I will notify you when spoilers begin
Director James Mangold DELIVERS ah lah Karl Malone. Mangold’s work with 3:10 to Yuma and Walk the line are apparent from the beginning of the film, setting the tone for this film from the opening sequence. Ya “film”, not a movie, not an action flick, or a super hero flick. This is a film, a gritty embarrassingly heart aching( for me at least) film about a cast of characters at the end of the line. Director Mangolds choice in using Johnny Cash’s last album of songs he sang whilst on his death bed, literally at the end of the line in life, could not have been a more fitting choice to set the stage for Hugh Jackman’s portrayal of James Howelett (Wolverine/Logan’s real name).
This movie has been reviewed as the Dark Knight of the Marvel franchise and I could not agree with that synopsis more. From start to finish the rubber meets the road in every scene. At its most basic form it is a movie about survival for the sake of survival in a dystopian reality that is not all that far off from reality. The movie provides shades of metaphors for modern day racism and prejudice against those that are unique in character and mind. If you grew up with the X-Men, read the comics, watched the cartoons, saw the movies, maybe even popped a weed gummy or 3, then I say best of luck to you and bring the tissue box.
Logan provides the average viewer with action packed sequences that have you hanging on every movement the characters make because it very well could be their last move. You see Logan broken and an alcoholic with no friends to turn to and no hope for someone else to come along. As Professor X states in the trailer ” someone has come along” Logan sadly enough is the someone to come along, they will be the only ones to save themselves, nobody else will be coming to help them, they truly are alone in this world……..
Without dissecting every scene and plot….
From the opening scene we see Logan down and out doing whatever he has to too survive. Not healing quickly, body failing and claws barely working, Logan takes a buck shot too the chest at point blank range 4 minutes into the movie and proceeds to get his ass beaten by 3-4 gang members before chopping them all to bits…because they were taking the wheels off of his limo….Logan is a chauffeur for Proms, parties, Frat Holes ,and CEO’s. In between chauffeuring and smuggling drugs to a frail and seizure prone Professor X who resides in an abandon metal water tank, Logan has Caliban as company. Caliban who is brilliantly played by Stephan Merchant, expands the x-men marvel universe as a “c” list comic book mutant capable of locating and feeling other mutants near him but is albino and exposure to the sun burns and kills him. All three characters scraping to survive in northern Mexico, the movie does not take long for the “reavers”( a band of merchs enhanced with metal limbs) to cause havoc on Logan’s barely stable home thanks to the introduction of Laura, Logan’s daughter who is on the run and in need of saving.
In one of the more pivotal moments in the movie Logan, Laura and Professor X are reminded of what life once was and what could be as they eat dinner with a working class American farming family who themselves are fighting their own battle for survival against a major corporation that is working to take their farm land.
The farming family sets the scene for a clone of Wolverine who appears and kills Professor X as the Professor begins to have clarity in his thought and potentially begin to seize ( his seizure cause paralysis and seizures in those in the vicinity). Wolverine, Laura, Reavers, clone wolverine and the working class family all begin fighting each other for survival ending with the death of the entire family, Professor X, and Caliban. The scene itself is difficult to watch as it becomes more clear just how old Logan has become and what little he has left.
The burial of Professor X provides a gut wrenchingly emotional scene that leaves even the casual viewer aching for someone to console and comfort Logan, insert Laura/daughter. Logan displays a rare weak and emotionally frail moment where all the weight he has shouldered comes crashing down and you see just how broken he has become with the death of Professor X and what the world has become around him.
With a glaring death wish ( insert adamantium bullet he keeps with him) Logan begrudgingly brings Laura to North Dakota where she believes there is a safe haven entry way to Canada where they will be safe and can meet with other young mutants. In a penultima sequence the Reavers, Laura, Logan, young mutants and Logan’s Clone converge on each other ending in a dramatic sequence where Wolverine is impaled onto a tree by his clone and is about to be killed for good by his clone until Laura ( his daughter who possess exact same traits as him) shoots the clone with Logan’s adamantium bullet.
In the end Logan is put to rest with a cross laid on his grave in the shape of an X by his daughter Laura.
The final exchange between Laura and Logan is nothing short of heart wrenching as Laura calls Logan “Dad” and he appears to be reminded of the love for family he once had and that not all is lost in the world.
The film itself is beautifully shot with long lasting wide shots that give the movie gower a view for depth and gravity as the characters struggle to survive. The movie never gets to complicated and sticks to the concept of survival. You have to sit and watch your childhood characters struggle, crawl and grasp for each day of survival, watching Professor X cling to life as he slips into alzheimers disease and live with the possibility of seizing for to long and killing himself and those around him, his mind acting as a weapon of mass destruction. You see Logan as an alcoholic incapable of sleeping at night trudging from day to day as his body fails to heel his life threatening wounds earned from a lifetime of hardship
The film is gritty and in the most cliche way, keeps you desperately on the edge of your seat as you watch people “claw” for survival and for a better life. I rate the movie a ten.