Logan was a fantastic movie for more reasons than I have enough room to talk about here. It was truly that good. Much of that being owed to no small effort of Sir Patrick Stewart. A very close friend of mine told me that this was the best comic book movie he has ever seen. I don’t really have grounds to disagree with him, because it very well may be the best comic book movie I have ever seen, as well. But I don’t really think it is that simple. I prefer to think of comic book movies as existing in planes, rather than just a hierarchical list. I do this, because I find them too different to outright compare to one another and assign ranks. For example, The Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, and The Chronicles of Narnia all exist in the same genre. While The Lord of the Rings is my favorite fantasy story, it is difficult to say that it is better than the others. They are just each too unique to compare. Much the same with comic book movies. I believe that The Avengers Movies, The Dark Knight, and Logan each belong on the top plane, but I have a hard time saying that one of these movies is better than the others. However, I have no problem saying that Logan will always hold a solid place in that top plane.
I will confess that my X-Men knowledge is quite limited; my DC knowledge is marginally better. But I will say, of what I do know, Logan did a great job of creating X-23, aka Laura Kinney. She was an excellent character by herself. But both she and Logan were amplified by the other’s existence in the film. Wolverine is more than just adamantium and healing; he has animal instincts. He is Wolverine. Laura is made from Logan’s DNA. She has his adamantium and healing power, but she also has his animal instincts. She is X-23. These instincts are most powerfully manifested when they fight. When Wolverine fights, he fights with pure animalistic rage, filled with grunts and growls others cannot perform. Except for X-23. When X-23 fights, she displays this same animalistic rage, growling as she leaps from victim to victim. While they each fight with the same animalistic rage, their individual fighting styles are quite different. Wolverine is a large man with an adamantium skeleton and claws in his hands. He fights with shear strength and brute force more than anything. X-23 is a small girl with claws in both her hands and feet. She fights with great fluidity and precision, seemingly out of necessity. The first fight scene with X-23 is one of the best fight scenes I have watched. I realize it is extraordinarily violent and several people die, but the way she fights is almost beautifully adept. She fights with the raw rage and animal nature only Wolverine or a derivative of him could, but she does it in a way that only she could because of her constitution and claw locations. Seeing their similarities but watching them fight together so differently was well played by the creators and fun for the audience.
I also really liked the way they handled wardrobes in this movie. Well, at least the way they handled Logan’s and Laura’s. Along with their initial fight scene together, we see other indications in Laura along the way that remind us of a younger Logan. They even go so far as to have Charles Xavier tell Logan that Laura reminds Charles of a younger Logan. The iconic Logan outfit is a leather jacket unzipped over a white shirt with jeans and boots. Over the years, and dozens of movies (give or take), it has become acceptable that Logan be wearing any sort of open shirt or jacket over another shirt. But the boots have always stayed. Albeit potentially a bit too on the nose, watching Logan tie his boots then watching Laura do the same just a few moments later showed a nice similarity between the two. She even spent much of the movie in her own version of the Logan attire with her button-down shirt open and other shirt beneath. Boots included. Sometimes, constant visual reminders can be obnoxious or offensive, assuming we are not intelligent enough to make connections. But I found these to be neither. Other than that one boot scene, it really is not forced upon us. In fact, and I do not advise this (instead, I discourage it), if someone were to have just seen Logan and not any other X-Men movies, I doubt that person would have noticed the wardrobe similarities. It was just a nice, subtle conversation between the audience and the creators.
I have both read and heard about how this movie was negative or sad or had no hope. I guess I can understand why people are saying this, but I quite strongly disagree. I actually say the opposite; this was a movie full of hope. Not a single good character did anything for themselves the entire movie. Even Logan, who wanted to die, lived and worked to care for Charles. Caring for people is not a particularly Wolverine thing to do. But it seems that it was very much a Logan thing to do. Caliban sacrificed himself so that he did not have to track his friends any more. Once in the car, Laura covered Charles with her own body to protect him from bullets, getting shot in the arm in the process. And the final fight was children fighting for one another and Logan doing his best to protect them, despite the threat of losing his life. This is a ton of positivity! Which brings us to Eden. Logan was right. Eden didn’t exist. It was a fictional place derived from fictional stories that gave hope. But it is precisely because of this hope that Eden was able to exist. It was the hope and belief of those children that made Eden a real place. And it had to be children. If adults would have been the ones to make the decisions, then Eden never would have existed. As evidenced by Logan. Finally, despite the deaths of Charles and Logan, I thought the ending carried a positive message. Mutants seemed to no longer have a place in the world. But now these mutants did.
My name is Chuck, and these are my thoughts. Now I would like to know what you think. Do you think the writers and Hugh Jackman did a good job differentiating between Logan and Wolverine? What did you think of X-23’s fighting style? Would you say that Logan sent a positive message or a negative message? Leave a comment down below, and we’ll talk. Enjoy the day!
Next week: Kubo and the Two Strings