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Review: Logan (2017) – A Superhero Film Like No Other

Film Review, Wolverine

Logan is not just another superhero movie. It’s a cinematic experience that transcends the genre, offering a raw, gritty, and profoundly human take on the iconic Wolverine character. Released in 2017, this film is the third and final installment in the Wolverine trilogy, and it’s a fitting swan song for Hugh Jackman, who has embodied the character for 17 years. It’s a film that has been hailed as one of the greatest superhero films ever made, and it’s not hard to see why.

  • Peter Travers from Rolling Stone praised the film, stating that “Logan earns its tears. If Jackman and Stewart are serious about this being their mutual X-Men swan song, they could not have crafted a more heartfelt valedictory.”
  • David Sims from The Atlantic noted that “Jackman and Stewart are why Logan works-why the film doesn’t feel like a cheap exercise in bloody violence, and its subversion of typical superhero-movie tropes feels organic.”
  • Peter Rainer from Christian Science Monitor commented that “Jackman gives Logan a withering rage that seems heartfelt, not hammy.”
  • Sara Michelle Fetters from MovieFreak.com mentioned that “This isn’t just a great comic book movie, isn’t just a superb X-Men adventure, it’s a fantastic motion picture, period, and Mangold, Jackman and everyone else involved with its creation should be more than proud of what it is they’ve accomplished.”
  • David Sexton from London Evening Standard wrote that “Jackman is, once more, superb, holding down the whole film: no matter how battered, gnarled and shrubby he looks, you always root for him. A bit of a beast – but our beast.”
  • Adam Graham from Detroit News compared Jackman’s performance to Clint Eastwood, stating that “Jackman’s performance is Clint Eastwood-esque, and the lines in Jackman’s face tell the story of his worn character; he plays Wolverine as a man at the end of his line, adding at least a decade to his 48 years.

Plot

Set in the near future, Logan presents us with an aged Wolverine, whose healing abilities are failing, and an extremely ill Charles Xavier. The plot revolves around their mission to protect a young mutant named Laura from the villainous Reavers. The film takes inspiration from the “Old Man Logan” comics storyline, but it’s not just about action and spectacle. It’s a deeply emotional journey that explores themes of aging, loss, and the struggle to protect those we care about.

Characters

Hugh Jackman delivers a powerful performance as Logan, bringing a depth and vulnerability to the character that we haven’t seen before. Patrick Stewart is equally compelling as Charles Xavier, portraying the character’s struggle with dementia with heartbreaking authenticity. Newcomer Dafne Keen is a revelation as Laura, matching her seasoned co-stars with a performance that’s both fierce and touching. The performances of the main cast are bolstered by a strong supporting cast, including Richard E. Grant, Boyd Holbrook, and Stephen Merchant.

Logan breaks the mold of the superhero genre. It’s a poignant exploration of what it means to be human, wrapped in a thrilling action-packed narrative. It’s a film that respects its characters and its audience, delivering a deeply satisfying cinematic experience that stays with you long after the credits roll. If you’re a fan of the genre, or just a fan of great storytelling, “Logan” is a must-see.

Cinematic Style and Tone

Logan is a film that stands out not just for its compelling characters and engaging plot, but also for its distinct cinematic style. Director James Mangold masterfully blends elements of the western genre with the traditional superhero narrative, resulting in a film that feels both familiar and refreshingly new. The film’s dark and violent tone is a departure from the more polished and sanitized aesthetic of many superhero films, adding a layer of grit and realism that enhances the emotional impact of the story.

The film’s visual style is complemented by a haunting score by Marco Beltrami, which underscores the film’s themes of loss and struggle. The action sequences are intense and visceral, but they never overshadow the character-driven drama at the heart of the film.

Cultural Impact and Legacy

Logan was met with critical acclaim upon its release, with many praising its emotional depth, mature themes, and the performances of its lead actors. It was selected by the National Board of Review as one of the top ten films of 2017 and was nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay at the 90th Academy Awards, becoming the first live-action superhero film to be nominated for screenwriting.

The film’s success has had a significant impact on the superhero genre, proving that superhero films can be character-driven, thematically complex, and aimed at an adult audience. It’s a film that has pushed the boundaries of what a superhero film can be, and its influence can be seen in the increasingly diverse range of tones and styles in superhero films that have followed.

Logan is a bold and innovative film that offers a fresh take on the superhero genre. It’s a film that respects its source material while daring to take risks and push boundaries. With its compelling characters, engaging plot, and distinct cinematic style, it’s a film that offers a rich and rewarding viewing experience. Whether you’re a fan of superhero films or just a fan of great cinema, Logan is a film that deserves your attention.

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