FILM REVIEW | Logan (2017)

FILM REVIEW | Logan (2017)
Starring Hugh Jackson, Patrick Stewart, and Dafne Keen
Written by Scott Frank, James Mangold, and Michael Green; Directed by James Mangold
Review by Mark David Major

(Film blurb begins) It’s 2029. Mutants are gone – or very nearly so. An isolated, despondent Logan is drinking his days away in a hideout on a remote stretch of the Mexican border, picking up petty cash as a driver for hire. His companions in exile are the outcast Caliban and an ailing Professor X, whose singular mind is plagued by worsening seizures. But Logan’s attempts to hide from the world and his legacy abruptly end when a mysterious woman appears with an urgent request – that Logan shepherd an extraordinary young girl to safety. Soon, the claws come out as Logan must face off against dark forces and a villain from his own past on a live-or-die mission, one that will set the time-worn warrior on a path toward fulfilling his destiny. (Film blurb ends)

More than anything, Logan (2017) serves as a well-meaning denouement for Hugh Jackman and Patrick Stewart to conclude their fifteen-plus-year run as the X-Men characters Wolverine and Professor X, respectively. In doing so, director James Mangold goes for a gritty, thoughtful cinematic style that commands your attention while distracting the audience from the HUGE plotholes of the narrative. For example, how and why is there a ‘safe haven’ for mutants if there hadn’t been any new mutants born for decades? If such a place exists, how it is remotely possible that the Alpha Males of ‘Mutantness’ don’t know anything about it? Professor X and Wolverine wonder the same thing while dismissing the possibility but then, both sacrifice a great deal to get Dafne Keen’s Laura to said safe haven. Finally, Mangold’s overfilling the frame with mutants (including a clone) undercuts the entire premise of the story itself, i.e. there seem to be plenty of mutants around. However, for the most part, Mangold’s distraction techniques work so most everyone will enjoy this film. In the end, despite its all-too-apparent ambitions, there are too many inconsistencies for Logan to approach the greatness of Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight (2008), which remains the standard for superhero films to this day. Mark’s Grade: B.


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