Sunday, April 2, 2017

The Four Stages of Logan...

     I think we can all start off by admitting that, though there have been some really good moments in the Twentieth Century Fox run of X-Men - and other assorted Marvel titles, they've been for the most part less than spectacular.

     But, after seventeen years, when Hugh Jackman gets to help orchestrate his goodbye to the single most loved - if not often overused and (maybe) overhyped - character, well everyone takes notice.

     Set in 2029, Logan takes place in a world that has learned of, and followed the exploits of a band of adventurous mutants called "The X-Men". But, now, mutants are all but gone, the world has moved on, and the last few surviving mutants work to eek out meager existence. James Howlett, aka: The Wolverine", works as a limo driver while trying to care for his aging mentor in a remote area of Texas when a nurse approaches him with a little girl in need of help.

     What follows is two hours of gut wrenching character building, action, drama, and a climax that, though you know it's coming, still hits you like a brick of adamantium. Performances by Patrick Stewart, and new comer Dafne Keen really drive this movie home, and - as described by USA Today, help this story transcend the comic-book genre. (Actually, there is nothing but absolute first rate performances by the entire cast; every last one.)

     Logan is a broken man, conflicted, and in both physical and emotional turmoil, that had me infuriated at his poor choices as he succumbs to his age and the toll taken from almost two centuries of life. In many ways it's so life-like in its depiction of the world it inhabits, and the people that live in it. So much so that how convoluted James Howlett has become, and how unresolved some things are left only make the best sense; making it feel real, heartfelt, and - ultimately - the only natural resolution for the character. A ride you take willingly, at the end.

     Like most I have enjoyed this character, in and out, through the last forty years. But this particular iteration is like none other. And where it detours from such titles as "Logan" and "Old Man Logan" from comic book continuity are absolutely brilliant, and make it - in my book - one of the few... very few... premiere movies of this particular genre. So, I suppose there's only one thing left to remark...

Goodnight James Howlett; travel well.