One of the primary reasons that James Mangold’s Logan works so well as a send-off to Hugh Jackman’s 17 years playing Wolverine is that it does the opposite of nearly every superhero movie convention expected. The end result earned critical and commercial acclaim and an Oscar nomination for adapted screenplay (a Wolverine movie got an Oscar nomination for screenplay; thought I’d say that again). More than a superhero film, Logan has more in common with the Western where an old gunslinger goes out on a final quest (more Unforgiven than X-Men).
In fact, my favorite cut of the film is Logan Noir: the black & white version of the film included as bonus feature on the Blu Ray. Denuded of a lot of the effect of the blood, the film feels more in tune with an old warrior’s final journey. But Mangold does give the fans, at the end of the film, one final berserker charge from Wolverine as he races to save his daughter and the last mutant children from the Reavers. Even that scene though, if you put him on a horse and swapped his claws for six-shooters, would be straight out of a Western. Kudos to Jackman for 17 years as the world’s favorite mutant, and to James Mangold for figuring out a way to give us a Wolverine that was off his leash, yet more true to the character’s roots than in any other film he’s been in.
Seventeen years ago, comic book movies were a dead genre. In 2000, the first X-Men movie was released and jump-started a renaissance of adaptations. The franchise succeeded in no small part because the most popular X-Man: Wolverine, was cast to perfection. Hugh Jackman was an unknown. He’d done more musicals on-stage than movies on-screen, but from the moment we saw saw him cage fighting in a bar, he owned the Wolverine in a way that no actor perhaps has ever fully become linked with a fictional character (Bond and Connery and Downey Jr. and Iron Man being the only comparisons I can come up with). Logan is Jackman’s 9th film as Wolverine and his last. The film that bears his name is a nearly perfect Wolverine story. Unlike the PG-13 Logan that had to be leashed for the team films, this is the Wolverine from the comics, and yet, this a Wolverine unlike we’ve ever seen. It’s unremittingly grim, wonderfully acted, violent and gritty, redemptive and tragic. After all, Logan’s was a story that was never going to end well. Continue reading Movie Review: Logan (2017) *Farewell, Hugh, and Thanks”
Each Thursday we look at what is going to be coming out in theaters this weekend, show you the trailers for the big releases, predict the box office winner and just generally give you enough of a carrot to pull you through the rest of the work week. Week 2 of March Movie Madness only has one major release, but when you’re the size of Kong, one will do. Continue reading In Theaters This Week (3/10/2017): Kong Skull Island
Each Thursday we look at what is going to be coming out in theaters this weekend, show you the trailers for the big releases, predict the box office winner and just generally give you enough of a carrot to pull you through the rest of the work week. March 3rd begins the biggest blockbuster loaded March in movie history with a huge film opening every week the next five weeks. Three movies open wide, but Hugh Jackman’s final bow as Wolverine make Logan the first titan of March. Continue reading In Theaters This Week (3/3/2017): Logan, The Shack, Before I Fall
Logan, the third Wolverine solo film, will be the ninth and final appearance by Hugh Jackman as the most popular X-Man. No one, not even Chris Reeve as Superman or Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark has completely and totally owned a superhero like Jackman has from the very first seconds we saw him cage fighting in X-Men. Seventeen years later, his journey with the character will end, we’ll see the heir to Logan’s mantle, and also bid goodbye to Patrick Stewart as Professor Xavier. This doesn’t feel like a super hero movie (and I mean that in the best way), it feels like an old gunslinger’s last hurrah, and set to Johnny Cash’s cover of “Hurt” (one of my three favorite songs), I got a little misty. No one will ever fill Hugh’s shoes, even though one day they’ll cast another person as Logan, he has a choke hold on this role forever. Continue reading Trailer Time: Logan Trailer #1 (2017) *Jackman Pops the Claws One Last Time*