I’m a Marvel girl. And more specifically, I’m an X-Men girl. I grew up reading the comics; watching the cartoons. Worshiping every single X-Men everything. The first and second X-Men Movies made me so unbelievably happy, I watched each at the midnight showing on opening night. (My first time doing that, actually,) I saw them at least twice each in the theaters. The first one gave me goosebumps; the second made me cry in bliss. Not because the movies were so good I couldn’t stand it. But because they made my beloved X-Men into a movie. And didn’t f@ck it up too badly. They had some things that blatantly shit in the faces of fans; sure, but for every one of those they had Wolverine taking down an entire squad of commandos or Nightcrawler being a complete badass. (I can’t tell you how many times I’ve watched that Nightcrawler scene, BTW. I broke my VHS tape rewinding it. So that should tell you something.)
And then came X-Men 3. I’ve literally never been as mad as I as was at this movie. I scream-vented (several times), made several rage posts. For many years, I just pretended it never happened. I judge people very harshly if they say the words “I didn’t think it was that bad” or “I liked it.” They (literally) slaughtered the thing I loved. And then X-Men Origins: Wolverine. It was very loosely based on a phenomenally written graphic novel. But they screwed it up in a bad way. They pissed me, and roughly 10 million other people, off with their interpretation of Deadpool. I do feel like Ryan Reynolds has since earned us all a certain amount of revenge for that, though. X-Men: First Class and X-Men: Days of Future Past were at least enjoyable to me. X-Men: Apocalypse did nothing to make me happy, but I felt no rage. Just apathy. I was probably jaded from being let down before.
That’s definitely a lot of Wolverine movies. If you want a refresher on Logan’s movie timeline; here’s a good recap.
But I digress. The point is: I saw Logan last night.
Oh, Logan. Holy Hell. Logan.
There’s never been a better trailer soundtrack, IMO. Especially after watching the movie. I’m pretty sure angels descended from heaven to tell Johnny Cash he needed to sing this weird Nine Inch Nails song because some day it was going to be the perfect song for the most badass comic book character of all time.
“Logan. You still have time.”
The above trailer ends with Xavier telling this to Logan. I’ll try to give a bit of context without giving spoilers. Logan and Xavier have helped strangers who’ve been in a small car accident. They offer to feed them a home cooked meal in thanks. They have a great meal; very stereotypical of a farmhouse meal. Laughing, joking, family. And afterwards, The Professor tells Logan that he should take the time to feel the family feeling. That it’s not too late for him to have that kind of a home for himself.
I bring this up because, to me, it’s an important point. It’s a point that is almost fundamental to the Logan character: It is too late. Or maybe rather: It just wasn’t ever going to happen for him. He’s lived roughly 200 years old. (Worthy of note, that’s movie world age. He’s actually born in the 1890s in the comics, not the 1830s like in the movies. But whatevs.) He’s had several “down times” where he’s lived a relatively normal, peaceful life. But every single time, someone kills his woman; his woman betrays him; his “Happy Endings” get cut short. In a tragic, horrific way. If Logan were in a Shakespearean Play, he’d be Titus Adronicus.
Logan Is Not Like Other Comic Movies
You’ve probably heard that before. You probably heard it with Deadpool. You may have noticed the R rating. That alone shows you it’s not a family film. There is an incredible amount of blood and guts. (But seriously, Logan slaughters men by the armies. And he does it with six 2 foot claws. It’s not rainbows and sunshine that come out when you’re disemboweled, if you needed the reminder.) Logan doesn’t pander to fans, though. It doesn’t have moments where you think “Oooooo, Wolverine is about to mess that up!” or “OMG, he’s such a badass!” It has moments where you think “That poor bastard.” and “Holy balls, he’s screwed.”
And it’s heart wrenching. I was more effected by an average scene in this film than when they effin’ killed off Professor X in Last Stand. It’s an actual emotional film with a legitimate plot that makes you care.
And they look like shit. There are no heart throbs, here. They’re torn up. Charles’ mind is slowly decaying. Logan isn’t healing as quickly. They’re effed up, man. These are not cartoon versions of heroes. These are real, seriously flawed men.
But it’s more than that.
There’s legit acting.
You can say it’s not stellar. But I was impressed. I hadn’t seen anything that made me think “Wow, Hugh Jackman’s such a good actor!” before. But I’ve never really thought he was terrible. He had some bad roles, but I feel like he did the best with what was given to him. This time, though, he was given a bit of gold. And he did more than ok with it. I completely bought it. While watching, I never thought he was an Aussie pretending to be a Canadian or anything. Just as Robert Downey Jr was born to play Iron Man, Hugh Jackman is Wolverine. But until this film, I didn’t have any indication that he grasped the soul of the character. Because the soul of the character is deeper than any of the movies he’d done before. More than the cartoons. Wolverine is the most popular mutant with the most literature. He had plenty to pull from. And I’m glad he had the opportunity before hanging his claws.
Previous X-Men Movies Were Akin to the Cartoon. Logan is akin to the Graphic Novels.
The other X-Men movies are fun [sometimes they fail at this]. They have some emo love triangle stuff, they have some (not enough) all out team X-Men fighting a bunch of bad guys all at once. You can almost hear the cartoon theme during parts of these movies.
Maybe this ending was always the way it was going to go. It feels like it. It feels like it’s the ending they deserved. And as both Hugh Jackman and Sir Patrick Stewart have said they won’t be reprising the roles of Logan and Xavier again, I left the theater genuinely sad. Because Hugh Jackman and Patrick Stewart were perfect casting. These men will always be their characters to me. And I’ll always be a little sad that I won’t see more of them.
But if they’re gonna go; they did right by this fan.
Author’s Note: Yes, I did include a butt-load of links to clips. Your Welcome. Relive the last 17 years of Wolverine, with me, please.
Spoiler: How dare you ruin the word “Daddy” like that, you sonofabitches.