Logan

“Nature made me a freak. Man made me a weapon. And God made it last too long.” Logan

With the danger of causing Ryan Reynolds pride to grow to even more, Deadpool has to be given some credit for Logan being the Wolverine film that should have been made years ago. The smart-mouthed superhero in the red leather suit paved the way for superheroes to have a more realistic representation of violence. Unfortunately, this makes them less accessible to the primary audience that continues to read comic books (Oops, sorry… graphic novels), but the production team of Deadpool did open the door to a new wave of superhero films.

Regrettably, the violence level is usually partnered with excessive language and unnecessary nudity, but for anyone who has not frequented a comic book shop lately, this film is mild comparatively to what you might find for sale on the shelves.

For the fans of the X-men franchise, it is not a surprise that there are a bevy of different timelines to consider for Wolverine. Logan occurs in the not-to-distant future, the mutants have been hunted and virtually eradicated from the earth. Logan/Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) has been hiding out in Mexico with Professor Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart) and the clairvoyant albino Caliban (Stephen Merchant). Professor X is suffering from dementia and has become a potential threat to all of mankind and Logan is striving to keep him out of the hands of the legal authorities. While he and Caliban try to keep their patient healthy and medicated, Logan is struggling with his own health issues and must come to grips with his own mortality. In amongst all of their aging and health strife, they are introduced to a young mutant who has similar abilities to Logan. Even though she is strong and capable, Laura (Dafne Keen) needs help getting to North Dakota before she is captured by the authorities. As they travel cross country, the grizzled hero begins to realise there are more connections between him and this miniature mutant.

Even though the X-men franchise has garnered billions of dollars world-wide and the Wolverine brand has helped make Hugh Jackman a mega-star, the role of the bladed warrior always seemed to fall short of his full potential. Due to the fact that Wolverine is a vicious character with exceptionally violent tendencies, he is destined for a more mature storyline. Director James Mangold (The Wolverine) seems to relish in the freedoms given to him in developing the role of the clawed and flawed crusader. Not that all superhero films should go down this dark and violent path, but if any character was made for this mature treatment, it is Wolverine.

Jackman acts like a weight has been lifted off his alter ego and he is finally being allowed to portray the role as it should have always been played. This grisly and raw depiction of the X-men world is a refreshing and welcomed answer to the debacle of Apocalypse. The moral implications abound within this dystopian narrative, but the most disturbing is the use of children as weapons. The violence pushes all barriers of excess and especially since much of it involves children instigating and incurring much of the destructiveness. It makes sense within the storyline, but can be difficult to stomach after multiple fight scenes.

Understand that more brutality and foul language do not make for a richer story, but they merely complement and enhance the tone of the film. The depth of the storyline goes beyond action and mutant antics. It takes into consideration family, life and even, God. The writing team provide the necessary layers to Logan’s personality that show the impact of years of a vicious existence, which manifests itself physically on this body and in his abrasive manner. This is compounded by the supporting cast, the back story of Laura’s existence and Professor X’s mental deterioration which are brilliantly interwoven into the script. Patrick Stewart proves to be masterful as the ailing genius and he even adds some of the most humorous moments. This superb writing and perfectly cast performances are complemented by well-crafted action and cinematography that have potentially brought about the best film in the X-men and Wolverine franchises. Logan is meant for fans of these comic book brands and as the rating suggests it is for adults only.

REEL DIALOGUE: What are some of the bigger questions to consider from this film?

And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” – Revelation 21:5

Logan claims that his mutant abilities are a mistake of God. Even though his abilities are fictitious, he does pose a discussion that has plagued mankind through the ages. Are the imperfections of the world a mistake of God or is there something else to consider?

In studying the Bible, it can be understood that the God of the universe does not make mistakes. The issues of this fallen world can be linked back to sinful choices of mankind. Human disease and disabilities are part of this fallen world and God is not too blame, but he can provide the answers. The future that he offers in Revelation 21:5, removes the curse of sin and he will make all things new.

WATCH THE TRAILER

 

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Russell Matthews

Russell loves film and enjoys engaging in discussions about the latest cinema offerings and then connecting this with the Gospel. He has worked for City Bible Forum for over 10 years, is a reviewer for Insights Magazine and Entertainment Fuse and has a blog called Russelling Reviews. He moderates events for Reel Dialogue which connect the film industry with the general public.