Fair warning, this article contains MAJOR SPOILERS.
GUYS, THE MOMENT WE’VE ALL BEEN WAITING FOR IS FINALLY HERE! Logan, baby! People have been raving about this movie for the past couple of weeks now. Here’s a fun fact, the press screening for Fantastic Four (2015) was only held two days before the movie’s actual release date. Logan’s press screening was held TWO WEEKS before the actual release date, so you know 20th Century Fox had a lot of confidence in this product.
But what did the critics have to say? Well, most critics have been singing high praises about this movie, some even comparing it to Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight, while many claimed it’s the best comic book movie of all time. Logan currently has a staggering 96% on Rotten Tomatoes and a 73% on Metacritic (by Metacritic standards, this is amazing).
Since its announcement, this movie has been marketed as Hugh Jackman’s swan song. But I didn’t buy it. I was dead sure that he would once again reprise his role as Wolverine in Deadpool 2. Having seen this movie, I’m not so sure anymore.
Why did I change my mind? Well, keep scrolling to find out. Here are 15 things you didn’t know about the Final Wolverine movie.
15. This Is A standalone Movie
Logan is the second standalone film in the X-Men film franchise, the first being Deadpool. It isn’t a direct continuation from the rest of the X-Men films that came before it. Even the previous solo Wolverine movie, The Wolverine was a continuation from X-Men: The Last Stand and led somewhat directly into Days of Future past. Logan on the other hand is a movie that can be watched by anyone, even if you have not watched a single X-Men movie prior to this. In fact, even if you’re someone who generally hates comic book movies, because you find them overly predictable and cookie cutter, this is still the perfect movie for you. Believe me when I say, what you witness on screen is unlike anything you’ve ever imagined a comic book movie would be like.
Logan takes place in the year 2029. Wolverine is old, Charles is also old – 90 years old. They live with another mutant named Caliban and come across an interesting young girl named Laura. Then they go on an adventure. Okay, maybe “adventure” is the worst word to use in this context. Honestly, this isn’t a fun movie, but an emotionally trudging one. It’s brilliant in any way imaginable. WATCH IT!
14. It Is A Slow Movie
Unlike the other X-Men movies or comic book movies in general, this isn’t an exciting fast paced popcorn blockbuster. This is a very slow movie, and that isn’t a bad thing. In my Split review, I wrote:
“Shyamalan isn’t interested in speeding things up. The tension builds slowly, but realistically. Shyamalan trusts his audience not to leave the cinema or pause your Blu-Ray to go for a smoke. He isn’t afraid to take his time and tell the story. It is evident that he truly believes that the unfolding events aren’t boring. He’s right.”
Here, James Mangold does the same thing. He doesn’t just insert a random explosion or a purposeless action scene in fear of boring his audience. He takes his time, building each character perfectly. This is probably the X-Men movie with the most fleshed out characters (this includes X-Men: Days of Future Past and X-Men: First class). We see and understand all the protagonists as actual human beings, not just comic book superheroes. This is a great movie. Just don’t go in expecting a fun time at the cinema. This is an emotionally trudging journey.
13. This Is Hugh Jackman’s Best Performance
This is hands down Hugh Jackman’s best performance to date. Once upon a time, people actually backlashed when Hugh Jackman was cast as Wolverine. However, since the first X-Men movie was released, people stopped complaining. When we think of actors who made certain characters their own, you think of Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man, Chris Evans as Captain America, Heath Ledger as The Joker, etc. But none of them comes close to Wolverine. I’m not saying none of them acted as well as Hugh Jackman. What I mean is Jackman is so intertwined with the Wolverine character you actually believe that Jackman IS Wolverine. When you see him walking down the street, you don’t see Hugh Jackman, you see Wolverine.
But here, he doesn’t just give his best performance as Wolverine. This is his best performance, period. Hugh Jackman got nominated for an Oscar for his role in Les Miserables. I hope he gets a nomination for this too, cause he’s beyond amazing. The range of emotions he shows is something I have never seen Hugh Jackman do, prior to this.
12. This Is Patrick Stewart’s Best Performance Too
Patrick Stewart is 76 years old. And he lost 21 pounds to play the role of Charles Xavier in Logan. That is an incredible feat but anybody, what more someone his age. Here, Patrick Stewart plays a 90-year-old sickly Professor X. He’s old and just like a lot of old people, he’s kinda losing his mind. The only difference is, Professor X is an extremely powerful mutant who can do unbelievable things with his mind. And if he can’t control it, well you can only imagine the possibilities. Sometimes Professor-X gets random seizures and when he does, almost everyone in the room dies. This takes an emotional toll on him. Patrick Stewart portrays this ageing Professor-X to perfection. You feel the emotional struggle. You know something dark has happened in his past and it’s weighing down on him. Interestingly enough, even his comedic chops are great.
11. Dafne Keen Is Great
Believe me when I say this, calling her performance “great” would be the understatement of the century. Dafne Keen is perfect in perfect as Laura/X-23. She’s mostly angry and severely lacks social skills. When we’re first introduced to the character, she seems like any ordinary kid, except she doesn’t talk much. Okay, she doesn’t talk at all, so much so we’re all under the impression that she’s mute. Then we see her unleash her claws for the first time. If you thought Wolverine was an animal, this girl is 200 times the animal he was. And she shows no remorse, because of the way she was brought up.
One of my favourite scenes in the movie comes somewhere in the second act. Professor X and Logan will be having a chat in the car while Laura rides one of those electronic ponies you find outside grocery stores. It is a beautiful scene because it shows although she seems like an “animal,” deep down she’s just a kid.
Throughout the movie, Laura doesn’t shed a tear, even when she’s sad. There is a scene right at the end in which, she cries for the first time. A little part of me died when that happened. It’s such an emotionally powerful scene.
10. The Action Scenes Are Glorious
When you think of great comic book action sequences, you might think of Nightcrawler’s opening scene in X2: X-Men United, or the action scenes that take place in the “future” of X-Men: Days of Future Past. Or maybe you favour the Batman warehouse scene in Batman V Superman. And I know we all love THE AIRPORT SCENE in Captain America: Civil War. Those were great scenes from a comic book movie perspective, so to speak. The action sequences in Logan is something else entirely. These are some brutal action scenes, unlike anything you’ve ever seen in a comic book movie (including Deadpool). It is violent but it doesn’t celebrate violence at all. It’s a movie that shows you the consequence of violence. When the protagonists engage in these action scenes, you don’t feel excited. You don’t pump your fists in the air and celebrate. When you witness the action scenes in this movie, you feel sad. Because it’s clear that Laura and Logan do not want to engage in violence. In fact, when they do, it literally hurts them. Watching them engage in violence although they desperately do not want to, is painful.
9. The “Main” Villains Are Terrible
One of the biggest complaints regarding the MCU, is the treatment of its villains. Besides Loki, none of the villains are remotely memorable. While Logan isn’t a Marvel-Disney property (it’s owned by Fox), it suffers from the same problem the MCU movies do. Probably the only weakness in this movie are the villains. The villains are for the most part, your one-dimensional cookie cutter losers. We have cyborg man, Dr Doofenshmirtz from Phineas and Ferb, and we have Wolverine’s evil twin. They’re just there as plot devices. The protagonists need to get from point A to point B. And the villains are just bumps in the road. They have no personality and their motivations are mostly unclear and even when their motivations are mentioned, it’s mostly surface level stuff. However, the R-Rating allows these characters to be more brutal than if they were in a PG-13 movie and that definitely added something to these villains. They do not hold back when they try to capture or kill the villains. These are very brutal scenes that would make you squirm and wince. Everything is shown explicitly – blood, guts and all. So, although they were one-dimensional they felt like they posed some kinda genuine danger to our heroes.
8. The Script Is Almost Flawless
When most people think script, they think dialogues. Which is only half true. The script largely consists of dialogues. However, it is more than just that. In fact, almost everything you see on screen stems from the script. The Logan script, written by James Mangold, Scott Frank and Michael Green is nothing short of exceptional. And I’m not just talking about the dialogues, which is superb as well. The characters in Logan are extremely well written, unlike anything you’ve ever seen in a comic book movie (and yes, that includes The Dark Knight).
On the surface, this movie is about Wolverine and Laura going ape sh*t on a bunch of bad guys. Which is true, that does happen. But Logan is so much more than that. It is a profound movie that discusses family, love, growing old and the meaning of life. Most of us would probably live till we’re 70+, then die. But what happens when you’ve been living for so long, ageing so much slower than the normal human being. What happens when everyone you love is dead? How much is your life worth then? This is one of the themes that are explored in detail in the movie.
But my favourite has to be the fact that while the so-called villains were expandable plot devices, the main villain was great. The biggest villain in Logan is Logan himself. He’s his greatest enemy. Heck, he even keeps an adamantium bullet with him, contemplating suicide.
7. Professor X Dies
I think many of you, just like me already sort of figured out that Professor X was going to die, just judging by the hints left in the trailers. I mean there was a scene with Wolverine holding a shovel in his hand, looking distraught. I doubt it’s because his pet goldfish died. Also, Patrick Stewart just like Hugh Jackman has said many times that this is his last time reprising his role as Professor X. So, sure we kinda figured that he was going to kick the bucket. However, to watch it happen on the big screen, was terrible, especially the way it played out. We have a guy who’s clearly very old, very sick and is slowly losing his mind. Something bad has happened in the past. Or at least, we’re told that something bad happened, but we’re not exactly sure. But we know how he feels. He’s been living in the middle of nowhere for at least a year, maybe more. Finally, he gets a good night sleep and a proper meal. You can clearly see, that he’s finally happy. Then he gets killed, by LOGAN??? Okay, fine Logan didn’t actually kill him. It’s a mutant who looks like Logan. But for a second there, all of us in the audience and Professor X had that “WTF” look. It was shocking, it was disturbing and gut wrenching.
6. Wolverine Dies
Okay, a lot of people probably expected or predicted this to happen. I’ll admit, I wasn’t one of them. I know, every single time Hugh Jackman is interviewed, the interviewer will ask, “Is there a chance of seeing you play the character again?” And his answer is always a resounding, “No.” However, of course he was going to say that. It would make this movie that much more interesting.
Also, Hugh Jackman and Ryan Reynolds have been pulling some stunts on social media recently, which got fans in a frenzy. They’ve teased more than one occasion the possibility of a Wolverine cameo in Deadpool 2. So, that always gave me hope that he was going to return, at least one last time. And if he were to return, there’s no way he dies in this movie. Another reason I didn’t think he would die is because we’ve seen characters do their last films without dying. Even in the gritty Nolan Batmanverse, Christian Bale only fake died, when in reality he was having sex with Catwoman in Italy (or was it France?). But here, he ACTUALLY DIES! We actually see the villain stab him to death. Then Laura buries him. Worst part is, you don’t see the gravel moving before they cut to credits either, like you did in Batman V Superman. This is a ballsy move! Definitely not one you’ll expect from a comic book movie. When Laura turned the Cross sideways to form an “X,” I couldn’t help but tear up.
5. This Is Not Based On The “Old Man Logan” Comic Book
When this movie was initially announced, people assumed that it’s going to be based on the Old Man Logan graphic novel. I mean this movie is called, LOGAN after all. However, that is not the case. Old Man Logan is about old man Logan who goes around killing supervillains one by one, including The Hulk who at point has become a supervillain (I know, it’s cray cray). This movie on the other hand isn’t anything like the Old Man Logan comic book, besides the fact that he’s old, he’s a man and his name is Logan. This movie doesn’t have a plethora of supervillains and it definitely does not have Hulk in it (licensing issues). Is that a bad thing? Not at all. This movie did capture the essence of the Wolverine character from the Old Man Logan graphic novel and that’s all it needs to do.
Just like how the MCU did with Civil War or Christopher Nolan did with his Dark Knight Trilogy, comic book movies do not actually need to follow the exact comic book storylines. What’s important is that you capture the essence of the characters and the universe. And James Mangold does that successfully.
4. X-Men Comics Exist In This Universe
When the second Logan trailer hit (my personal favourite, by the way), while people enjoyed the heck out of it, one of the biggest complaints that I heard was regarding the X-Men comics existing in the X-Men universe. People were saying that Logan shouldn’t have meta, breaking the fourth wall style elements in it. While I understand people’s concern, I completely disagree with it.
Firstly, is it even meta, though? This isn’t like Deadpool asking, “Which Professor X? Stewart or McAvoy?” Ask yourself, is us having a World War II book Meta? No. Is Hacksaw Ridge us breaking the fourth wall? No. Those are real life events. And people write stuff, make movies, etc. about real life events. Just like that, in the X-Men universe, people write stories about the X-Men. They did save the world, only a bajillion times. Besides, it’s not jarring or on the nose at all. It actually makes sense within the context of this story.
Also, I don’t see the big deal. It’s not like we’ve never seen this sorta thing before. C’mon people! There are The Flash and Arrow action figures in The Flash and Arrow TV series universe. How come no one complained then?
3. There Is No Mid/Post Credits Scene
Recently, Mike Sampson, the Sr. Marketing and Promotions Director of the Alamo Drafthouse, claimed that 20th Century Fox has provided cinemas with an updated runtime for Logan. Apparently, there is a they hid three minutes of footage during the press/fan screening of this movie.
His tweet was:
“Let the secret post-credits scene speculation begin: Fox just updated LOGAN runtime to 3 minutes longer than version screened this week.”
Well, having watched the movie, I can confidently say that there’s definitely no post credits scene. I waited till the end, and gave the cleaners a glaring look when they tried to chase me out. NO POST CREDITS SCENE. However, there were new rumours floating around today. The DEADPOOL 2 MARKETING HAS BEGUN?? Apparently, rather than appearing in the movie itself or appear in a post-credits scene, both Deadpool and Stan Lee appears right before Logan begins. This scene supposedly will happen after the trailers play and before the film begins as Deadpool and Stan Lee are seen having a conversation about various topics. In addition, that scene also comes with familiar songs from the first Deadpool movie, which fans will find enjoyable. Unfortunately, that scene wasn’t shown here in Malaysia.
2. The Movie Was Supposed To Have A Different Opening Scene
As mentioned above, in Logan, we’re constantly hinted at Professor X’s dark past. We know something bad happened. At one point, he says, “I killed them all.” But who is “all” and how long ago did this happen? It kinda feels like it happened not too long ago.
Well, in a recent interview with Moviefone, James Mangold had this to say:
“The idea was — all (or most of) the X-Men were dead. And that Charles had accidentally killed them. I had an opening where Logan comes into [Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters] and finds that a tragedy has occurred. He would have found certain X-Men, and, Charles at the center of it. BUT, The more I drilled into it, the more it turned into feeling like a standard X-Men movie. The point here would be to say just enough to understand what the characters are feeling. But not enough that you open up the gates of the kind of expositional madness that is part of the comic book [movie] world.”
Think about it, how depressing would it be had the movie started off like this.
1. This Movie Changes The Game Big Time
In 1997, a film named Batman and Robin was released. It was hot garbage. In fact, It was such a piece of crap that everyone believed that there’s no place for comic book movies in our modern world. In 2008, Christopher Nolan released The Dark Knight. And it changed the landscape of cinema forever. From people pushing for it to get nominated for an Oscar, to Heath Ledger actually winning an Oscar for best supporting actor, The Dark Knight was a definite game changer. In 2016, Deadpool was released. Becoming the highest grossing R-rated movie worldwide of all time. It was a fresh take on the superhero genre, one we’d never in our wildest imagination expect to see. Logan changes the game once again. While I love movies like Captain America: Civil War, X-Men: Days of Future Past etc, those movies still feel like comic book movies. Logan, just like The Dark Knight, transcends the genre. Calling it a good comic book movie would be underselling it. This is a great movie, period. And I hope, come December, this movie has Awards season buzz around it.