X-Men director Bryan Singer once said that superhero movies are like westerns, in that there’s a certain look to them that should remain consistent and classic – much like with John Ford’s westerns, which shaped not only what the western looked like back then, but every sagebrush saga since.
Logan doesn’t look like all the other superhero movies out there. From an aesthetics standpoint, this film would look more at home alongside Watchmen, but even then, Logan stands apart.
Logan is not simply “another superhero movie.” It feels different than the glut of superhero flicks out there. It’s darker. More violent. Even the language, liberally dosed with F-bombs, is different than what we’ve seen before (except for Deadpool, but that was a comedy).
Logan is a noir film, and for the first time since meeting Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine all the way back in 2000 in Bryan Singer’s X-Men, this iteration of the character feels the most authentic. The character would use – and be met with – this level of graphic violence. He would use course language. It’s almost as if the X-Men films (and even the previous Wolverine movies) were the comic books, and Logan is real life.
Director James Mangold (The Wolverine, Cop Land) working from a script penned by himself and writers Scott Frank and Michael Green, has crafted a stunning modern noir film in Logan, infusing it with DNA from classics like Shane, The Outlaw Josey Wales, and No Country for Old Men, without ripping off any of those films.
Set in the year 2029, Logan finds the titular character (now mysteriously weakened and aging) in a brutal, post-mutant world, his X-Men pals having been hunted down and destroyed by government forces long ago. Living an anonymous existence, the former Wolverine scrounges to make a living as a limo driver while caring for the hundred-year-old Charles Xavier, now living in hiding in Mexico. Logan’s goal is to earn enough cash to get himself and Charles to a safer, better place to live out their remaining years, but his plans are interrupted when a Mexican nurse recognizes the former Wolverine and pleads for his help to get her daughter, who has powers like Logan’s, to a secret sanctuary known as Eden.
Soon government baddies are in hot pursuit as Logan and Charles and the girl fight their way north across the United States toward the promised land of Canada.
Fanboys of the X-Men film franchise seem to be obsessed with trying to figure out which timeline Logan takes place in, but my advice is to ignore all that and just enjoy the film as is. Clearly, the filmmakers weren’t stressing over this, and neither should you.
Logan is a masterpiece, and a fitting departure for Hugh Jackman as the embodiment of one of Marvel’s baddest badasses. Another actor will portray the character in what will undoubtedly be more installments of the X-Men franchise, but this performance – and this film – are going to be hard to beat, bub.
Logan is available on DVD and Blu-Ray. Walmart has a version in both color and black and white, known as Logan Noir. That’s the one I’m gonna own!
Thanks for reading, Deadies!