My first thought when beginning this review mostly revolved around the actual cinema setting. For this viewing of Logan was at the wonderful Electric Cinema in Shoreditch. I’d be an idiot if I said that the setting didn’t improve the experience because it did. For one night I traded in the overpriced sticky floors of my local multiplex and instead enjoyed the cosy and rather swanky comforts of my very own armchair and had a brilliant view of the beautiful HD screen in front of me? This isn’t a paid advertisement. But it is an endorsement. So if you are in Shoreditch and fancy watching a film with added comfort and a little bit of metropolitan novelty. You’d be silly not to give it a go. Would recommend.
To the film. Logan is the ninth film in the X-men film franchise (Ten if you include Deadpool.) And will be known for being the last time that Australian actor Hugh Jackson will play the role of Logan A.K.A Wolverine. It’s been a staggering seventeen years since his first portrayal of the comic book hero in 2000 with X-Men. And in that time he has become one of the most recognisable characters in superhero movie history.
The recognisable character of Logan is one of the very few familiar things you will see in this film. it is a gargantuan departure from the tone and feel that we’re accustomed to with the X-men franchise Set in a world where the battles have been fought and the time of heroics has long past. From the very beginning, you’re in an unfamiliar world and you worry about the events that have transpired. The X-men and mutant kind are no more than a dying species chronicled in comic books and legend. Logan is ageing and weak. His only remaining purpose is taking care of the now Nonagenarian Charles Xavier. Whom is unexplainedly back from the dead. As happy as I was to see him. I couldn’t shake the blatant tear in the fabric of the canon’s continuity. Something hat has concerned me about the X-men franchise since First Class hit our screens in 2011.
From the beginning, this film has your heart in a vice. It’s bleak and hopeless setting breaks your heart in the most beautiful way. The once unstoppable Wolverine is old and is almost a shell of its former self. I even found myself wondering why I was being shown such a beaten and pathetic version of a once-mighty hero. It soon became clear that it was in the twilight of this hero’s story arch where we were going to see his best moments. The relationship between Jackman and Stewert was effortless and homely. seventeen years of collaboration and friendship hits it’s artistic pinnacle in this story of caring for someone you love even when it’s at the expense of your own health. This tired and weary world is then given a boost of youth an vitality with the introduction of the enigmatic Laura, played by Daphne Keen, a mute little girl with powers much like that of Logan’s. Keen’s performance of X-23 has the same ferocity and badass nature as Jackman channelled in his performance, making sure that the sombre tragedy of the film still had a palatable dose of the ass kickery we have come to know and love. I could say so much about the superb relationship between the trio of main characters. You’re made to feel like you’re part of this small yet just about functional family of mutants. It truly warms your heart to watch, especially given the bleak and hopeless backdrop.
I will say, however. The characterisation outside of the main three fell flat during the film. The main villain we see during the first half of the film is Pierce, the cyborg henchman who feels like he was written using every overdone cliché relating to the classic ‘mercenary Henchman.” Boyf Holbrook is a very capable actor and I feel a lot of the blame could be put on the direction and the writing. but every scene where I had to sit trough his vanilla brand of cockiness and laboured facetious monologues made me glad to see the claws come out.
Visually speaking. I believe that the majority of the merit in this film should be focused on its subtlety. It isn’t a giant light show like the other films. The days of floating guns, lighting strikes and giant ruby beams of light are over. The very adamantium claws that made Logan famous barely work. What I want to highlight is the gritty realness that is portrayed through the visuals of the movie. During the course of the story, Logan will put his ageing body through trials that would kill the strongest of men. The toll it will take on him will be shown to you through masterful costume and makeup adjustment that once realised will knock your socks off. Had the film been released a few weeks earlier I would even give it an oscar nod for makeup.
Logan is a dark and tragic journey that will leave you feeling heart broken in the most beautiful way. A film not to be taken lightly. I would fully recommend this film to anyone who likes to feel genuine emotions towards characters that have been with us for nearly two decades.