[Warning: Mild spoilers are mentioned in the article. But there’s nothing that will ruin your experience.]
Nobody is born a legend. You fight to become one.
This has been the case with Hugh Jackman who first came on to the silver screen as Wolverine in the year 2000. Bryan Singer’s vision of putting together the X-Men on the big screen might not have reaped heavy rewards but the world has since been in love with Hugh Jackman.
Logan is all about the culmination of a beautiful journey. It is about Logan coming to terms with the fact that he isn’t as young as he used to be, and sometimes living peacefully is the better way out.
There are few sentences that can summarise Hugh Jackman’s contribution to the world of pop culture as well as this one can. Now that comic-book movies are the new in thing, Hugh Jackman has remained constant in the world of ever changing characters.
Having seen Logan, I can easily say that it is like nothing that the X-Men franchise has previously churned out. Logan in no way feels like a part of the gigantic Fox Universe which is like the sex drive of a middle aged man who is popping Viagra. It peaks at times but is largely ineffective.
I can totally picture Zach Snyder sitting in a not-so-well-lit room and saying of Logan, “Um, it’s kind of dark, isn’t it?”
We often criticise the Censor Board for cutting out the necessary bits of a movie because they behave like sanctimonious bastards who are preserving our culture. It only makes sense for us to praise them now as they didn’t fuck with this one. The movie is full of gore and swear words. Patrick Stewart saying ‘Fuck’ on the big screen in India is akin to AR Rahman winning an Oscar.
Although Logan is unmistakably ‘R-rated’ (the first line of the film is “Fuck.”) and at times seems to be proud of unleashing the character in his full violent, vulgar glory, it also serves to give the movie a unique tone that lets us know that this will be unlike any X-Men film we’ve ever seen.
When the movie starts, it seems like something bad happened to other X-Men characters. Mutant-kind has all but vanished. The military has joined forces with Big Pharma to do hideous experiments on Mexican women, while kids who escape the Nazi-like labs have to flee to sanctuary in Canada.
Two people, meanwhile, are looking for Logan: A Mexican woman pleading for help for a mysterious, mute little girl named Laura and a semi-mutant called Pierce, who’s hunting Laura.
Logan is basically a long and furious chase movie, like Terminator 2 with bits and pieces of School of Rock.
The third act is extremely satisfying. The whole character arc of Wolverine perfectly sums up how Logan really is in the comics. He doesn’t want to indulge in violence and rip his opponents’ throats out, but he is put in a position where he has to.
One of my biggest complains from the movie is the absence of the yellow spandex costume. We will never see Hugh Jackman in the famous Wolverine avatar now. Let that sink in!
Yes, X-23 was cool and the young actor delivered a terrific performance to win us over but, for us, Hugh Jackman will always be the Wolverine. Patrick Stewart once again proves why he is one of the best actors to have ever lived. Narcos star Boyd Holbrook was cast as a mystery villain in the movie, and the actor is playing Donald Pierce. He delivers a startling performance as the guy who manages to scare the audiences and the characters alike.
Everything about the movie was great individually but I still can’t put my finger on something that held it behind. The dialogue is crisp, the staging snappy, and the action scenes really pop. One of those scenes is right out of a video – a bit in which Logan turns a Las Vegas suite into a morgue when a group of killers is frozen in place by Charles Xavier’s seizure.
But when my editor asked me, “But Supriyo, did you like it?” I couldn’t give him a simple yes or no. And maybe that’s the dilemma about this flick. It was a well rounded experience and a fitting tribute to Hugh Jackman’s contribution as the Wolverine. At the same time, it just stopped short of making me feel like a kid again (like almost all superhero movies do).
The movie is best at what it does but what it does isn’t very nice.
Hugh Jackman’s effect on our lives is what makes the impact of the movie even worse. During the final act, I was emotionally invested into the story not because I wanted to, but because I wanted Logan to be safe. And that’s where all your emotional attachment to the character comes to the fore-front.
Some actors rule our hearts with their performances, but most of them are replaced by others. Seldom do we come across characters that are embedded in our psyche to an extent where we find it extremely hard to accept anyone else in the same role. Wolverine is one of them.
Thank you for the memories, Wolverine. You’ll be the anti-hero we’ll always root for.