential for all the tasty off-shoots of mutant life.


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