Director: John Mangold
Screenwriters: John Mangold, Scott Frank and Michael Green
Richard E. Grant
Runtime: 137 mins
Australian release date: 2 March 2017
Previewed at: Event Cinemas, George Street, Sydney on 24 February 2017
An interesting fact about Logan is its MA15+ rating for the many graphically violent scenes in the 137 minutes it takes to bid farewell to the 17-year movie career (encompassing 10 films in the X-Men universe) of the Marvel Comics super-hero Wolverine, aka Logan (Hugh Jackman)…
Interesting, because many of the cast are children, who would be excluded from seeing the flick here in Australia. Strange but true. In fact, Jackman and writer/director Mangold insisted that it be “… far more realistic than we’ve done before in the X-Men franchise, maybe [more than] any of the other comic book movies.” So this is not cartoon violence; it’s bloody and in-your-face but it makes the film more adult and the characters more human.
Logan is purported to be the final adventure in the series, well, the final one starring ‘our Hugh’ in any event. It’s said that Jackman shed tears at the wrap party but one wonders if it was the loss to his bank account or genuine sorrow that he was no longer in the realm of the super-heroes that caused the tears to flow. It’s been quite a cash-cow, or rather cash-wolf! This time we’re in 2029 and Logan is laying low working as a limousine chauffeur in El Paso when he’s approached by Gabriela (Elizabeth Rodriguez), an employee at an institute that has created an assemblage of child-mutants under the guidance of the malevolent Dr. Zander Rice (Richard E. Grant). She implores him to look after one of the youngsters Laura (Dafne Keen), who she’s helped to escape.
Needless to say, Logan’s not interested – he’s already looking after an ageing, and temperamental, Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart) and fellow mutant Caliban (Stephen Merchant) in a bolt-hole across the border in Mexico, and he’s not too keen on adding another burden. That is until Dr. Rice sends the evil cybernetic criminal Donald Pierce (Boyd Holbrook) and his army of cyborg Reavers to reclaim Laura and this unearths the ‘human’ in Logan, a humanity he’s been fighting (and drinking) to suppress.
Logan is many things, genre-wise; it has elements of film noir, classic Westerns and the road movie but, above all, odd as it may sound, it’s a family movie. That is, a film about the importance of bonding, which is exactly what the filmmakers set out to make: “It’s a movie about family,” says Mangold. “It’s a movie about loyalty and love and specifically a character, Logan, who has been stubbornly avoiding intimacy throughout his long life, finally letting it in.” Finally, call me a pedant but how can a movie costing this much miss-spell “Australiain” in the credits? What did they teach those mutants in school?