Directed by James Mangold (2017)
by Rosalie Kicks, Old Sport
“Thank you for being a friend.
Travel down the road and back again.
Your heart is true, you're a pal and a confidant.
And if you threw a party, invited everyone you knew.
You would see the biggest gift would be from me
and the card attached would say,
thank you for being a friend.”
Guys. Logan is incredible, because it had to be.
When you are going to end something, you got to go out with a bang. This means an action-packed thrill ride filled with a whole lot of throat slitting, high speed car chases, drinking whiskey, and a bunch of F-Bombs (Approximately 37). OK. So maybe you got a limp and maybe you gotta wear cheaters like your granny, but there’s no crying, cause this thing has got to end on a high note….leave the audience pining for more. This is Logan, not Wolverine.
Directed by James Mangold (Walk The Line, Identity, 3:10 to Yuma), Logan is the film that has finally done this entire problematic, off the rails X-Men/Wolverine franchise justice. Logan is the film that Wolverine so rightfully deserved…only took close to 20 years to do it. The movie takes place in the near future. Mutant births have pretty much ceased to exist. Society has turned their back on the mutant race leaving our main character, Logan (Hugh Jackman) and his senile bestie, Charles Xavier (Sir Patrick Stewart) no choice but to go into hiding. They find themselves holed up in a deserted shack in Mexico near the border along with an albino mutant, Caliban. By day, Logan cruises around Texas in a limo working as a chauffeur and prowls the streets for prescription drugs for Charles’ deteriorating medical condition.
Logan has always been known for his snarky attitude, but in this film, we actually get to witness it all while his body breaks down, he begrudgingly cares for Charles, and takes any opportunity to visit the corner dive bar. One can’t forget, Logan never truly wanted a family, he is a loner, a rebel. Yet, for some reason he finds himself in a predicament: his buddy Chuck attached to him like an old ball and chain. Maybe Logan has developed feelings in his old age. Maybe he watched too many episodes of the Golden Girls. For suddenly, he finds himself prepared to hoist Chuck up into his arms and carry him off into the sunset, buy a boat and sail off to a Floridian paradise. Unfortunately, this dream takes a detour.
Logan discovers, mutants are no longer born; instead they are created like Frankensteins in a super-secret tortuous lab by a dude with an accent, gold teeth, and a throat tattoo (of course he does). The children are raised with the objective to be studied and then killed. Logan is approached by a nurse from this lab seeking assistance to transport a young girl to a safe haven. With the flash of some cash (hey, remember the sailboat dream…it’s real!) the hesitation is lost and Logan decides to assist the young girl, Laura.
At first glance 11 year-old Laura (played by Dafne Keen) seems just like any other cereal-loving normal kid with pink shades. Except behind those shades, there is a stone-cold killer with blades. It doesn’t take too long to see that Laura and Logan have quite a bit in common. It also doesn’t take too long for Laura to steal the show. Charles finds the discovery of this new found mutant rather thrilling and even attempts to encourage our foul-mouthed hero, Logan, to adopt her has his new family.
However, it took close to 20 years to warm up to Chuck, do you think Logan is going to be that quick to acquire new friends? It also doesn’t help that she shares a strikingly similar personality to Logan. Throughout the film, we witness Logan and Laura violently, yet gracefully, take down everything in their path as they struggle to survive and make their way to the safe haven known as Eden, a place Laura discovered in an X-Men comic book which leads to rather fun banter from Logan.
Their actions are coordinated in such a way that they seem to have been partners in crime for years. Like clockwork. At times, you will forget that you are even watching a child actor on screen for her fierceness rivals anything you’ve witnessed in the past Wolverine flicks played by Jackman. This girl is relentless and may have been born to play this role.
One huge difference and welcoming change from the other Wolverine flicks is the character development and story. Mangold manages to make you truly care about these people rather than just a bunch of special effects. As much as you won’t want to see Hugh move on from the franchise, at least he is leaving the series in good hands with Dafne Keen.