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Most of us are finally vindicated on the times parents and teachers and told us that comic books worthless and would rot our minds. They hid them under our beds, in basements and treehouses, anywhere adults would hopefully not search. Currently, the two most successful and lucrative will be franchises are derived from comic books and then more adult successes, graphic novels. Once again, the rivalry between DC Comics and Marvel Comics is stronger than ever but this time the stakes are quite literally billions of dollars in box office and merchandising. For Marvel and I saw competing studios have divided up most of their most popular characters by mutually exclusive competitors. Disney Studios has acquired the bulk of the characters building the Marvel Cinematic Universe or MCU 20th Century Fox has taken ownership of the X-Men. Without a doubt, the most popular character in the X-Men universe is a mysterious loner named Logan better known by his nom de guerre, Wolverine. Has been created on screen by the multitalented Hugh Jackman. He has portrayed the mutant curmudgeon nine times on screen more than any other actor or character. This film, ‘Logan’, is his swansong with Mr. Jackman putting aside his adamantium claws and trademark cigar. It has been stated by those involved in the productions of this film that it is not intended to be fully contained within the Canon established by the X-Men franchise, even though recent movies have reset the timeline. Critical reception and box office receipts have been uneven within the X-Men franchise year it was near universal agreement that this is one of the best films within the expansive catalog of movies. After a couple movies with a revised, younger cast playing earlier versions of the established characters is only fitting that for this final appearance of Mr. Jackman as Wolverine should return to the seasoned cast that started it all. The filmmakers point of view Wolverine’s regenerative powers have allowed Mr. Jackman to continue his character regardless of the era used as a setting without the time-consuming and expensive need for aging prosthetics.

The story opens in the year 2029, dystopia for mutants. It has been over a quarter of a century since a new mutant has been born. Humans are now on the verge of extinction no longer able to threaten the continued viability of Homo sapiens. Logan is finally feeling the effects of his 197-year lifespan his regenerative powers failing and the adamantium-clad skeleton steadily poisoning him. Logan is now showing his age with graying hair and skin now revealing scars. A body that was once able to shake off bullets, blades and explosions racked with pain. Now, he cared for a frail and aged Xavier (Patrick Stewart), who is now prone to seizures losing control of his telepathic abilities unconsciously freezing people around him. Logan wants to raise enough money to purchase a boat and relocate to an isolated location we can live out his days in safety along with the last remnant of mutants. To help locate survivors is accompanied by a mutant with a very special ability, Caliban (Stephen Merchant). This is an exceptionally interesting choice of casting. Mr. Merchant has established himself as a well-respected comedy writer and actor. This is part of a growing trend of comedians undertaking intensity dramatic roles. Alkali/Transide. Perception of the company as a leader in genome research for altering crops and

Gabriela Lopez (Elizabeth Rodriguez), is in the employ of the largest biotech conglomerate, public perception is a leader in genetic research beneficial to humanity. This is a cover on enterprise devoted to recognizing various organisms. She approaches Logan with the offer of a job, to escort and an 11-year-old girl, Laura (Daphne Keen) to a safe refuge North Dakota, despite his trepidation, in need of money, except the offer. The Very predictable point is used quite effectively to progress the story. Caliban is kidnapped by a group of mercenaries hired by the Corporation. Donald Pierce (Boyd Holbrook) and his Reavers, a gang of outlaw cyborgs. They are assigned the task of bringing the girl back at all cost. On the heels of the success of ‘Deadpool,' this is the first film in the X-Men franchise to receive a MPAA R rating. One of the first signs that this story deals with significantly more mature themes than most fans is accustomed to usually points that have been previously such as prejudice, ostracizing minorities and abuse of power are pivotal to this film but are taken to an intensity that is never seen before in this series of movies.

Logan is the secret that services the dramatic motivator for the story. Or is one of the several mutant children that transgender was breeding them as part of the infamous X-23 program, a successor to the project that covered Loan’s skeleton with adamantium. The head of the project Dr. Zander Rice (Richard E. Grant) concluded that those research subjects, those children, were obsolete and ordered them euthanized. Not only is Laura the last of that group but the assignment takes a deeply personal turn when Logan discovers Laura was cloned from his DNA. The story does subject the audience to the use of a blatant plot contrivance, just as the Reavers catch up with then in Oklahoma City, it looks as those the situation was hopeless. With perfect timing, Professor Xavier has a major seizure freezing the gang of hunters. This allows them to make a hasty escape. This twist is untenable an example of Deus ex machina but when the context is considered it is forgivable. It substantially expedites the flow of the story enabling the pacing to be maintained at a pace suitable for an action/thriller. This allows the script to remain focused on the most important aspect of the story, the character development.

There is a highly effective economy to the elements necessary to continually provide momentum to the story. When Xavier has another seizure, he is caught in a horrific memory of similar mental outburst back at the school in Westchester. The ensuing mayhem cost many lives including many X-Men. Xavier, extremely weakened, thinks he is confessing to Logan, but we are introduced to the main antagonist, X-24, a feral byproduct of the experiments, also cloned from Logan’s DNA. This affords the opportunity of another plot convivence, permitting Mr. Jackman to assume another role. This lays the foundation for one crucial subtext to the story, Logan’s perpetual struggle with his own inner unbridled animalistic nature. All paths created by the numerous story threads are readily pulled together in the climactic battle we all realized was inevitable yet thanks to the carefully crafted emotional content intrinsically infused in the story, there is not a dry eye watching the dénouement of the story at hand and more importantly the amazing saga of the Wolverine.

It was unnatural to expect such extraordinary talents as Mr. Jackman and Sir Patrick to remained tied to a role for this long. True, both of their respective characters are substantially multifaceted, a result of excellent writing but mostly due to the astounding skill these consummate artists have in bringing a character to life. Jackman is a seasoned performer at home on stage or screen. His repertoire encompasses so much more than action hero with proficiency in musical theater. Of course, it is no secret that Sir Patrick is a classically trained Shakspearian actor able to master any challenge. Daphne Keens truly the breakout star of the show who is completely able to stand toe to toe with a pair of the most accomplished performers currently working. For one so young it is a rare treat to watch her emulate the fierceness that Jackman has imbued in the character of Logan over the course of so many years. Rather than attempting an impression, Ms. Keen incorporates the critical emotional and physiological manifestations of Logan reworking then, molding them into a character that is original and completely a product of her burgeoning abilities. She is an actress destined to be a leader in the next generation of performers. It is always sad to see such a favorite character go but this films a fitting tribute to the character and the actor who brought him to life.

bulletDeleted Scenes with Optional Audio Commentary by Director James Mangold
bulletAudio Commentary by Director James Mangold
bulletLogan Theatrical Versions
bulletMaking Logan
bulletLogan Noir (Black & White Version of the Film

Posted 06/02/2017

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