I’m writing this sentence 40 minutes after walking out of the theater where I watched Logan. In the time it took me to drive home, get changed, get some water and say good night to Alycia, I still haven’t fully processed the movie. Usually when walking out of a theater I know exactly how I feel about the movie. Logan has left me a little baffled, though.
Logan is a very well made movie. James Mangold directed a violent and gritty film about one of my favorite super heroes. After the success of Deadpool, I worried that Fox would simply make rated R super hero movies for the sake of making them rated R. Logan never really felt like that, other than an early stream of obscenities from Professor Xavier, which seemed out of place for his character both from the movies and from the comics. Logan’s profanity, though, and the brutality of his violence didn’t seem out of place. Logan is the best at what he does and what he does isn’t very nice.
While I thought that it was a well-made movie, I’m still not sure if I liked it that much. Logan is very realistic, perhaps too realistic for my taste. I’ve been reading Wolverine comics since I was nine, and even though he’s Old Man Logan now, he’s still as strong as he ever was. Logan gives us a different Wolverine, one whose powers are failing and whose body is weak. I read comics for some amount of escape and I watch super hero movies for the same escape. Logan didn’t offer very much of that escape.
Here are some other thoughts I had while watching Logan.
The Professor and The Wolverine
I didn’t dislike every aspect of Logan’s realism. I was especially moved by the relationship between Logan and Professor Xavier. In the movie Logan isn’t the only one with failing health; Professor X isn’t doing so well either. Instead of his body failing him, though, Professor X’s mind is failing him. I’ve watched a number of my older friends walk with their parents as their parents’ health has deteriorated. There were some very tender moments as Logan cared for Professor X, even as Logan’s frustration at the situation boiled over. Hugh Jackman and Patrick Stewart have so thoroughly embodied their respective characters; as a fan it was truly great to see them so connected in this movie.
More than anything Logan seemed tired. He seemed tired of doing good, he seemed tired of helping those in need and he seemed tired of living up to the expectations of others. He had spent the better part of his life saving world leaders, rescuing mutant children and averting terrible future timelines. Instead of being energized to continue doing good, he seemed to give up and only focus on a few people in his life. Perhaps this is why Paul tells us in Galatians not to grow weary in doing good. We’re never going to face Sentinels, but we will face trials and hardships, experiences that will make us want to give up. Following after Jesus and spreading his kingdom can be difficult, but God’s word promises that it will eventually be worth it. I like Logan because he always realizes that doing good is worth the effort; hopefully we can learn the same lesson.
Laura is a fascinating character, more in the comics than in the movie. She’s great in the movie, but her character is much more developed in the comics. In the comics Laura is a clone of Wolverine with the codename X-23. She shares all of his same traits, including his penchant for death and destruction. In the comics I loved seeing Wolverine do everything he could to lead Laura down a path different from his. I wish I had an older clone of myself to help me avoid all of the pitfalls in my life. I’d like to think that I would listen to my older clone, but chances are I’d just end up making the same mistakes.
I can appreciate Logan as a film even if it didn’t scratch the itch I have for a super hero movie. The story was solid, the direction was good and Hugh Jackman and Patrick Stewart gave stellar performances. If indeed this is their last go around with these characters, they are definitely going out on top. In a world of over-the-top super hero spectacles, Logan is a smaller and more intimate film. I enjoyed the intimacy of Logan, but it also reminded me why I continue to enjoy the bigger super hero movies and comics.
What did you think of Logan?