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Logan (2017)

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Hugh Jackman's final outing as Weapon X appears to be getting just as much attention as the accompanying Deadpool 2 teaser trailer.  As good as that is, I hope it doesn't detract too much from what was a refreshing take on the Wolverine character.  What a shame there has been less of this, and more Wolverine: Origin's (2009) in recent years.  I'm certainly no expert of the X-Men universe, but it's difficult to imagine anyone other than Jackman as this most iconic of characters, and I was really pleased that he got as fitting a send off as this.  Tonally, this is no normal superhero movie, but for me that grittiness was its greatest strength.
Logan
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I really enjoyed James Mangold's Walk The Line (2005), and his 2007 remake of 3:10 To Yuma, and he retains his place in the hotseat following the positive reaction to his work on The Wolverine (2009).  Logan is the tenth installment in the X-Men series (the ninth with Wolverine in), and picks up James "Logan" Howlett's thread in 2029.  A broken man that has shed the Wolverine tagline, his powers appear to be on the wane.  Logan is ravaged by the aches, pains and scar tissue his regenerative process has begun to leave on him, tormented by his past, and has turned to the bottle as a cure for both.  This is a former hero whose body can no longer keep up.  Much of the opening act feels like Wolverine's Skyfall (2012), and he spends much of his time driving a limo to fund the medication for his former mentor, Charles Xavier (Professor X).  A clever twist I enjoyed was the decision to include the original comics in the film.  Logan dismisses these fictionalised stories as nothing more than that, but it's that heroic image he's stuck with that brings him to the mysterious Laura.  A combination of the silent Eleven from Netflix's Stranger Things, and Hit-Girl from 2012's Kick-Ass (also the spitting image of Mélanie Laurent),she has dark secrets and looks to Logan for help.  We quickly discover she has abilities of her own - when needed, she can look after herself just fine.
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It doesn't take long for Logan to justify it's '15' rating.  I've heard a decent amount of fan's that were really happy with the decision by Marvel to make a 15 rated film.  At first glance reducing the number of potential bums on seats by excluding anyone under that age from buying a ticket may appear a gamble, but their response would consist of one word: Deadpool.  The Wolverine has been a 15-rated character stuck in a 12-A rating franchise for too long, and finally this film gives him and the fans something to get their claws stuck in to.  The action sequences felt like a release, and finally they could unleash Logan's fury, and show the violence he could inflict in all it's gory glory.  If you can think of a way of killing someone with those adamantium claws, then they did it in this film, and the camera doesn't swerve away from it once.  It never felt gratuitous, more true to this character, and I thought the action setplays were superb throughout (even if Marco Beltrami's music got distracting as they peaked).  It's a shame they took the same stance with the language as that trick wore off pretty quickly and began to grate and jar in the films opening act - particularly when Patrick Stewart decides to drop the f-bomb every other line.  Maybe that was just me, but there were moments where Stewart resembled his character in Green Room more than the sensible head of Professor X.  That opening act seemed to stagnate a tad after the breathless opening, but that's a small nitpick and it quickly finds it feet when it finally turns in a to a road trip movie.  They have to keep space between themselves and a suitably slimy Richard E Grant, and Boyd Holbrook's Donald Pierce who are on the hunt for Laura.  I particularly enjoyed Holbrook's performance, and it reminded me a bit of Ben Foster's unhinged turn in James Mangold's Western, 3:10 To Yuma.  Logan feels a lot like a Western at times itself, with the scorched backdrop, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid-esc chase, and even has a scene where they watch the 1953 classic, Shane.

Logan felt like a suitable send off for one of cinema's most easily recognisable character/actor relationships.  There's too much fan affection for Wolverine for Marvel not to recast him eventually, but Hugh Jackman has left some sizable shoes to fill.  It's a relief to be able to say that his performance has peaked here.  As much as I love the angry physicality and humour he brought in previous outings, Jackman looks suitably haunted throughout Logan, and it made for a great watch.  Logan has a great story, and pack an emotional punch in all the right places.  It got me right in the feels, so seeing as I'm not that heavily involved in the character and franchise, the fanboys and girls will be in tears.  It's easily one of the better X-Men films, and if there's one pang of regret it's that it took this long for them to take the decision to up the violence and up the age rating.
food wolverine sandwich munchies
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