Logan Screen 83 of 9 reviews

Logan

2017

Logan Poster
  • Mangold’s Logan, which draws heavily on Western stories about gunfighters in twilight, ends with the moving gesture of a makeshift cross being turned on its side to make an X. The film itself is a fluke of the superhero-franchise era; it’s both violent and terrifically subtle (aided by some of the best acting in the genre) and has more in common with great mid-period Clint Eastwood movies like A Perfect World and Unforgiven than with the X-Men series to which it serves as a revisionist epilogue.

  • It draws a connecting line from the "real" world of "Logan," dirty and despairing as it can be, and the more hopeful world of the pre-graphic-novel type of comic. Then it draws a third connecting line to the Western, the genre that most inspired the filmmakers here. Not for nothing is "Logan" built around references to "Shane. But it's much more complex than "Shane." (Almost everything is.) You could say it's simultaneously about how necessary "Shane" is and how nobody can actually be Shane.

  • The film earns its R rating with extreme violence and excessive F-bombs; it's also the most shocking, thrilling, and emotionally resonant X-Men film to date. Director James Mangold, returning after the second installment, The Wolverine (2013), orchestrates several jaw-dropping action sequences, heightened by Jackman's and Keen's intense performances and by Marco Beltrami's taut and plunky score.

  • A punch in the gut in all the right ways... In Logan, we have an example of a superhero story taken to new extremes and a franchise to a spare, sad, apocalyptic finish (or “finish”), with R-rated action scenes that are both rousing and unbearably violent.

  • Mangold’s interest in the aesthetics of violence is genuine; this is the first time, seeing Wolverine fight, that I’ve been pressed to think in a fundamental way about just how fucked up his claws look when, say, slicing a skull open. It’s also one of the first times a superhero movie has moved me. That’s the kind of thing that makes Logan seem altogether more sophisticated than the rest, by default. It’s interesting less for raising the bar than for clarifying where it is.

  • It's good enough that you might forget it’s a comic-book movie. It’s another entry in the tireless X-Men saga but doesn’t play like a retread or an ad for the next installment; instead, it plays, looks and sounds like a movie — an old-school meets new-school pulp filled with intimations of mortality, and raw, ugly violence.

  • Mangold cites Shane’s finale and the lasting mark violence leaves on the psyche. But the tumbleweed moral tales of western directors such as Budd Boetticher and Anthony Mann feel like better reference points. Xavier’s waking dream monologue about loss and redemption could easily be a fierce campfire confessional spoken by Randolph Scott. Multiple savage moments show how quickly heroic acts can lead to unflinching destruction, and unlike other comic book movies, there are lasting consequences.

  • The fundamental limitations of the character and franchise occasionally stunt the film's momentum... To see Wolverine's arc and personality change so little throughout Jackman's 17-year run as the character saps Logan of some of its resonance. Still, the film attains a haunting, poignant quality. Like 2003's X-Men 2, Logan understands—and contrary to most superhero stories—that the most powerful villains are the most ordinary.

  • Sight & Sound: Adam Nayman
    March 03, 2017 | April 2017 Issue (p. 85)

    It could have been subtitled A Serious X-Man: the movie starts on a downbeat note and keeps piling on the gravitas long after it's made its point... Besides telegraphing his own film's ending well in advance (not a great move in a 135-minute film that starts dragging in the first act), the Shane references suggest Mangold is more preoccupied with self-reflexive mythmaking than he should be, while delivering what is fundamentally a slab of glossy, big-studio product.

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