For Reel

Logan (2017)
April 24, 2017, 8:02 pm
Filed under: Reviews | Tags: , ,

Director: James Mangold
3.5 Stars
LoganWhereas many superhero movies are advertised to showcase their new villains (the last film of the X-Men franchise took the villain’s name as part of its title), Logan is unusual for the genre in that it is decidedly fixed on its protagonist, eschewing the promise of new, bigger conflicts and instead marketing itself as a celebration of the myth of its lead. The villains in Logan are plentiful, to be sure, but they are limited to bureaucrats, scientists, and forgettable thugs—their only defining quality is that they are relentless and entirely self-interested, which furthers the understanding that Logan (Hugh Jackman) is a man on the run from a world that is catching up to him. Jackman’s portrayal over the years has been as limited as it has been enjoyable—this is no fault of Jackman’s, who consistently shows that Wolverine’s ferocity is an off-shoot of his own misery, but rather that the filmmakers have failed to give him a story that doesn’t involve recycling the same tragic tropes. Loss may again be the theme that permeates Logan, but here it is the sense of cumulative loss. Whereas Wolverine’s cynicism has much to do with knowing that those around him will die, in Logan he is confronted by the fact that his team is either long dead or presently dying. Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart) is in such rough shape that his dementia has classified him as a weapon of mass destruction. While this slight difference seems even darker than previous incarnations on the surface (and, in moments, it certainly is), Logan is more interestingly a movie not simply about rage, but about coping. That is, whereas Wolverine has a history of handling loss with nothing but anger, his journey in Logan attempts to teach him that while life is indeed unfair, simple human decency is the remedy.