The Wolverine we’ve been waiting for
When I was a kid, like many other youths in my day, I used to look forward to going to the comic book store every week. If you’ve been to any comic book store, you know they have a wide variety of titles available. However, I was always drawn to one title more than others. Wolverine. If it wasn’t the new issue which I’d already purchased, it would be an old back issue which I was trying to hunt down. I had to get my Wolverine fix. Drawing comics usually went hand and hand with collecting them as well. Wolverine was usually the character I drew most. Can you say obsessed? I wanted to see Wolverine make it to the big screen. Back then, it seemed like Wolverine and the X-Men would never make it to the movies…it was remarkable enough when the Saturday morning cartoon came out. Who was my favorite character to watch on that show? You guessed it. Logan. Then the breakthrough occurred and Bryan Singer put out an X-Men movie in the early 2000’s. The big question was…who was going to play Wolverine? Well, that would be one Mr. Hugh Jackman. As it turned out, he was a great casting choice to play one of comic books most beloved characters. Other casting choices may have seemed questionable, but Hugh Jackman? I liked him. That was almost 17 years ago! Hugh Jackman is still going strong. Why do I mention all this? Because there so much emotion and sentimentality when it comes to Logan…supposedly the last one for Hugh Jackman. I was so excited for this move. So much nostalgia. The trailer portrays Logan as being full of emotion and emotional it is. Make no mistake…this is a serious and somber film.
Logan finds us off in some near future…2029 or something like that. Mutants have become an endangered species if you will and Mr. Logan is one of the last of his kind. Logan is a much older man with healing powers that don’t work quite as fast as it used to. He has shed his Wolverine persona to remain in hiding. Now he maintains his anonymity as a limo driver. There are no other X-Men around, except for Professor Charles Xavier. Xavier, like Logan, is an old shell of the man he used to be. Once one of the most powerful minds in all the planet, Xavier suffers from a brain disease which causes him an occasional seizure here or there. These seizures affect the people around Xavier when they occur, so he needs to be drugged up to keep his powers under control. Logan takes care of Xavier in Mexico because Xavier is a wanted man in the US because of the collateral damage his mind can cause. They have a love/hate relationship with each other…they’ve been through so much together and Father Time has done a number on them. One day, Logan encounters a mysterious girl while doing pickups for his job. This girl’s caretaker has just been murdered. The girl is also being pursued by some very shady characters. Being that she is very possibly a mutant like Xavier and Logan himself, Logan reluctantly takes it upon himself to get the girl away from these people who are after her and get her to a safe haven. What happens after that is the story of their journey the rest of the way.
After the success of rated R Deadpool, the excitement for a rated R Wolverine movie was great. He’s always been a violent character. The violence in this movie is exactly what fans have been asking for. This is the Wolverine everyone has wanted to see with just amazing action scenes. There’s also a great deal of emotional weight in the storyline. Main characters always seem on the verge of death. That brings a sense of urgency to the mission at hand. The conflict is real. While you’re invested in what is going on, the story still drags in certain spots. For me this was kind of a catch 22. You want the movie to get to the action sets again, but the lulls give us more time with the beloved Jackman. Speaking of Hugh, he is just a bad man in this movie. The beard gives him that hardened gruff exterior which is just perfect. Logan may be old, but he’s still the best there is at what he does and Hugh Jackman is excellent at portraying him. Patrick Stewart is also incredible as always as the geriatric Professor X.
I really wanted to love this movie. This was supposed to be the definitive Wolverine film. One that would be a proper sendoff for Hugh Jackman in allegedly his last time playing the character he has grown to personify. In the end, I just like it instead of loving it like I wanted to. This is because it feels like the whole-time, Logan is sharing the spotlight with the young female lead, Dafne Keen, who plays the young girl, Laura. She has abilities that are incredible and sometimes it feels like the movie is more about her than it is about Logan. It felt like the producers are setting it up for a new generation of her movies while occasionally giving the old man Hugh a bone here and there. To me, this was a little concerning. There is finality in this movie too. Being someone who grew up with Hugh Jackman playing Logan, I’m not sure I’m comfortable with that. If this really is Hugh Jackman’s last hoorah, it feels as if there was a lot of unfulfilled potential left on the table, even with this movie. Should you still watch Logan? Absolutely. Overall, you’ll like Logan because you love Hugh. Deep down in your heart, you want better for him though.