So, if the thread isn’t tired of me talking about the seventh art, I’d like to write a bit about Logan, a film which I saw today. Heavy spoilers follow:
The original X-Men films never really hit off with me. I’m sure I never finished the first or the second ones, although I did see the third a few times. After that, the newer ones didn’t work: never bothered to watch First Class and only saw Days of Future Past once. I did see X-Men Origins a few times, but I can’t remember what i thought of it. I liked the comics though. I used to buy and read them constantly when I was younger. Maybe the movies never had any impact on me due to personal preferences. I’ll admit that the casting, for the most part, was great.
Logan is a pretty weird superhero film, when you see the usual suspects. It’s bloodier and more sobered up and the influences are clear (Old Man Logan, mostly, even though the Hulk doesn’t rule a wasteland in this one). I liked that. The superhero genre is going to have an inevitable decline, like westerns and fresco paintings. But seeing changes in the overall narrative and aesthetic makes it feel fresher, especially if handled well. It shows plurality, and despite a few fans, comics are nothing if not varied.
It also helps that Logan luckily follows this good narrative structure with conflict, climax, ending, a good Rule of Threes when needed here and there, and a solid character arc. Considering most action movies nowadays, that’s great. And there’s an X-Men who’s not part of the traditional Giant-Size team, Caliban is in it!
I could go on about the usual, like special effects and cinematography, but that’s not really what piques me today. What’s on my mind is how the film was charged for me. I never really liked the movies anyway, but the comics, now there I had some baggage. And luckily, I liked the cast well. For me, Hugh Jackman is Wolverine, the same way Patrick Stewart is Professor X. I think that’s what made the scenes so effective. To me, I wasn’t seeing this standalone about their last days, I was seeing a follow up. This is what made Charles’s death so effective, I thought about the Professor X in my stories. They never really talk about the other X-Men much, the pain of their loss is long past, we only see glimpses of it, and it works!
I also really liked the way it played with the traditional themes of the X-Men. See, comics are great for many reasons, but they also do things no other medium can do. Like this sense of continuity that’s being absorved by most action flicks nowadays. That can help you play with themes. Like how the mutants never really mean danger to anyone, and are still brutally hunted faceless agencies for being different. Because they might be a threat.
Now, I’m not sure if Logan want to make any commentary on anything, but I think I have one, based on it. See, we soon find out that the Eden Laura wants to go to is made up, it doesn’t exist, or so does Wolvie think. It comes from a comic book. But we eventually find out that it does exist, made up by kids who loved the X-Men. I can’t take that out of my head, this cynical, skeptical film sculpts the idea that superhero stories are these fake worlds, but then tears it down. It shows that there’s an inspiration, a emotion you can draw from . It shows that it’s not wrong for those kids to think fondly, of their superheroes, just as I’m feeling as I write this, and remember the comics I read in when I was younger. It’s this beautiful message that’s hard to come by near any… well, any action film recently. And, despite the movie’s flaws (I’m sure there are a few), for the X on Logan’s grave? It was worth it. See ya in the crossroads, bub.