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Logan Review: Brutal And Affecting, Logan Is The Best X-Men Film To Date

The best at what he does

Logan is a welcome rarity in the ever increasing pantheon of superhero movies; it's one that has emotional weight. This third Wolverine solo outing and 10th X-Men film overall is atypical of both the genre and it's own franchise, and it's one that longtime fans of the character will love thanks to how closely it hews to the most iconic, brutal imagining of its title character. But even for those who have never been fans of the X-Men films, Logan is still an eminently worthwhile movie, skipping as it does the fantastical trappings of its peers to instead present a grim, violent, emotional, and altogether worthwhile experience.

Logan makes its intentions to buck superhero conventions clear from its opening scene. When we first see Logan (also known as Wolverine, or James Howlett, or Hugh Jackman in real life), he's asleep in a car, but is soon woken by a gang trying to steal the tires from his ride. The ensuing fight is neither pretty or flashy; Logan is slow, groggy, and limping, and when he finally does rouse the strength to dispense of his foes, it's brutal, bloody, and hard to watch. Afterwards, he stumbles to a roadside gas station bathroom to clean himself, and we see his scars, his wounds, his aging frame. This is not the ripped, impossibly quick to heal Wolverine of old. This is a broken man.

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The world set up in previous X-Men movies is broken, too. Set in 2029, Logan's world is one where mutants are all but extinct, where Charles Xavier's school is no more, and one where both he and Logan are eking out a meager existence along the US border near Mexico. Logan drives a limousine for a living, while Xavier's deteriorating mental condition forces him to be under sedation for long periods of time, lest his immense psychic powers go beyond the control of his now feeble mind. This is far from the glory days of the X-Men.

Into this mix a new element is introduced: a young girl with abilities and claws similar to Logan's, and one who's being pursued by a mercenary group led by Donald Pierce (played with a laconic Southern menace by Boyd Holbrook). Logan reluctantly agrees to help the girl (named Laura, better known as X-23 in the comics, and played by Dafne Keen), which pulls both he and Xavier back into a world of violence they had been trying to escape from. People don't really change, Pierce says at one point in the film, and it seems that despite Logan's best efforts, the Wolverine hasn't changed at all.

What is different, though, is Logan's approach to the superhero genre. This is a serious, grim world, both in its tone and its approach to on-screen violence. Wolverine's claws have never been so sharp and deadly as they are here, with his adamantium appendages severing limbs, impaling skulls, and perforating rib cages with bloody abandon. The film's R-rating is well-deserved, with the graphic nature of the battles in Logan often wince-inducing. And while the action in the movie stays relatively grounded, each of the fights are staged excitingly, with each of Logan's and X-23's stabs and slashes feeling impactful. There's even an outstanding action scene with Xavier, a stunning reminder of how dangerous the world's most powerful mind can be when it goes off the rails.

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But over and above its brutality, Logan excels because of its commitment to its characters, and the wonderful, resonant arcs they go through in this painful yet affecting story. The full weight of the previous nine films of the franchise makes seeing two beloved characters like Professor X and Wolverine at their lowest even more affecting. Xavier (played wonderfully by Patrick Stewart)--no longer the calm, caring father figure--is barely coherent, swears like a sailor, and calls Logan a disappointment. Logan (in another outstanding turn by Jackman), for his part, just wants to escape, whether that's through the money he's trying to scrounge up to buy a boat, or through the adamantium bullet he carries with him everywhere. X-23 is on the verge of being irrevocably damaged in the same way Logan is. These three characters, in their relationships and in the way they become a family, forms the emotional core of the film, and their rough journey is one filled with surprising emotional depth.

Logan continually subverts your expectations, but in its impactful ending, it still somehow feels like the only way the movie--and Wolverine's long journey--could end. This is a film that elevates its genre, succeeding precisely because it's different, and because it strives to be the Wolverine movie fans have always wanted to see. Logan is a must-watch, and is not only a wonderful superhero movie, but a wonderful movie in its own right.

The GoodThe Bad

Brutal and grim

A little too long
Outstanding performances from Jackman and Stewart
Emotional and genuinely affecting
Great soundtrack
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RandolphRam

Randolph Ramsay

Randolph is the editor in chief of GameSpot, and needs more time to play games.
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Frank_Castle

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Movie was fantastic

Jackman was stabbing dudes in the face left, right and center.

Patrick Stewart will probably get a Best Supporting Actor nomination.

The little girl was also a goddamn savage as X-23.

9/10 and I already pre-ordered the blu-ray

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deactivated-5b2c8e0382c99

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Just saw it. It was awesome. Although I enjoy most of the other superhero movies, I am definitely all for more of them going in this more brutal direction. Obviously not every character is like that, which is fine, but the more violent characters should absolutely get R-Rated movies. They're way cooler.

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LonelyHippie27

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Too long? GTFO THIS MOVIE WAS GREAT

*best marvel film to date*

***SPOILERS***


I'm really pissed that they didn't show Wolverine kill the Xmen like in the comic. Even though it was kind of creative that Prof. X had dementia and HE was the one who killed the X Men (which is what was implied). Still, I was pretty butthurt we didn't see wolverine cut off Cyclopse's head, but hey, this movie was still bad ass. Best movie of 2017 I'm calling it.

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caryslan2

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Could you honestly see Marvel do a movie like Logan or Deadpool even if they had the rights to the X-Men movies? Not trying to start a war here, but the MCU has been hit or miss in recent years as well.

Iron Man 3 was a bad movie, and the second Avengers movie was not worth the time considering the hype that went into it.

Yeah, Fox has dropped the ball numerous times especially with the Fantastic Four. But can you honestly tell me Disney could do a better X-Men movie then the first X-Men, X2, X-Men First Class, or Days of Future Past? Or that they would even do something like Deadpool or Logan?

I'm a fan of the X-Men movies, and I'll be the first one to agree that The Last Stand, the first Wolverine movie, and Apocalypse were movies that has numerous flaws.

But I have never gotten how people think Disney is the magic formula to help the X-Men movie series. Fantastic Four? Hell ya, they should have been back in Disney's hands after the last disaster.

X-Men? I think Fox has done a pretty good job with the franchise. Here's the thing, if the X-Men went back to Disney, then many of the lesser known Marvel heroes might not get a chance to shine.

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whakyZ86

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yessssssss!!!!! also, people say it's a little too long. i don't mind. if it's got as much in it as people say, I can trade a little long-winded exposition for a little extra wolverine bloody goodness. and WHY is it ONLY February 17th!!!!!!!!!?

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naryanrobinson

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Edited By naryanrobinson

Column Head Column Head

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Sepewrath

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Its getting great reviews, now I have to find some time to see it between Breath of the Wild, Iron Fist and Andromeda :P

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LordCrash88

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Edited By LordCrash88

It's the first super hero movie I want to see since Nolan's Batman triology.

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masscrack

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Nice, can't wait to see it!