RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
ONE SENTENCE SYNOPSIS: In the near future, an aged Logan’s life as a caretaker and a limo driver is turned upside down when Professor X–now, having troubles controlling his powers–convinces Logan to take new mutant, Laura, to a safe place, far away from her captors.
I watched Logan for the first time just a few days ago. I was not disappointed.
This is one of those genre films that is able to transcend genre. What I mean by that is half of the things you would expect from this film, being that it is a superhero/action film, are not in it. There is no grandiose explosion at the end, the lead superhuman is not trying to save all of humanity, there are no “superhero” costumes–you get the idea. This is a very character driven film–the first thing you come away thinking after watching this is about the characters.
Logan is a tired, washed-up, often drunk mutant whose main occupation is limo driving. When not working, he takes care of, or rather, shelters, a sick Xavier, who suffers from sporadic seizures, not only are they harmful to himself but to others as well. These two, along with Caliban, live together in an abandoned plant in northern Mexico. Due to Logan’s inner turmoil and Xavier’s seizures, their solitudinous life is not without a pervasive strain. The script (written by Scott Frank, James Mangold, and Michael Green) and James Mangold’s direction work well to show this. Factor in newbie Wolverine-esq-mutant, Laura (Dafne Keen), with her disturbing background, and you have the makings of a tearjerker.
Oddly, Mangold never takes advantage of our emotions in that way. He sets up for the film’s tragic ending by creating this deep bond between Logan and Laura, but even with sad scenes, such as Xavier’s death, Mangold does not give into what could have been a melodramatic moment. Also, this could just be me because knowing that Xavier and Logan’s death doesn’t actually take place until 2029 and the timelines in the X-Men universe have become so tangled that it makes their deaths feel less significant in a way.
This film has something else working for it: location. We are taken on a literal roadtrip with Logan, Xavier, and Laura. We get to see them in “everyday” locations–not a battlefield with a glamorized fight sequence. These characters are in places that us, mere mortals, frequent, such as, the highway, casinos, Texas, farmhouse, and North Dakota. These locations feel real because A) they are and B) they are treated as real, unglamorous places.
That is what Logan is: a real, unglamorous glimpse into the life of a forlorn Wolverine.