The first word uttered in Logan – after some background chatter – is “f**k.”
With that one word, audiences know exactly what they’re getting into. They’re getting into a superhero film that’s unlike anything they’ve seen before. A superhero film that pushes the boundaries of the genre. Logan utilizes its R rating far better than Deadpool, and it does the gritty, deep story angle better than Batman v Superman (and that’s true even if you loved that film).
As a standalone film, Logan is near flawless across the board. The story has true depth and pathos, and actually evokes something in its audience instead of being for pure entertainment. James Mangold’s direction pushes a neo-Western vibe and it fits perfectly. Logan is finally the “cowboy” that fans know him to be. And finally, the performances are almost all outstanding. Hugh Jackman and Patrick Stewart give maybe their best performances as Logan and Professor X respectively, and franchise newcomers like Stephen Merchant and Boyd Holbrook somehow match that bar of excellence. However, Dafne Keen steals the show as Laura/X-23. Child actors are under enough scrutiny to start with, but to have a role with such little dialogue and still knock it out of the park is first class.
So film fans will love Logan, hands down. But how will comic book fans feel? Does the movie live up to its source material? Does it stay true to the stories that many have grown up reading? The short answer is “yes and no…but mostly yes.”
This movie is not Old Man Logan. In fact, it’s no Wolverine story that’s been seen in the comics before (at least that I know of). That being said, it’s still extremely loyal to its source material. Maybe not in terms of plot, but in things that matter, like character and theme. Everything that fans love about Wolverine, and about X-23 for that matter, is present in Logan. (Although the story does take a small liberty with Laura that’s ultimately negligible and doesn’t really effect who she is inside).
Logan’s tortured existence, his guilt, and his feelings of unworthiness make up the bedrock of the film. He’s no hero, at least not in his own mind. He’s a weapon, and not even by choice. He is what “they” made him to be, and he struggles with that thought on a daily basis, just as he does in the comics. And the script doesn’t just scratch the surface like previous X-Men movies have done; it goes deep and really explores Logan’s inner demons.
The Bottom Line:
When you look at lists ranking the “Best Comic Book Movies of All Time” from now on, Logan will be on most of them. It’s the superhero movie that fans have been clamoring for, and not just in terms of depth and storytelling, but also in loyalty to its characters.
More Logan coverage on Monkeys Fighting Robots:
MFR Podcast Episode 111: Is ‘Logan’ Already The Best Superhero Film Of 2017?
Spoiler-Free ‘Logan’ Review: How Can Any Superhero Film Follow This?
Spoiler-Free Review: ‘Logan’ A Fantastic Superhero Film That Transcends The Genre