Written by: James Mangold (story by), Scott Frank & James Mangold and Michael Green (screenplay),
John Romita Sr., Roy Thomas, Len Wein, Herb Trimpe, Craig Kyle, Christopher Yost (characters by, uncredited)
Directed by: James Mangold
Starring: Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, Dafne Keen
My rating is simple, Watch It, It Depends, Skip it. Read my previous movie reviews!
In the future, a weary Logan hides from his legacy while caring for an ailing Professor X on the Mexican border. A young mutant with similar powers finds him, but bad guys are following her.
This excels because it isn't just a super hero movie. It's not all about the special effects. This wants to show you the damage admantium claws can do in the real world, and we see just that. This is also a man trying to outrun his legacy and mythos. He's old, his body is failing, and he can't be that man anymore. This movie doesn't rely just on the name Wolverine. This would be a compelling movie with a new character in the lead.
Logan earns that R rating in the first few minutes. We've never seen an R rated Wolverine and this shows you exactly how devastating admantium claws can be in a fight. This is gory and graphic. Logan dispatches the would thieves. Heads roll and limbs are lost.
It's clear this is not made by Marvel, and it isn't a typical comic book movie that's trying to establish or continue a franchise by stuffing the movie with character cameos in the off chance they can wring a spin off out of it.
Logan is living under an assumed name, working as a chauffeur, and taking care of Professor X. The Professor is there just to lend some amount of humanity to Logan, to ground him.This has a distinct arc while at the same time showing us a less glamorous Wolverine. He's old and losing his healing factor. In one scene he has to pull on one of his claws because it doesn't fully extend anymore.
This movie even pokes fun at the other X-men movies a bit, the X-Men comics exist in this universe but Wolverine dismisses it as fabrication. Though, it could also be that Wolverine is ashamed he can't leave up to the comics any longer. We don't know if any other X-men are still alive, but we know they disbanded and new mutants are no longer being developed. It's a bleak setting with a singular purpose.
Logan is found by a girl with similar powers and must then protect her from the bad guys that want to use her as a weapon. It's chance for him to save her from a similar fate. It's a second chance, and there aren't too many of those left for him.
While the girl is just a child, she's deadly proficient. This is a movie where the body count adds up quickly. Even side characters are brutally dispatched.
What's better than one Wolverine, two Wolverines.
Logan hearkens back to some of the Korean revenge movies that are brutal and to the point. the Western Shane is an influence, directly references in the movie.
This works on multiple levels, and succeeds chiefly by not being a typical super hero movie. this is a sci-fi story at it's heart. It doesn't need Wolverine to succeed, but giving it well known star power doesn't hurt.