I’m a big fan of X-men and Marvel. I love super powers. Heck, one of my novels was basically inspired by X-men crossed into power rangers. So when Logan came out, I was very excited.
“Logan” takes the story on quite a different tone to the previous ones: no mass extermination, no victims of feat and discrimination, and actually almost zero supernatural powers save Logan’s regeneration and the ailing Xavier’s seizure-related psychic attacks until the kids came in at the very end. The CGI and imaginative ways the superpowers are used are some of the winning aspects of the series so on that aspect, I’m quite disappointed.
Contains spoilers, duh.
The film focuses more on Logan’s emotional burnout, how he no longer has a functioning passion or empathy, rather than Marvel’s traditional bang-bang-bang flashing lights and fists. The film never really fully explains why aside from alluding to Xavier’s attack at Westchester killing a few mutants. I’m led to assume it’s the social isolation coupled with his slow but steady adamantium poisoning causing his regeneration to deteriorate that’s making him lose the will, but given how Logan’s MO had always been a badass motherfucker who gave no shits, it seems an unconvincing and too-convenient explanation for his spiralling. It certainly leaves a lot of questions — what actually happened after Apocalypse, seeing as the events of the first trilogy were wiped clean after Days of Future Past? Or after The Wolverine? Where are the other mutants? There was a fleeting mention by a baddie (“oh, shame, we killed them all”) — great, that’s very convenient also. Too many loose ends and questions make the background of this film weak.
I do find it heartwarming how Logan finds the will to fight and protect what’s important to him again after seeing Laura fight so hard for herself. We get to fleetingly see a lab-copy of himself wrecking chaos, but that’s soon swept under the carpet. We see a bounty hunter using far too many “we was” and “they was” and he, too, was swept under the carpet. None of the baddies had much presence or induced much fear. The actress who plays Laura has an eerie, almost feral-child look to her, and I’m pretty sure why they chose her to play the feral Laura who packs a punch and screams the roof down in every fight — and has zero lines until almost the very end, and instead just shrieks most of her way through. She’s an impressive fighter with a relatable humane side, clutching the photos of her former lab product comrades in hopes of meeting them, and holding hope Logan is her ticket to the fabled Eden. The growing father-daughter relationship is endearing and when she calls Logan “Daddy” and he understands the love Xavier had for his students at last, before dying, I was moved. Far from tears, but it was moving.
Climax of the film has Logan dying and kids running away. Not the most satisfying of endings.
Ultimately, this is a risky deviation from traditional Marvel produce. Gritty emotions and little flashy lights. They did the emotions bit justice, I think, but the plot was lacklustre, lacking a drive, no plot twist, no terrifying baddie, lacking the despair of not seeing a way out of the predicaments. Unlike previous X-men films, I wouldn’t be seeing this film again.
Verdict: 3 stars. Seen this film? What are your thoughts?