When you’re having a week that generally irks you and wants to make you rage, you likely will elect to see a movie that will make you laugh, but I decided to keep a night at the movies thematically relevant when I walked into the theater to see Logan.
The feel of Logan much like the character is gritty, raw, and pissed off, taking place in a post apocalyptic setting in the not too distant future. Aside from the mutant mythology one would hope that the film’s outlook for the future is not prophetic, because the grim cloud with which the film is painted in terms of societal degradation, is one that isn’t entirely too far fetched.
One of the things that makes this movie so good was the flashy comic book curtain was done away with. The idolatry that we are so used to had some stains and flesh wounds on it, letting us know that a hero can be a little more than flawed. The chemistry between both Hugh Jackman and Sir Patrick Stewart was absolute brilliance. Both moody, both worn, lexicons modified with unabashed profanity, and both so familiar with each other they’ve honourarily entered into a father son relationship having a tug of war with their own stubborn forces of habit. What was the catalyst for having them to put their differences aside? A child named Laura, wonderfully portrayed by Dafne Keen, one of the scarce mutants very much riding on a “Children Of Men” theme who only has two gears: Silence, and rage.
For those of you that are used to Marvel movies being brought to life with fight scenes that are weighted more with a choreography or dance between good guy and bad guy, be ready because comprably speaking in this film, that was all one big tease. Director James Mangold isn’t messing around when he decides to unveil just how much damage even an aged and weary Wolverine and his little side kick can do in this one. Be ready, there is blood, and gore, much more so than I expected.
Formulaically speaking the ingredients for making this a good movie have been employed before by others: One that I always revert to is George Lucas. Adopting the western motifs, and riding on the guru philosophies of Joseph Campbell and the hero’s journey. And while plot movement for this story did involve an actual journey/road trip the Campbell philosophy was very much present in this film, but the model western used was Shane, at one point a scene from the film being shown and dialogue from the actual movie quoted.
When it comes right down to it “Logan” is more than anything a story about the strength of family, and that our faith in family is one that can stand against any evil force that’s trying to tear it apart. I guess my one problem with the movie is the lack of a defined quality antagonist. Basically the flunkies and rag tags of a corporation with menacingly horrific science experiments are the threat throughout the whole movie. But perhaps as Logan is not the definitive of what we see as a textbook protagonist, perhaps the antagonist doesn’t need to be so pronounced. As stated before, if the outlook of this film, is a prophetic one, it could very well be that the very institution could be as much of a horrific antagonist as any, and perhaps Logan is that force that we’re all looking for to defeat it.