Dafne Keen. Remember that name, because she’s a talented young actress in a movie filled with every aspect of the emotional spectrum. I’m going to review Logan in my typical breakdown, so if you don’t want spoilers, then skip down to the final paragraph for my rating. Otherwise, stick around for my character break down and feel free to share your thoughts on the film.
James Howlett/Logan/Wolverine – Hugh Jackman gave us what we wanted. He may not have always had the best material with which to work, but the man cared about what he did. His portrayal of the character in this movie is the best out of them all. The dynamic of his healing factor being practically gone made him very vulnerable. Combine that with his care free attitude, and you’ve got a grumpy old man who is being poisoned by his own adamantium. I must say that I’m happy he perished in the end. I don’t want to see anyone take up the mantle of wolverine for a very long time after this (UNLESS it’s X-23). We will get to that in a moment.
Professor Charles Xavier – As with Hugh, Patrick Stewart always shined in his role as the psychic mutant, but in this movie we are given another shift in the standard. He’s got borderline alzheimers, and needs caring for. I love that they addressed this disease in a mutant. Imagine if in real life, one had his abilities and had no idea what they were doing with them. There was a brief mention that he was the one responsible for the X-Men dying. I’d have loved to have gotten a little more explanation on that, but I think it would have been unnecessary in the long run. I was surprised he died the way that he did, which is a good thing. It happened at a moment that was him confessing his own guilt. What a perfect way to go (not in the manner that he died, but the fact that he’d gotten it all off his chest.
Zander Rice – Although a small role, it suited its purpose. This was more about the characters, than the actual story, so he didn’t need to be doing more than he was. We got his back story, and a nice tie in to the original weapon X program that his father ran. In a way they respected all of the previous movies to an extent, despite the timeline being reset. It shows that some of those original events may have happened the same or slightly different.
Donald Pierce and the Reavers – I was really hoping for Omega Red, a return of Lady Deathstrike, or Sabertooth as the villain. When I heard the reavers were the antagonists, I shook my head and thought it was going to be a failure. I am SO glad I was wrong. They managed to make decent villains that matched the tone of this film in a way that was akin to Mad Max. It worked really well.
Caliban – I loved Stephen Merchant in this role. I don’t know why they recast him since Apocalypse, but he looked very similar, and for anyone not paying attention I’m sure they didn’t notice. He played the part better than his predecessor, but I wish we’d have gotten a mention of his younger years in that way. We were also presented with Zander Rice saying to gather the body, when Caliban sacrificed himself. It set up 2 possible scenarios. 1) Caliban could be cloned and come back as a more deformed version (like in the comics) or 2) in the original Days of Future past storyline (in the comics) they used mutant hound trackers to locate the mutants. This would make sense, as the anti-mutant sentiment was strong in this film.
Laura/X-23 – Remember that name I mentioned, Dafne Keen? Well she played this part so well, that I think we can have a very VERY good version of wolverine from here on out. In the comics, she’s the current Wolverine after the death of her father. They’ve set it up, so I think she’d be perfect in all future incarnations. I’d love to see her as part of the X-Force movie. She did an outstanding job with her rage, caring, and rebellious nature, but when she was crying, “Daddy,” at the end I lost it. I never cry in movies, and I could feel the tears trickling. Excellent job, little lady.
Rictor and the New Mutants – Who were the new mutants? Who knows, but the presence of Rictor could mean an X-Factor reference or set up. While I’ve no real care for these characters in the comics, it’s nice to have this sort of nod in the movies, and despite James Mangold constantly saying this is a stand alone movie, the references to the greater universe seem to be abundant. The use of the children here wasn’t overwhelming, but a decent nod to what’s possibly to come. Could they be X-Factor like I said, or maybe recruits for Cable, or even a set up to what eventually could be an X-Men 2099? Like I said, these don’t need to be all made into movies, but it’s fun for continuity and discussion sake.
X-24 – Here’s what I feel was a low point at first, but then my mind changed. Hugh Jackman is basically younger here and more primal. He’s even got a haircut and style to match what Sabretooth had in the first Wolverine movie. Why then wasn’t Sabretooth used? We never got a final showdown between the two. It would have worked just as well as X-24. Hell he could even have gotten his wish and become X-24 with Adamantium skeleton. (Remember that is what he wanted originally). So I complain about this, but then think to my childhood and how there was once a character named “Albert.” Albert was a robot created by the Reavers that looked like Wolverine. His storyline also involved a little girl that Logan had to take care of. Okay, it got way more complicated than that, but I feel like this is not a coincidence. I believe they used this angle to replace the elements they couldn’t use from the original Old Man Logan storyline.
Enough rambling from me. Here are my final thoughts for potential on what this movie COULD mean for the X universe. Here’s my speculation: GAMBIT is in the works. Where he falls into this all remains to be seen, but he could be a good element to X-Force since Archangel was killed off in Apocalypse. Now that Wolverine is dead, perhaps the film could see this lineup: Cable, Deadpool, Domino, X-23, and Gambit… NEW MUTANTS is in the works as well. Maybe this will center around the new team of kids, but who would lead them? Again, there’s no telling, but if James McAvoy’s run ends then we could see Cyclops, Jean, and Storm leading the new team. I realize there is a time problem here, but when hasn’t there been in these movies, and with Cable involved this is all possible.
In conclusion: Logan was a film made for comic book fans, and movie goers. It reminded me of an old western with comic elements. It was a roller coaster of emotion that didn’t disappoint. There will be bigger nerds than me complaining about certain little things, but who cares? This was the best interpretation of Wolverine yet. Stewart and Jackman played the roles better than they ever have, and Keen showed talent rare for even veteran actors. She’s a natural. I’ll give the movie 4.5 out of 5 sCrypt Coffins. What did you think? How would you rate it? Comment below.
Just to state where I stand with the X-Men movies, I’ll say that I’ve been entertained thoroughly, but am well aware of the issues and flaws they have made. X-Men 3 the last stand was bad because of the errors made, but in the end none of it mattered because Cyclops was never shown as killed, Jean is the Phoenix and has come back before, Xavier transferred his mind to another body that looked just like him, and the mutants that had lost their powers all got them back. With X-men Origins Wolverine, we got a whole mess of things, and while I enjoyed the story, I felt they crammed way too much in, destroyed what we knew of Deadpool, and had terrible fake plastic claws with too much ridiculous CGI. The other 3 movies I loved (particularly X-2 and First Class, the prior being my favorite).
So where does The Wolverine come in? Let me tell you, I was really skeptical going in. Origins left a bad taste in my mouth, and let’s face it the trailers for The Wolverine had me upset. I didn’t want to see a completely CG looking bullet train fight, and With Silver Samurai being a robot?!?!? WTF?!?! Thankfully, I was wrong on BOTH of these accounts. Warning there are major spoilers ahead, so if you want my rating skip to the last paragraph.
First with the negative:
1) VIPER: Why? Why? Why? There was no need (I mean ABSOLUTELY NO NEED) to make her a mutant. It served no purpose. She would have been just as deadly as a toxin making biochemist, as she was made here. Her powers were pointless, and other than the green outfit, she didn’t resemble her comic counterpart in looks.
2) Explaining the tapping of the healing factor. Silver Samurai drilled into Logan’s bone to steal his healing, but it isn’t explained how that works or how it just reversed once those drills were removed.
3) Wait, there was no #3… Yes I said it. If I had to pick something, I’d just say that I wish the 12 minutes of extra footage that would have made this movie a bloody rated R, would have been there, but I guess I’ll be okay with waiting for the DVD to see this.
My brother did point out that he did not like the CGI bear in the beginning, but I honestly didn’t have a problem with it because at times, it looked really cool, and I’m a more forgiving person when it comes to that.
And on to the positive:
1) Silver Samurai: Although he was altered slightly from the comics (in this case, being an adamantium suit of armor, I LOVED what they did. Yashida (the elderly one) was still this character, and I enjoyed that he used his technology to work with Adamantium, so much so that he was able to create a superheated lightsaber type sword to cut through the nearly indestructable metal.
2) Japan and the Japanese story ark: Sure, they altered some things (Yukio was never a mutant in the comics), but what they changed served a purpose. Yukio having a minor ability actually needed to be in this movie otherwise it wouldn’t have flowed as well, and certain things wouldn’t have worked (I.E. Yashida still being alive, and wolverine cutting out his own heart).
3) No healing factor: This, along with the constant emotional drama he had going on, made Logan an extremely deadly weapon. He killed. He killed a lot. He was very violent, and you got to see his berzerker rage kick in through most of the action sequences. My spine tingles thinking of how awesome the fights were.
4) Shingen, Mariko, and the Yashida Jr.: Okay, I’m getting lazy on the third one’s first name, but his part was so small it was only to serve a purpose. The three of them seemed to be taken right from the pages of the comics. Mariko was beautiful. She looked almost exactly like certain artwork done of her in the past, and she was a good companion for Logan.
5) Jean Grey: Yes, she’s back, only in his dreams…. or is she? I’m wondering if a part of the dark phoenix transferred itself to Logan’s mind when he killed her in X3. It seemed so much more than a dream at points, but helped to progress the story. Also, her part was much larger than the simple cameo I thought she’d have. Plus, I’ll never have a problem seeing Famke Jansen on screen. Especially when her cleavage is so prominently shown.
6) Bone Claws: I have no problem at all with where this story left us. He still has an adamantium skeleton, and is deadly regardless of whether his claws are metal or not. I actually like that they did this because of it making him a little more human. Besides, he did get his healing factor back, so why not give him a slight disadvantage?
7) The mid credits Scene: Magneto and Xavier showing up with Trask industries plastered all over the screen? Wolverine acknowledging that he wants to know how it is possible (referring to the results of X3), and Xavier telling him that famous line from X1? Magneto as an ally? This perfectly set up and led into X-Men Days of Future Past.
So where do we go from here? Well, we know DOFP is coming. We know they’ve announced an X-Force movie with Apocalypse as a villain. My dream lineup for this would be (Cable, Deadpool, Archangel, Domino, and Cyclops). They could fix the rest of the problems people have with the X films and assist in the reboot of the franchise alongside DOFP with this. (Sinister taking Cyclops right before the moment of his “Death” in X-3. Angel being taken by apocalypse.) Downside is that using Psylocke wouldn’t be smart because she was already in X-3. All that speculation and wishful thinking aside, where do we go with Wolverine? Should it end here? It would be a good last solo outing, but can they do more? They left it open. I’d like to see a movie that takes place between this and DOFP. He and Yukio go to Canada and meet the Alpha Flight. Together they take on Omega Red. Sabretooth returns, and they address the lack of communication between the two in X1. This time, he wants to kill Logan’s new friends (just like the team in Origins), and in the end Yukio stays with Alpha Flight. It is the ONLY what I think they can go to top this movie or be on par with it, and I’d welcome it.
My analysis? The Wolverine had great performances all around. The story was solid. It was a love story with PLENTY OF WOLVERINE RAGE ACTION. And I think it made up for any mistakes made in the past, though like I mentioned, it is not perfect. It Does however now kick X-2 into second place, and The Wolverine is now my favorite of the X-Films (even though it doesn’t feel like an X-film at all.) I’m giving it an 8 out of 10, only for the reason that Viper still leaves a bad taste in my mouth (pun intended). Kudos to Hugh Jackman, Fox, and all involved. What did you think?