Sunday, March 5, 2017

#JustaQuickiePlease: Logan Review

                            The franchise has finally come full circle, as the seemingly invincible roguish brute, known as the Wolverine, both launched and concluded an epic saga stretching ten films in total.  Contained in that legacy are entries that both succeed and fail, but this finale, will, by far, go down as a new standard in both its genre and filmmaking, as a whole.  Reminiscent of the very cinematic journey it pays homage to, Shane, and to Spaghetti Westerns with a touch of the Seventh Samurai evident, Logan does what other cinematic comic book ventures could not.  It tells a deeply moving, honest, and disturbing story with complex yet authentic characterizations that entertain, engage, and undoubtedly effect. 
                           Throughout its silver screen heritage, there are definitive staples of this genus; theatrical journeys birthing the existence of these iconic heroes and villains as both a commercial source and new art form.  Donner's, Superman: The Movie, which launched the very idea of creating and executing a successful and profitable concept, with Reeves providing the quintessential Man of Steel.   Then there are Burton's two Batman outings, ushering in the dark and gritty without losing the fantasy and symbolism of its source material.  Finally, Miller's Deadpool, an adaptation proving films made by and for fans, can reach blockbuster heights, without a forced kid-centricalness to do so.  Now, Logan takes its place among those pioneers.  Mangold, crafts one of the bleakest, dramatic, dystopian, and yet oddly hopeful entries, mixing several distinct styles to manufacture a visual quest through the entire gambit of human emotion. 
                           Rightly rated R, to properly tell this tale, Jackman succeeds at sending off his iconic incarnation, certainly without going quietly into the night.  The violence is apropos, appropriately gratuitous and genuine to the story and action.   The profanity fits, except with Professor Xavier, which feels awkward, forced, and insincere, one of only the two negatives of the production.  The incoherent and unnecessary nudity, though brief but utterly misplaced, is the other complaint. 
                           Keen is simply spectacular as Laura (X23), proving one can say volumes with very few words.  She portrays the tormented and nearly feral heroine with a striking prowess, especially considering her maturity and experience.   Stewart and the remaining cast excels, fleshing out their respective characters brilliantly.  Although, there was a noticeable lack of time spent exploring a more congenial and patriarchal bond between Jackman and Keen.  However, in retrospect, that may have diluted the significance and impact of their relationship. 
                          Easter Eggs abound, and previous films are mentioned and honored with very few plot holes, minus the definitiveness on what happened to the rest of Logan's colleagues.  Although hinted and vaguely referenced at (Mr. Sinister's exploits, Onslaught, the possibility of a mind controlled Wolverine) it is never identified, which surprisingly helps not hurts the plot as a bit of mystery allows the audience to participate in the magic, filling in the blanks with their own imagination. 
                         This feature is one of the few wins for Fox, who has not been the most respectful of caretakers for such a beloved canon.  It is most definitively a win for fans, which finally got to see the Logan they have come to admire and adore.  It is unsure, however, how the studio can continue with any future mutant movies, as this appears to be a conclusive destination to a seventeen-year journey.
                        4 out of 5 Kernels: it is the end of an era, but, truly, what an end it was.

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