X-23 gets her claws in new Logan clipBy Gladys Abbott Feb 18, 2017
The first X-Men movie opened on July 14, 2000. They tolerate each other without any objective to live.
Logan is a welcome rarity in the ever increasing pantheon of superhero movies; it's one that has emotional weight. The stakes are low but critical, and the father-daughter relationship that develops between Logan and the girl is sweet and honest (the fact that she's just as ferocious a fighter as he is helps them bond quickly). (Someone do that, please.) Or, they could take a beloved character who's always been a little dark, a PG-13 version of dark, and remove the electric fence that's been hemming him in. (See his cop Western Copland, or the musical Western Walk the Line, or the samurai Western The Wolverine.) Logan might be his most overtly Western non-Western yet, from its dusty, sand-blasted locales to the moment when Xavier and the little girl, whose name is Laura, watch the climactic scene from George Stevens' Shane in a hotel room. Logan is a damaged man, with the ability to do real damage.
What ensues is a manhunt story through America's Great Plains, enhanced subtly by the world of the X-Men. Longtime fans are going to love and appreciate this approach to the character but casual comic book moviegoers might find it hard to stomach. There is also a villain (it should not be spoiled who or what) that has not appeared in advertising footage yet that gives Logan and Laura a run for their money.
But they're equally terrifying - no question.
The third wheel along for the ride on this mutant sanctuary seeking road trip from hell is Laura (child actress Dafne Keen delivering a knockout debut performance) whose presence is viewed as a nuisance by Logan, whereas Xavier quickly takes to her as if he were the girl's grandfather. When we came up with this idea, which I recorded a voice memo of it literally two years before the day we release.
This isn't Mangold's first gritty rodeo though.
But it's clear that there was a distinct and clear vision that Mangold had and, thankfully, the studio let him do it. To wit, the copious moviegoers who flock to Logan and revel in the genre appropriation would never think to sample the genuine article absent the super-heroic franchise trappings. This is a mature film, nearly a meditation at times, of growing older, losing hope and coping with one's own mortality.
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Getting much of the credit for the power of Logan is its star, as the film is deemed a "fitting send-off" and Jackman's "best performance to date". However, X-Men fans will be shocked to discover that the film kills off a series of major characters including Logan himself. But the quiet moments allow Mangold to juxtapose Logan's introversion and weariness with the beauty of the world around him.
Interesting, isn't it? The more risks Fox takes with the X-Men properties, the richer the rewards seem to be, with this one making the comparably bland and noisy X-Men: Apocalypse look criminally unambitious for one.
In the end, Logan thrives off of the Deadpool effect, in every way imaginable, but that doesn't mean it's now the universal blueprint.
That said, I also know that if I went to see the movie again, I wouldn't be able to resist sticking around to see if I missed something. She brings danger and violence back into their lives, but also goal. Will this be one of the best superhero films of all time?
Great characters or actors can not carry a film by themselves, as evidenced by what Warner Bros. has been doing with their live-action DC Extended Universe films.
While he has had to share the role with James McAvoy over the last few movies, in Logan, he once more brings the character of Charles Xavier to life, even if at this point in the series he is much older and perhaps not as in control as he once was.
IndieWire's David Ehrlich notes it's one that could withstand even poor projects: "Whereas most of the cinematic genre's characters borrow from myth, Jackman's Wolverine became human enough to forge his own".
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