What lies ahead is an unedited jumble of words, thrown onto a blank sheet of paper late at night after seeing a movie. Enjoy at your own risk.
I have a relatively low resting heart rate; I don’t know exactly what it is, but if I had to take a guess I’d say somewhere around 55 BPM. But after sitting through Logan, the new Wolverine (X-Men) film, it feels as if my heart’s been beating at a minimum of 90 BPM for the past 2h 15m. No, Logan, this is not me complimenting you, this is me telling you (well, I guess this is me telling the man in charge of Logan, dir. James Mangold [known for Walk The Line and 3:10 To Yuma and “known for” Knight & Day and The Wolverine]) that you don’t have an ounce of delicacy, an ounce of anything that makes my heart do anything but go thumpthumpthumpthumpthumpthumpthump or THUMPTHUMPTHUMPTHUMPTHUMPTHUMPTHUMP or sometimes, but much less frequently, THUMPTHUMPTHUMPTHUMPTHUMPTHUMPTHUMP!!! Instead, Logan, you barrel your way through your runtime at a rapid (albeit not really efficient) pace, just as my heart attempts to barrel its way out of my body just so that it can take a goddamn break.
Ugh. I don’t even know if I want to write about this movie. What is there really to say?
(hit CONTINUE READING to find out what more I end up vomiting out about this movie)
I felt as if I was basically fed a conglomeration of seconds from every other Wolverine/X-Men/Marvel/Superhero movie I’ve been watching for the past, I dunno, 10 years now, at least? Logan, as a character, is no different than he was in the first X-Men trilogy, or the second X-Men trilogy, or X-Men Origins: Wolverine, or The Wolverine, just the sorrowful, woah-is-me, I-have-all-these-powers-but-no-one-loves-me-(because-I-reject-love-at-all-costs) character. Just like every superhero movie, you can (or at least should be able to) see every step that comes three moves before it happens, even what with the “revisionist” western/superhero thing that they’re going for here, which feels, to me, approached in such a half-hearted, blandly painted manner because they’re scared it’s going to turn people off if they make an anti-superhero movie (not an anti-hero movie, but just a movie that attempts to destroy superhero films, like Deadpool, but in a far more dramatic way). This thing is a step away from being as dour as the most recent DC films (Man of Steel and Dawn of Justice). And oh my goodness, if we haven’t seen the metaphor of good v. evil, love v. hate, acceptance of others v. eugenics/power tripping in every. other. freaking. X-Men. movie. ever. beaten. to. a. freaking. pulp… And yet still, this film can’t delve any deeper into these metaphors than has been done in any of the other X-Men films (yo, we get it, the government are the bad guys, and they are all bad, to the bone). (There’s also this twist in the middle that I can’t really spoil for the few people who will read this and not have seen Logan yet, but basically a character arrives and you’re like [or you should be like], “Okay, they literally did basically this EXACT SAME THING in X-Men Origins: Wolverine and it didn’t go so hot then so why are they doing it again here?” I hope anyone who has seen this knows what I’m talking about.)
Should I talk about the action, too? Isn’t this why we come to action/superhero/violent movies, to be dazzled by the spectacle of such? The framing of the action shots feels, to say the least, arbitrary, if not jolting. This never fully capitalizes on its potential to demonstrate any truly stunning choreography between the Wolverine/Child-Similar-Wolverine -In-Fighting-And-Temperament (the little girl you’ve seen in all the trailers). Several times I found myself asking several questions that were never really answered: “Why don’t the bad guys just have adamantium (the only substance that can really hurt Logan) bullets at this point to put an end to the Wolverine? Why do they even let him live in the first place? Why don’t they also use those bullets on the little girl, because I can’t remember them specifying why they need her when they’ve clearly stated they can’t control her?” (I also briefly want to mention, in this action section, how poorly used the child mutants are, in regards to their powers… like, 3 of them get to demonstrate what they can do, and the others just run away instead of fighting in anyway, and when they do fight you just have to ask: “Why didn’t you fight earlier, like when you were freaking running away?” Ugh.)
The last thing I want to mention, I guess, is the fact that this in no way deserves the emotional beats its going for at the very end, because it shoves all of its relationship development into the last 1/3 of the film, instead of spreading it out, and allowing Laura (the girl, who appears severe) slowly soften Logan’s (Wolverine’s) heart to a point that it can actually soften MY heart and get it to slow down at the end. But the script hastily forgets about the necessity of spreading its emotional beats around, or at least the emotional beats that will impact anyone (rather, me, just me, I know I’m persnickety, as people legit APPLAUDED at this movie) when the end finally comes 2h 15m later.