logan-film-header-front-main-stage

“Logan” Is A Painfully Beautiful Swan Song With Gore Galore

When the first X-Men film came out in the year 2000, superhero films weren’t anywhere near the ubiquitous blockbuster features they are now. Joel Schumacher had murdered the Batman franchise in a candy-colored, Bat-nippled implosion a few years earlier. Now it was up to the heroes hated and feared by those they vowed to protect, to prove superpowers could once again carry a multimillion dollar film.

Though the movie itself had its flaws, it certainly succeeded in its financial mission and ended up creating the blueprint for modern superhero cinema. Its success was largely due to the excellent casting of a then fairly unknown Australian actor named Hugh Jackman as Wolverine and Patrick Stewart as X-Men founder Professor Charles Xavier. Seventeen years later, these two are bowing out of the expansive franchise, but not before delivering their absolute best work for it.

Logan takes place in the near future, when mutants are no longer being born and most of them have been wiped out. Logan (aka Wolverine) works as a limousine driver near the border and lives in Mexico, where he’s hiding an ailing Charles Xavier, now in his nineties. The most powerful mind in the world suffers from excruciating seizures, and when they’re triggered, it’s enough to classify Xavier’s brain a weapon of mass destruction. Logan struggles to make enough money get the drugs that Xavier needs.

From the film’s very first scene, it’s clear that Logan thoroughly breaks with the previous installments of the franchise, especially in its depiction of violence. Gone is the clean “snikt” from previous installments. These claws are painful, visceral and dish out full R-rated gore. The film’s rating may be the same as the X-Men offshoot Deadpool, but it couldn’t be more different tonally. Where Deadpool excelled in hilariously crude jokes and gratuitous violence, Logan does the opposite. Every burst of bloody action comes with heavy consequences, for his victims, as well as for Logan himself. He’s tired of life, tired of running, tired of being hurt and hurting people. The scruffier-than-ever Jackman exudes pain in every step of Logan’s wobbling gait.

Stewart’s depiction of Xavier is naturally less physical, but he’s as much a tortured soul as Jackman’s Wolverine is. Verbally flailing and failing, the brilliant professor is frustrated by himself and his situation—but there’s an even darker trauma lurking. That the small sparkle of hope these two former superheroes meet comes in the form of a child who is also a ferocious killer hounded by remorseless murderers says enough about how bleak this film is.

The ensuing road trip to deliver her to safety is as much about her future well-being as it is about Logan’s redemption. The plot delivers very few surprises, but that doesn’t really matter much when it’s so emotionally gripping. Freed from the franchise’s looping and messy continuity, the film gets to simply tell its own story in raw, dusty, sun-bleached imagery.

In one of the film’s subtler moments, Xavier tells Logan, “There’s no statue of liberty.” It’s a reference the final scene of 2000’s X-Men. It’s exactly those kinds of grandiose finales that have come to be synonymous with superhero films, but when X-Men movies have been able to scale back those larger-than-life stakes (Deadpool and Logan), they’ve ended up with the best films in the franchise. It’s the emotional impact that makes Logan such a painfully beautiful swan song.

Related Posts

Film
Film

‘Logan,’ the Latest Wolverine Movie, Gets a Brutal New Trailer

Film
Film

These Comic Book Artists Created Some Great Posters For “Logan”

Film
Film

The First ‘Logan’ Trailer Is Here And It Looks… Good?

Music
Music

Logan Cage “Everything’s Alright” ft. Saba

Music
Music

PREMIERE: Logan Cage “3 Man Weave” ft. Stro and Femdot

Ad

Latest News

Gilles Hey, You're Cool

Hey, You’re Cool! Gilles

Get familiar with the Atlanta-bred lawyer/rapper: "People think it's a gimmick"
kanye west News

Kanye West is Producing Albums For Every G.O.O.D. Music Artist

Yeezy Season has returned
mike sits on his rooftop in the god's with me music video Music Video

A Higher Power Watches Over MIKE in New “God’s With Me” Video

Church in these streets
body-cameras News

Study: Police Body Cameras Have Problems, But Are Still Necessary

Some things never change
chance the rapper dwayne wade News

Chance the Rapper and Dwayne Wade Are Co-Producing a Film on Chicago Basketball

And you say Chi City!
Evidence Music Video

Evidence and Jason Goldwatch Show You Their Los Angeles in “Jim Dean” Video

"Walkin' in the rain off the Jim Beam / Dreams broken on the boulevard, Jim Dean"
Music

Read This in Auto-Tune: T-Pain’s New Album, ‘Oblivion,’ is Here

Still snappin'
seven1 Music

PREMIERE: SeVen1 ‘Sinners Remorse’ EP

"These shorties is f*cked up / They kill but can't hustle"
moneybagg yo youngboy never broke again Music

Youngboy NBA and Moneybagg Yo Team for Conceptual ‘Fed Baby’s’ Album

Against the law
Willie Music Video

PREMIERE: Willie The Kid x V Don “Blue Notes” Video

"The love kept me afloat, the hate kept me on my toes"
plane News

Pilots Have a New Hobby — Drawing Dicks in the Sky

Excuse me as I f*ck the sky
CoteKid Reviews

Check Out SpaceJam Bo’s Exciting New Mixtape ‘Cote Kid’

Montgomery's finest
cyhi the prynce Video

Off The Record: CyHi the Prynce on Kanye West’s “FourFiveSeconds”

“I thought [Kanye] was gonna get Bruce Springsteen on it or something.”
jay-z News

JAY-Z Advocates for Meek Mill, Ties Case to Larger Cause in New York Times Op-Ed

"Instead of a second chance, probation ends up being a land mine"
6ix9ine-trippie Features

A Brief History of the Trippie Redd and Tekashi 6ix9ine Beef

It was all good just a few months ago
Yujia Hu Hey, You're Cool

Hey, You’re Cool! Sushi Master Yujia Hu

"I think of sushi as another form of art"