The Wheel and Axle

Logan Runs

by on Mar.10, 2017, under Film & TV, Geeky

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It was bound to happen.

Hugh Jackman, despite what we want to believe, is not getting any younger, and he’s been playing Wolverine for nearly two decades since he debuted the role in the first X-Men movie back in 2000. The time would come that he needed to retire the role, and the time is now.

And what a time it is!

Rather than just let Hugh “silently go into the night” or replace him unceremoniously in a reboot, they let him go out with a bang by concluding his story properly: through a film inspired by the comic book Old Man Logan, a fitting conclusion given how both film and book basically celebrate the twilight years of Wolverine.

Now it must be noted that the movie Logan only superficially resembles the comic book. The storylines are fairly different, with occasional specific beats that echo one another, but largely they have one primary trajectory in common: in the future, an aging Wolverine, haunted by tragedies that have led him to be the last of the X-Men, goes on a… shall we call it a road trip?

A road trip movie that has a touch of a classic Hollywood Western.

This time, instead of Hawkeye as it was in the books, Logan goes on the road with an aging and somewhat senile nonagenarian Professor X. Good old Charles, portrayed by Patrick Stewart for the last time as well (or so it is said), retains such powerful insights into the character of Logan, and in many ways, this also makes his story with Logan – his “adoption” of Wolverine that began in X-Men – finally come full circle. It is also a closure of the relationship between the man who took Logan in when no one else trusted him.

Inserted into the narrative is Wolverine’s daughter – a clone known as X-23. The character of Laura was first introduced in the X-Men: Evolution TV show in the early 2000s before being brought over into the comics. Here, in Logan, she seems a bit younger – but every bit as deadly, if not more so. What’s more fascinating is how the young actress Dafne Keen imbues the character with such personality and power, even if she barely speak the entire movie; she is an actress to watch out for.

As this unlikely trio goes on the run from evil scientists and cybernetic warriors (led by a very hot Boyd Holbrook portraying Donald Pierce), we see what is perhaps that thing that has been missing from the movie Wolverine these many years.

No, not the violence which has also been missing since they felt the need to downplay that aspect in order to reach a wider audience. But yes, finally, realistically, this aspect comes into play in this R-rated movie about a man whose primary weapon are huge-ass claws. 

What has even been more significantly missing in the past portrayals of movie Wolverine is the necessary emotion underneath the violent exterior. We’ve seen it touched upon here and there – cheesily, if I may add, particularly the whole Jean Grey thing in X-Men: Last Stand – but most of that has been superficial and still rather vague.

Here, we finally see what makes Logan tick. We see what motivates him. We see what makes him vulnerable, and it haunts and touches us. We see what makes him change. We see a three-dimensional and well-rounded Wolverine who was not just about the badassery and the utter posturing coolness.

We finally see a person.

Watch the movie. ASAP. As some have claimed, it is not just a great comic book movie. It’s a great movie, period.

You won’t regret it. Even if you’re not a fan, it’s the end of an era, and you’ll want to be there.

My Rating: 9.5 out of 10 Stars

Starring: Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, Richard E. Grant, Boyd Holbrook, Stephen Merchant, Dafne Keen, Elizabeth Rodriguez, Eriq La Salle, and Elise Neal.

Directed By: James Mangold

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