March 6, 2017
Review #912: Logan.
Hugh Jackman (Logan / X-24), Patrick Stewart (Charles Xavier / Professor X), Dafne Keen (Laura / X-23), Boyd Holbrook (Donald Pierce), Stephen Merchant (Caliban), Richard E. Grant (Dr. Zander Rice), Elizabeth Rodriguez (Gabriela), Eriq La Salle (Will Munson), Elise Neal (Kathryn Munson), and Quincy Fouse (Nate Munson) Directed by James Mangold.
In the films that I have watched where Hugh Jackman played the Wolverine (X-Men (#008), X2 (#010), X-Men: The Last Stand (#012), X-Men: First Class (#042), X-Men: Days of Future Past (#584); I haven't seen X-Men Origins: Wolverine, and X-Men: Apocalypse), it's evident to say that Logan stands out as the best of the bunch. Seeing this film in a packed theater certainly helped make for a homelier atmosphere, and the first five minutes certainly make for an intense if not riveting start to a movie that never really relents on entertainment. That's not to say that the movie is only full of action and language (after all, this is an R-rated film), as the film also has a good deal of emotional depth along with good performances from Jackman, Stewart, and Keen. Jackman and Stewart have already been in enough X-Men films together to make for fine chemistry already, but the road trip nature of this movie manages to give these two a good amount of highlights. Jackman and Keen have great chemistry together, just clicking immediately, with good writing also being helpful. Keen (in her first ever film) does a neat job, managing to bring out the humanity in what could've been either too sentimental or the opposite, and I hope to see more films revolving around this character. Jackman plays this withered role with the right kind of humility and timing, being entertaining as ever. Stewart certainly does a fine job once again, conveying the unstable and aged nature of the character in an emotionally satisfying way. Probably the only real flaw is that the villains aren't too great, though they do have a useful presence. Holbrook is pretty decent, managing to be arrogant enough to root against. Grant doesn't have too much screen time until the last half, but he is somewhat serviceable as a puppet master, just not very distinguishable from other mad scientists, minus hammy overacting at least. The action in the movie is thrilling, never managing to become too stale or rely on egregious killing just for killing. There is also a fairly competent story along with this movie, having a good time with a premise that could've been dreary with a lesser director/cast. On the whole, it's an excellent film that has both excitement and competency while being a good film for Wolverine to go out on.
On a sadder note, Robert Osborne, film historian and primary host for Turner Classic Movies (one of my favorite places to watch movies) died today at the age of 84. It is sad to see him pass on, particularly someone as knowledgeable and passionate about movies as he was. Rest in peace, Mr. Osborne.
Overall, I give it 9 out of 10 stars.