Monday, March 20, 2017

Logan ~ Hugh Jackman's Last Stand

Got to see Logan about a week ago.  I've been struggling with doing my Logan review because for the most part I just sit here and mourn, rather than figure out what to get down. After seeing the trailer awhile back, I was thinking, "Oh this is going to be so fun--it's going to be gritty, action-packed, have that gravitas and humor in just the right places...." Well. I didn't expect so much of the gravitas. Oh and your are forewarned. Spoilers ahead.

  First off, lets start of with some context--the context of most of us, I'm sure. I was a kid when I saw the first X-Men movie. Fell in love with Wolverine--he has been my hero. He represents the beast within the man perfectly, and I've always had an eye for that. For land's sake The Call of the Wild was my favorite book when I was ten, and my favorite part was when Buck confronted Spitz and broke his legs--then let the pack eat him. Favorite part. Wolverine--was like an even better version the tragedy of the man wrangling his inner beast, letting him loose--trying to find a line to walk. Like I said. My hero.

  WAY TO BREAK MY HEART GUYS!! But man, what a hell of a story. And can I just say, just the level of perfection and balance in this movie is staggering. Nothing was out of place. The makers had a solid vision. And saved the best for last. And honestly I had to berate myself a bit, because when you know that an actor wants to do his final performance, and a franchise wants to continue with a character--they are handled a certain way. Why did I not assume this outcome?

  The story begins with Logan working as a driver for hire, is taking care of Professor X in the middle of nowhere and is trying to scrape enough together to get themselves a boat so they can live on the ocean in peace, and have a bit of peace and perhaps happiness.

  It hit on so many levels--the weariness that Logan feels, the desperation and sadness--the rough bleakness of their current situation. Professor X, old and suffering from Alzheimer's--having seizures that paralyze people. Mutants are all but extinct. Their history is now the stuff of comic books--and who will remain to tell the real story? Because all does come to dust. It does, and we get to witness it to a full extent. There's a bit of hope, but it's just because mutants aren't quite extinct. But the ones we loved are. Way to rip open my heart and lay it bare.

  So Xavier convinces Logan to care for Laura, and get her to where she needs to go. What follows is so incredibly human--for more than any previous films. There's the anger, the irritation, the fighting, mixed with the humor. It was so superbly balanced, which was definitely a need for a last film. Logan loses Xavier, has to battle a version of himself, and defend a little girl who by all accounts has to be his own. And in the final battle sequences (where several displays of mutant power had me cackling with joy), there is the ultimate in father-daughter moments. I mean, honestly--fighting side by side and ripping into baddies? One of the most satisfying moments ever.

  But of course it ends for old Logan. And while it is debated what his last words are in reference to, I like to think his smiling " that's what it feels like..." is because for the first time ever someone called him "daddy".

  And it is so appropriate that Laura places the cross of his grave on its side, to honor the X Man he had been. So passes old Logan.

  ~ E. C. S. 

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