Over the past few years, superhero movies have become a staple in movie theaters. Some of these films have been good, others have been great, but the vast majority have been lousy. Hugh Jackman’s latest film, “Logan,” falls into that latter, failing to deliver on promises offered in its trailer.
Set in the near future, we meet up with an older Logan, who on the surface is working as limo driver trying to make ends meet. He is tired as time as taken its toll on his body and is suffering from an unknown ailment. However, deep down Logan still possess the fighting spirit of the mutant known to the world as the Wolverine.
Logan and another mutant, Caliban (Stephen Merchant), are caring for an ailing Professor Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart) in a hideout on the Mexican border. Professor X is suffering from a disease similar to dementia where his mental abilities have become harmful to himself and others. While trying to stay under the radar of the authorities a young mutant, who is being hunted by law enforcement and paramilitary forces, comes to the trio for help. Logan is faced with a choice to help this mutant find safety and confront his past or do nothing and let her be killed.
Logan is a movie that made a lot of promises to its fans, as the trailer guaranteed something gritty and raw. I was genuinely excited to see what filmmakers had created because it looked like a departure from the norm. The Johnny Cash rendition of the song, “Hurt,” in the trailer sold that idea.
The final product was far from what was promised to audiences and feels incomplete. Logan leaves audiences with lots of unanswered questions in its story. Some examples of this are that it does not fully explain the illness that is affecting Professor X and Logan. Instead, filmmakers drop the audience in the middle of the story, telling them to make sense of the events that are happening on screen.
One element that made Logan such a great character is his attitude and approach to life. Logan did not take guff from anyone and gave it back to others ten times over. For example, in the first X-Men movie, Logan teases Professor X when the two first meet. Seeing that the Professor is in a wheelchair he says, “What do they call you? Wheels?” That side of Logan’s personality was sorely missed from the film.
The only positive side to “Logan” are the action sequences that are well choreographed and, at times, very intense. Those segments are short and make up a small part of the 137-minute film.
Movies like “Logan” that provide little substance compared to the hype they generate are becoming more commonplace. Film companies, much like a person who buys a house to flip, treat these movies as a quick way to make a buck. There is little regard to the story, the finer details or the characters. Logan is a prime example of this trend — it is simply a moneymaker and a placeholder for the next film.
The Spiderman franchise is an excellent example of this trend. Every few years it seems that the story line a has to be rebooted with a brand new origin and a new actor in the leading role. Tobey Maguire, Andrew Garfield, and Tom Holland have all donned the spandex for the role.
The best course of action the studios need to chart is to take a break from making superheroes for a while and let them rest. Then, when production ramps up again, focus on quality and not something that is substandard.
If you have the desire to see “Logan” wait for it to come out as a rental because there are much better movies out in the theaters that will reward you with a great story.
I give “Logan” two mustaches out of five.
Logan is rated R for strong brutal violence and language throughout, and for brief nudity.
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