By Darren Chan Keng Leong (Singapore)

 

I was looking forward to watch the film Logan in cinema as initial reactions have been positive and it was also the final time that both Patrick Stewart and Hugh Jackman would be playing both Professor Xavier and Wolverine. Both actors had played the roles since 2000 and this film was probably the last time that they would be playing the two iconic heroes on screen. However, after watching the film, though I knew that it was the end of these two actors as their last outing in portraying these two characters, I was left disappointed and felt that the film did not live up to the expectations of the fans.

The film starts off in showing a weary and struggling Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) whose diminished healing factor has affected his physical appearance and mental state. He turns to alcohol in curbing the pain and even retracting his claws is painful in battle. He even struggles to manually retracts his claws with much blood and he dispatches his enemies with much violence/gore which shows the brutality of Wolverine where fans would be delighted to see.

He works as a chauffeur while caring for Professor Xavier whose powers are out of control and Caliban (Stephen Merchant) who serves as their butler/caretaker in caring for the ailing Professor Xavier.

Director, James Mangold did good work in bringing out the emotions of the characters using their facial expressions and accompanying dialogue. The film also takes place in 2029 which sets it apart from other X-Men films. Presumably, I would say that Logan takes place many years after the events of X-Men: Days of Future Past. Mutants are fast becoming extinct due to a virus engineered by the Transigen Project which is headed by Zander Rice (Richard E-Grant). Zander is the son of Colonel William Stryker who we see being killed off in X-Men: Apocalypse.

Fans would not be disappointed as this is a hard matured rated Wolverine film with expletives being uttered by both Wolverine and Charles Xavier throughout the dialogue of the film. We get to see Wolverine fight through the horde of enemies that are hired by Zander Rice in the form of Donald Pierce (Boyd Holbrook). He heads a team of cybernetically enhanced soldiers who call themselves the Reavers.

Laura (Dafne Keen) did a fantastic job of portraying X-23 and she is shown in the film to be Wolverine’s daughter as she carries his DNA. We get to see a badass scene where she tags team with Wolverine to take out a bunch of Reavers nearing the end of the film. She portrays that of an earlier version of Wolverine which is both brutal and animalistic. The chemistry between Laura, Professor Xavier and Wolverine is a heart-warming scene where they eat and rest at a farmhouse with the Munsons who Wolverine helps in the film.

The film also throws the audience some Easter eggs in the form of the Uncanny X-Men comics where Wolverine finds in Laura’s backpack. We get to see the comic version of Wolverine’s classic yellow and blue suit when Wolverine flips through the pages in disbelief and irritation. At the end of the film, we get to see a young mutant holding a Wolverine action figure in the classic suit and the final send off for Wolverine where we see the “X” symbol. Also we get to see the dog tags and adamantium bullet that Logan (James Howlett) during the film as a throwback to his Weapon X days.

The issues that I had with this film comes plenty such as the under utilisation of Caliban and Reavers. I felt that they could have been a greater threat and it would be cool to see Caliban been of more help to Wolverine though he did sacrifice himself. It was poor character development for me as though Reavers provided much firepower; they did not seem to be a great enough threat. Another letdown would be the demise of Wolverine (seriously being impaled by a tree); it was just a tried and tested death scene. Director James Mangold’s decision to use X-24 in the form of a brainwashed younger version of Hugh Jackman did not sit well with me. This is something that has been over utilized in films. There could have been better villains that would have been better than using a brainwashed clone of Wolverine.

Another problem would be that the film could have used flashbacks which would have aided the story better in terms of having some X-Men make some form of presence in the film. It would be great to have seen either Professor Xavier or Wolverine interacting with the new mutants which was a missed opportunity in the film. We did not get to see where the new mutants and Laura would be heading to and who would be receiving them. These jarring plot holes and an abrupt ending did not sit well with the audience as they expressed their disbelief at the film’s ending. The ending could have been better and there could have been a mid-credit scene where we could be treated to a tribute of both Professor Xavier and Wolverine’s time in playing the two most iconic characters that fans have grown to love. Also another detail would be that the classic Wolverine suit that we saw as an alternate cut was not inside this film. It would be nice to see Hugh Jackman putting on the suit and then taking it off in showing his displeasure. This would be a nice tribute to fans that have been yearning to see Wolverine in a costume from the comics.

Moreover, the film that I watched did not include the promised Deadpool 2 scene at the beginning of Logan as it was meant as a teaser to the upcoming sequel of Deadpool. This was another disappointing moment for me which meant that I had to watch the bootleg version online. There is also no mid nor end credit scene which is such a letdown.

Overall, I enjoyed the film only because of the chemistry between a father and son relationship between Professor Xavier and Wolverine and likewise a daughter and father relationship between Laura and Wolverine was a touching moment to watch onscreen. The soundtrack also did do the film justice and the scenes that were shot in the desert reminded me of Mad Max: Fury Road. I felt that Wolverine left a little too prematurely and that it could have been directed better in giving fans a better progression of the storyline and character development. Well though their time has come for them as a final curtain call, I hope that the directors take the next X-Men sequels more seriously and do justice to their younger counterparts such as giving Laura a larger role in the X-Men universe as X-23. Farewell Wolverine and Professor Xavier, thank you for being part of my childhood since the year 2000 till 2017.

Rating: 3/5

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