(Check out the list so far)
The Movie: Logan (2017)
One Sentence Plot Summary: Logan goes on one last ride and makes a family along the way.
Why It’s on the List:
What makes this movie so special is it’s one I saw in China, and even the mediocre movies I saw over there will always be memorable. This was the end of a 17-year journey with this character, one who was a personal favorite of mine going back even before then to the animated series. I think Wolverine has become very overplayed and probably needs to be given a long break. Throughout this century, Hugh Jackman has always been amiable to playing this role. It’s amazing to think Jackman is a song and dance man when he’ll probably forever be most associated with this role.
Logan feels so much older in this movie than in previous ones. The gray hair and incessant coughing certainly help with that. However, he’s also tired. His mutant power, the ability to heal and essentially never die, is wearing down, and he may not last long. There’s also Charles Xavier, a 90-year-old man whose mind is degenerating. We see what happens when the most powerful mutant loses his senses. Not only does he kill his own students but he shows the same signs of Alzheimer’s and dementia we see in our parents or patients.
X-23 is a revelation, and Dafne Keen steals this movie on multiple occasions, most notably in her first action sequence when we see her kick a lot of ass. She is the third member of this surrogate family and revealed to be Logan’s daughter through mutant DNA. Logan builds this connection with his daughter over the course of two hours and eventually sacrifices himself so that she and a group of other genetically created mutants can cross over into a promised land.
Like so many other comic book movies, the villains have something to be desired, but this is one of the strongest superhero entries ever made. I would consider this, Black Panther and The Dark Knight to be at a level above even most other Pantheon-worthy films.
*It has been documented a number of times on this podcast network, but this franchise’s treatments of minorities is abhorrent. An entire black family gets harassed by white people simply for owning a farm and then slaughtered by a Logan clone. Then there is the fact that it appears many Mexican boys and girls are the ones being experimented upon, and there’s no exploration of that.
MVP: James Mangold has had an up and down career. Now he’s gotten to the point where he’ll be a proud member of the dad movie Hall of Fame. He had done some good work. Even The Wolverine is a highly underrated film that certainly is not without its problems but has some very good action scenes and hints at something really interesting that this film pays off. Mangold got the power to make an R-rated comic book movie that ended this iteration of the character. He also got a well -deserved Oscar nomination for adapted screenplay as well. Although this isn’t an original concept, using a famous comic book character combined with two great actors, ended this franchise on an amazing note.*
*Dark Phoenix never happened.
Best Performance: It’s amazing that Hugh Jackman played this role for 17 years and we saw a number of iterations of the character depending on the director and whether it was a team film or solo venture. This is Hugh Jackman’s last time playing the character, and he’s angry and bitter. This is a Logan who has seen some shit, and the shit involving his teammates being murdered has ended any involvement he wants to have with the world. He has to take a sick parents? and does an incredible job getting across the idea of Xavier being someone he loves but also has become a burden. While he has always done good work, this was a major step above any other film he’s ever done save The Prestige. I almost made him MVP, but James Mangold elevated this material too much.
Best Quote: “A man has to be what he is. Joey. Can’t break the mold. There’s no living with the killing. There’s no going back. Right or wrong. It’s a brand. A brand that sticks. Now you run on home to your mother. You tell her everything’s alright. There are no more guns in the valley.” -X-23
Is there a sequel? No, that’s kind of the point.*
Again, Dark Phoenix never happened.
For podcast reviews of every X-Men movie check out Mike & Matt’s X-Cellent Adventures.