Review: ‘Logan,’ a comic book movie that is not a comic book movie

“Logan,” directed by James Mangold, is supposedly the last time the character Logan will be played by Hugh Jackman. As such, this film serves as an important memento for both fans of the character and the actor himself. As a final hurrah, “Logan” manages to hit every mark with great precision.

A considerable amount of time has passed in the “X-Men” universe, and this is easily noticeable in both Logan (Jackman) and Professor Xavier (Patrick Stewart). The X-Men are now disbanded, and both Logan and Xavier are tired, beaten and worn out.

Logan is forced to participate in unconventional activities, such as back-alley drug deals, to care for the dying Xavier. One day Logan comes across a young girl, Laura Kinney (Dafne Keen), that he and Xavier must escort across the country whilst protecting her from an organization that wishes her harm.

The greatest strength of “Logan” is its characters — Jackman, Stewart and Kinney all give great performances. The writing in this film is phenomenal, especially when it comes to relationships. The interactions between Logan and Xavier are emotional, and give a faint sense of a father-son bond. A relationship that proves to be more impactful, however, is that of Logan and Laura. 

Most of the film is focused on Logan and Laura, and as the movie progresses the audience learns more about Laura, and at the same time about Logan himself. This developing connection, similar to Logan and Xavier’s, is like that of a father-daughter relationship. What also helps this relationship develop is how Logan must defend Laura while escorting her.

However, the film is not just a casual road trip that talks about the values of family. The highly emotional and mature content is mostly due to “Logan” being R-rated.This movie is violent. Like decapitation, limb separation, blood everywhere violent — fully making use of the R-rating. These moments of action give the film a nice change in pace from the slow thought out moments that viewers had grown accustomed to in the beginning of the movie. This gives the film a nice balance, because at times it can slow down a bit too much — and the action allows for a nice recess from the constant dialogue between characters.

“Logan” is unlike other comic book films that have been released recently. While other comic book films focus on spectacle alone to sell the film, “Logan” deconstructs the genre by having its focus primarily be on its characters rather than on the familiar tropes of the superhero genre. Because of this, it becomes more of a drama. This may disappoint those who are just looking for a mindless action flick, but for those who are interested in a film that is about character development, this movie is a must watch.

COURTESY OF 20TH CENTURY FOX

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