To be honest, and despite the hype, I walked into this film with very low expectations. Don’t misunderstand, I was a fan of X-Men growing up and collected the comics for many years. However, I wasn’t as much a fan of the movies; as I generally considered them all to be something of a let down, with few exceptions. However, the series kept bringing me back. Whether I had issues, as a whole, with a particular X movie, each one had spectacularly crafted moments, and had us itching for more; for example, the open credit scene of the first Wolverine stand-alone film. Yes, it wasn’t exactly canon, but what else in the X-Men movies is? This is going to sound a bit sacrilegious, but stick with me for a moment; like the opening of Up, the opening of The Wolverine creates our backstory in just a few moments. We see the friendship and trust between Logan and Creed. We see Creed’s slow capitulation to his ferocity and bloodless; and meanwhile, we see Logan’s breaking point where he can no longer tolerate or defend Creed’s bloodlust. It was excellently done, and almost makes the movie worth watching. Almost. OK, not really, but you get the idea.
In the case of Logan, we finally see the opposite of the previous X-Men movies. Instead of generally sub par movies with some extremely well done scenes mixed in, we get an extremely well made film with a few sub par moments mixed in. I loved it. Hugh Jackman and Patrick Stewart are simply superb in this movie. Honestly, I don’t think there’s much more that I need to say about these two.
Now let’s talk about Dafne Keen and Boyd Holbrook. Wow. Both bring excellent skills to their respective roles. Holbrook turns a character that was simply a mustache twirling villain into a character that I genuinely felt myself smiling at how he was presented. Though, full disclosure, I’ve always been a sucker for a good villain. Boyd was able to breathe real life into a villain archetype that he was able to make as comfortable sitting on a southern plantation, as he was leading a high tech band of cybernetically enhanced mercenaries. Very few actors could have undertaken this role without turning Pierce into a caricature.
I can’t wait to see what films we get to see from Dafne Keen as she gets older. Her mastery of acting, at her age, is simply amazing. She is able to use a form of acting that very few actors have mastered, no matter their age. Silence. However, her body language, facial expressions and purely her performance as a whole were excellent and her on screen relationship with Stewart and Jackman felt natural and organic.
The only issue I had with the movie was the profanity. Not that there was any, there are plenty of movies where profanity feels right, like it belongs. With Logan, it felt more like that part of the script was written by a kid whose parent had just stepped out of the room. Far too often in the film, the profanity felt shoehorned in and unnecessary. I imagine that part of this was due to the language being far tamer in previous films, but having this movie going so much more blue, simply because it was an “R” rated film simply felt forced to me.
So that being said, that’s really the only complaint I have. Yeah, there are a few scenes, that fell a little flat, or I thought could have been a bit more fleshed out, but as superhero movies goes, it has definitely been one of the best I’ve seen. It was a great one for Jackman to go out on. I merely wish they’d brought this level of excellence on the previous X-Men movies.
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