Logan: Marvel's 'Dark Knight'
A brutal, savage retelling of Wolverine and his legacy. The subtly named Logan rips into Wolvie’s later years, opening wounds and switching up the superhero genre in a dramatic, R-rated fare. The movie starts with a brutal fight, of our favourite Hugh getting jacked about. We see, for once, someone taking punishment. A fairly nice guy. Our hero of the past decade point five. It sprinkles small notes of tension. Because, let me tell you, nobody is safe in this pileup of guns and the all encompassing rivers of blood. Every punch in this movie is a bonebreaker. It rocked me like only reality can. Logan (Hugh Jackman) gives, in my opinion, the finest performance of his career. He’s a runner, recluse and a mess by all accounts. Living out in the desert, working a chauffeur job to buy food and drugs. Looking like an old hound on his last legs. A day drinker. A night drinker. And an underlying vicious streak with layers of regret. A haunted man. He cares for Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart) alongside a mutant tracker Caliban (Stephen Merchant) who both bring some charming things to this movie. Stewart’s banter with Jackman is an easy highlight, though the veteran actor also handles moments of heartbreak exceptionally well too. Merchant, on the other hand, won’t be relegated to the small time. In his limited screentime, Merchant's Caliban manages to feel like the neutral between the chaos and calm. He feels like a friend to all of us, even without several installments to back him up. Even when the script throws a new character our way, within moments, she’s irreplaceable. A remarkable little girl who can really cause hell. The important thing that Logan does well is: every character doesn’t feel written but every character does feel lived.
As far as lighting, shots and sound go… they all melt the senses with beauty. This isn’t a particularly artistic film. Nothing flashy. No neon. But you wait to see every sunset and every moon rise as the characters raise a whiskey to the heavens. Logan is peace, humour, battling demons, sadness, love and melancholy. Even small glimmers of hope, you will chase those to the bitter end. It’s about being human and the pain that comes with it. Relationships feel fluent and those action scenes are of a great calibre. It is something every Wolverine fan has been waiting for. They deliver in spades.
My only gripe is the main villain, a sunglasses clad man with bionic hand. He’s up there with the best Marvel Villains but feels like wasted potential when his henchmen commit most of the brutality. Compared to Logan, he sheds very little blood. Though menacing and well acted, I’d have still liked to see more action involving him to make that menace known. More insane than genuinely evil. Having said that, it’s a minor gripe.
The other Villain (which as I recall, never speaks) is much more challenging to take down. I’m not spoiling that one.
Not a gripe, though I will mention it. There’s a section or two in the movie that moves pretty slowly without much to engage the audience - if you like/care about these characters then it will be painless or even welcome. If you want to skip straight to non-stop action, you might be a tad disappointed.
At times, Logan feels like it transcends genres. A roadtrip movie carried by stops that add to the movie interspersed with smile worthy moments. A drama of character building, emotion and acceptance. A western with cars and hotels replacing horses and saloons. The trademark Marvel humour rears it’s head now and then but it’s always followed by something somber - a tone that wraps around the movie like a dark, unrelenting sheet. I found joy in the little things. Logan is about finding joy in the little things.
Logan is Marvel’s ‘Dark Knight’ one of the mightiest, masterstroke flicks of the decade and a rip roaring, adrenaline soaring great time at the movies.