LOGAN THE BOX OFFICE SUPERHERO & AGEISM
If you truly want to create a terrifying Hollywood pathos for a super hero, all you have to do is have them suffer the worst fate known to man…aging! Making heroes older and weaker isn’t new for DC films but for marvel this move to realism and R rating is new territory. Logan is beaten down, he drinks too much and losing the things that defined his youth. I think anyone over 30 can relate and humanizing Logan was the perfect tone to end Hugh Jackman and Patrick Stewart’s seventeen year run as X-men.
It feels like this is the Wolverine film geek culture has been begging to see for over a decade. I do enjoy the lighter comical tone Disney Marvel films usually take but there are certain characters like Wolverine and Deadpool that call for mature ratings. Logan enjoys sex, he enjoys drinking and he enjoys violence. Wolverine has been slicing and dicing foes on camera without any visual carnage and all the begging for an adult film finally paid off.
Set in 2029 in a time when mutants are all but extinct; it’s been 25 years since the last one was born. Logan is living off-the-grid as a chauffeur in El Paso Texas. He’s older, slower and for the first time, his body is failing him. His eyesight is terrible, he doesn’t heal like he has for the past century or so and he’s starting to get his ass kicked by thugs…until he savagely slices them to bits. If you were hoping for a film about a cataclysmic battle for Earth’s survival you won’t find that here. Logan scales down into more of a gritty neo-western road trip film about a makeshift family trying to survive…now say that three times fast.
As bad as Logan has it, poor Charles Xavier has it worse. Charles has started losing control of his telepathic powers and his brain was classified as a weapon of mass destruction. Charles has been hiding out in a rusty water tower in Mexico where Logan keeps him sedated. With the help of the albino mutant-tracker Caliban played by “The Office” co-creator Stephen Merchant; Logan becomes the reluctant guardian of Laura played by Dafne Keen. Laura is a young girl sporting adamantium claws remarkably similar to his own. She’s being hunted by Donald Pierce played by Boyd Holbrook (model turned actor). Laura’s arrival reinvigorates Charles as the three of them set off on a road trip to get her to the safety of a promised land known only as Eden.
This is is the first well made Wolverine film which is bittersweet for fans. Hugh and Patrick get to leave a long running franchise on a high note but fans are just now getting a taste of how good Wolverine films could have been…it feels like being dumped right after you fall in love with someone! Deadpool proved to Fox studios there’s a large audience asking for mature films and if Logan does well at the box office rest assured this trend will start leaking into Disney’s Marvel films (I think an R rated Black Widow film would be appropriate).
The mantle of Wolverine will more than likely be handed off to someone new sooner rather than later but Hugh Jackman’s shoes will be tough to fill. Logan is definitely worth the ticket.