March 03, 2017
Logan is not your normal X-Men Movie, and that's a good thing!
Faced with the near-extinction of the X-Men mutants, the newest addition to the solo Wolverine saga and the X-Men series puts us in the middle of a mutant apocalypse. But is this apocalyptic world enough to make us forget about the flop that was X-Men: Apocalypse?

Although the third Hugh Jackman solo Wolverine movie, Logan is a departure from the two films that came before it. Set in the alternate timeline created in X-Men: Days of Future Past, Logan fast-forwards to the year 2029, where almost all mutants have gone extinct and no new mutants have been born in years. Wolverine has retreated into obscurity where he now works as a limousine driver. Hiding on the Mexican border in an abandoned mine, Wolverine keeps Professor Charles Xavier in a fallen water tower for his own safety. Now a senile man who struggles from seizures that can paralyze and potentially kill entire towns, Professor X is listed as a weapon of mass destruction and is watched over by Wolverine and another of the few remaining mutants, Caliban. While working to earn enough money to buy medication that keeps the professor under control, Wolverine is approached by a mysterious woman and a young girl who are being chased by government agents. The young girl, known as X-23, is a female Wolverine clone, and this encounter forces the Wolverine and Professor X to flee, taking the young X-23 along for the ride. On the run, Wolverine must grapple with Professor X’s dangerous condition and constant attack from the government agents, all the while being reluctantly pulled into the middle of the mutant’s last chance for survival.

Despite its departure from traditional comic book films, Logan is still at its heart what we have come to expect from the genre. There is still the central “main” villains, there are still superpowers, and there are still comic book tropes that we have come to expect. Logan departs from the genre, however, being the first Marvel movie in recent history with an “R” rating since Deadpool blazed the path last year. And trust me, they really want you to know that this is an R-rated movie. The opening scene had me rolling my eyes with the first line being “oh fuck” and then proceeding into a scene where Wolverine brutally defends himself against a group of carjackers. The opening scene set the expectations for the rest of the movie to be an over-the-top, annoyingly “edgy” film only for the sake of earning an R-rating.

My expectations after the first scene were happily turned on their head. Logan was a powerful, entertaining movie that did enough different and is bound to be a hit even to mainstream audiences. Other than the first scene, the movie utilized its R-rating well. Although I personally feel like some of the gore of the film could have been cut (not because it was exceptionally disturbing, but because some of it just wasn’t as polished as I wanted), a majority of the rating comes from circumstances that enhanced the movie. Logan features some great action that kept it fresh and exciting. But where it really shined was in the desperation and the on-the-run feeling that it evoked. The movie made it clear that no one was safe and that it truly set the stakes high. Despite its length, the action and the suspense kept the movie feeling short and never gave us a dull moment.

In this same vein, Logan was an amazing counterpoint to the Marvel and X-Men franchises. Despite still relying on some classic comic book tropes that I feel the movie would have been even better without, the overall feeling is drastically different. Even in their most desperate moments, Marvel and X-Men films still always have a hopeful, optimistic perspective. You always know that somehow things are going to work out. Logan turns all of that on its head. And it is all the more amazing for it. It sets us toward the end of the mutant extinction where every remaining mutant is stuck in a battle for their lives. It is desperate, dark, and almost fearless. And most surprisingly, the movie has emotionally poignant moments. It endears you to every character. Additionally, Logan is not a movie about heroes. It shows that our protagonists aren’t perfect and aren’t infallible.

Logan is one of the best showings the comic book movie genre has to offer. Deadpool proved comic book movies could be over-the-top, absurd, and could break out of the mold of the formula that made the movies before it so successful. And what Deadpool did to the industry, Logan has also done. Logan is proof again that comic book movies can be different. They can be dark and desperate, and they don’t have to focus on heroes. For these reasons, I recommend Logan to everyone – even people who didn’t love the previous X-Men or Marvel movies. Logan deserves all the praise it is soon to get.

4.8 out of 5

What would I have changed? (Spoilers)
Click here to read what I would Change
Johnny Johnny (Contributor) was born and raised in San Diego. He's been a fan of films the majority of his life. He enjoys the feeling it invokes and the power it has to take you to another place.