Logan (2017)

If Logan is the best of the three solo Wolverine films, I am grateful I’ve been spared from the previous two titles because this is some of the most mediocre storytelling I’ve seen in a long time. The R-rating does not add any gravitas and depth to the film, just more offensive content to try to cash in on the success of Deadpool.

It commits one of the cardinal sins of movies which is having characters say lots of things throughout the film that are only for the benefit of the audience. No real person would regurgitate information everyone in the scene already knows. The first act is basically scenes of exposition with a random boob flash in the middle to make sure people know this is one of those edgy, “mature” superhero films all the fanboys have been clamoring to see.

Then there’s a video a character makes that shows tons of secretly taken footage from a high-security facility edited together that would only ever exist in a movie universe. Where did this character get the computer to edit all this video together? What would be her rational to put it on a cell phone she hides? When did she get the time if she’s constantly on the run and the last bit of footage seems to have been taken a couple of hours before said character no longer possesses the phone the video is on?

Even excusing the plot, there aren’t any interesting characters here. Logan/Wolverine/James (Hugh Jackman) is a smarmy asshole with a heart of gold. And for some reason the film think that’s such a profound and nuanced character to have because he has two sides to him. But it’s not enough to carry a film, especially with this being the eighth time he’s played Logan with no added depth to his two-dimensional character.

What makes the first three X-Men films (yes, even The Last Stand) and Days of Future Past work is that Logan is surrounded by characters who have a lot more depth and personality to them. Here he’s stuck with a senile Professor X (Patrick Stewart), an aloof Laura (Dafne Keen), and wet blanket Caliban (Stephen Merchant).

The themes of fatherhood and aging don’t excuse the sloppy storytelling and uninteresting characters. Add in action that has no stakes because Wolverine just healers or takes some special serum that accelerates the healing process. The more mature tone doesn’t make for a more mature story. Boobs and blood do not add gravitas and depth to your film. It’s as shallow and juvenile a superhero film as they come.

© James Blake Ewing 2017