a LOGAN musing
First off, THIS is how Wolverine’s action should have always been, and it’s glorious in a Western setting. If they were trying to ground the X-Men Universe that started in 2000 in reality, shouldn’t there be actual arms and legs flying off? The closest we ever got to this was in X2: X-MEN UNITED (2003), but this takes it to a much more gruesome level. It’s incredibly directed, with some of the most fulfilling action sequences you can wish for, especially with little murder girl running around.
When the action slows down, the movie itself slows down majorly. I usually don’t complain about pacing, but it was noticeable here because I just couldn’t nail down the purpose of those moments nor find that they paid off in the end. When there are seemingly profound scenes with great character interaction, they don’t allow those moments to breathe, and everything felt rushed.
But looking at the characters themselves, Hugh Jackman does his best work as Wolverine (and that I’ve seen) here, Patrick Stewart is also great portraying a much more unstable Charles Xavier, but it’s Dafne Keen as Laura/X-23 aka Lil Murder Girl that absolutely steals the show. It’s hard to remember that she is a little girl, since she pulls off that badass demeanor so well while keeping that childish innocence; she truly is Wolverine in a little girl’s body. It’s quite heartbreaking to see Patrick Stewart play an older Charles, and the way that Logan cares for him like he was his true father.
As for the supporting characters, they don’t get to do much, since the focus is on truly on Logan’s relationship with a father figure in Charles, and a daughter figure in Laura. The bad guys don’t really seem that smart, and they aren’t all that intimidating. It is refreshing (as it has been for the past year or so) to see that a superhero movie doesn’t have to involve saving the world from collapsing on itself.
And that’s perfectly fine, because Logan, and the legend of the Wolverine, is the focal point of the movie. This is supposedly the last time Jackman will play Wolverine on screen, and this is a fitting farewell. The movie takes place in 2029, and just like Western heroes in Unforgiven, Wolverine is now a legend, as mutants have been hunted down, and he is one of the few remaining. Since it takes place in the future, there’s a lot to be filled in on, and the exposition is handled well, while a lot is implied, which allows the actors to really let moments shine.
I think I’ve actually talked myself into loving this movie. The potentially-iconic images that are presented evoke past X-Men films, as they move Logan through his allegedly final chapter (of this universe, at least…). A seemingly inane side-mission can be reinterpreted in that context, and another viewing will let me shake off those huge expectations I had for this movie and really see the character work shine through.