By Shelby Fielding (Lubbock, Texas, US)

 

Logan: A Superhero Sendoff That Could Be Academy Worthy

17 years of Hugh Jackman portraying the beloved raging monster known as Wolverine has finally reached its culmination. With an R-rating from the MPAA, Logan serves as an emotional and intense resolution to a character that has shaped the comic book genre since July of 2000. Focusing on the narrative of a post-apocalyptic world of the X-Men universe that divulges a broken, mature, and gritty Logan that embarks on an expedition that not only focuses on the character of Wolverine but the future of the X-Men. With the introduction of new characters to carry his legacy, Logan plays the role of a hero that is fighting in his last war.

Logan is an emotionally driven superhero film that buries itself in realism that not only intensifies its action, but it reinforces the character traits that Logan has always possessed. This is the story that Logan has deserved since his inauguration into the cinematic universe where the integrity of the character has been almost restricted. Now with the rules thrown out the window, we as fans of the character are finally granted the compelling narrative that provides a heartfelt conclusion to Hugh Jackman’s phenomenal depiction of one of Marvel’s most beloved and honored characters known simply as the Wolverine.

Logan possesses something intangible that I as a comic book lover never imagined seeing inside of a movie theater. The intangible quality is that of grittiness in a way. Specifically the grittiness of the character that is almost flawlessly flourished in the source material known as “Old Man Logan.” Logan takes that source material and expands on it through a combination of other source materials to provide an adapted and original screenplay that composes itself with great sentiments that provide studies of what it means to be a human being that has lived a life of blood and pain. James Mangold directs this movie from such an intense perspective that every emotion is felt so intimately by the viewer. With such an intimate connection being constructed between the audience and the character’s stories, it is so difficult not to become almost subconsciously connected to the spirit of Logan.

The filmmaking itself is filled with an almost graphic style of cinematography. Not graphic in that it’s gory or unwatchable due to its reliance upon blood, which blood is a significant aspect of the film however it is not the reason it feels graphic. It feels graphic from the realism and from the dark topics that the narrative divulges into such as suicide, depression, guilt, and focus upon how this character is so broken not only emotionally but also physically. The direction of the action is breathtaking to watch. The action is so vicious and remorseless with not only how Logan murders his enemies but how Laura (X-23) butchers her enemies as well. The slaughter that takes place in this film is so breathtakingly intense that on multiple occasions you feel as if you’ve been in a war after each battle scene. This aggressive portrayal of the action is also in thanks to the remarkable editing put on display. The transitions are fast, but they serve a purpose in the reflection of the tone of the film.

The action in this movie is vigorous due to this excellent editing and amazing stunt performances from Dafne Keen and Hugh Jackman. Hugh Jackman’s final portrayal of Logan is moving, passionate, and almost mournful. It was so emotionally powerful to see this character come full circle in how he was brought into this world as a troubled and broken man that leaves as a broken yet fulfilled man. But, he’s broken from his past instead of his beliefs. We are first introduced in X-Men to a mutant that is broken because he is troubled by how he believes that he doesn’t belong in this world because he feels like a freak. Logan provides the conclusion to that character with a man that is shattered from his past, and from the guilt that he belittles himself with to hide his actual pain. His true pain in how he feels that he kills everything he loves and that he doesn’t deserve to live because he is a killer.

Daphne Keen stands out of this film with her portrayal of Laura, as well as Patrick Stewart, Boyd Holbrook, and Stephen Merchant. I have no flaws with this movie, but I have heard discussions of how many think the action could have been shot better using the example of John Wick: Chapter 2 and how the action in that movie was remarkably filmed. My response to that argument is that John Wick’s action is shot to personify and visually representation of how those characters are experts in killing. While Logan’s action serves as a personification of Logan’s intensity and the characters moral conflicts that they face. That’s why it’s filmed so rapidly and intensely.

Logan is an accurate memorialization of this character and Hugh Jackman’s remarkable portrayal of the Wolverine. Not very often do we receive a comic book film that is mature, resonating, and grounded in realism from the topics it dissects as well as the violent imagery it delivers. Academy Awards belong to movies that go against the norm and emphasize their narrative on real struggles that people can go through. I know the Academy fears legitimizing the genre of superheroes, but Logan proves that these films can discuss topics that we as people face in reality without these heroes to protect us.

Logan is the best X-Men movie made thus far in my opinion, and it would be a tragedy not to provide an exemption to the rule that comic book films can divulge subjects that can inspire others to rise against these issues just as their favorite heroes do. Thank you, Hugh Jackman, for gifting us with your passionate portrayal of this beloved character, and thank you for bestowing us with this magnificent performance. Please don’t stop acting because we as fans will continue supporting you in thanks to the impressive performances you have given us as one of our favorite characters commonly known as The Wolverine, but to us, he is simply known as Logan.

Rating: 5/5

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