As someone who grew up watching the x-men cartoons, probably long after it was age-respectable, I really like the x-men. And it almost goes without saying that Wolverine is my favourite. (It doesn’t hurt that the bladed-fury has most recently been played by fellow Aussie, Huge Jackman, who is a skillful singer/actor and all-round nice guy). I love the super powers of the mutants and their heroic struggles in a world where literally anything is possible.
According to the review sites the latest Marvel offering Logan is quite popular with audiences. Not with this reviewer, and I’ll tell you why.
Spoiler alert: There will be many spoilers, spread far and wide just like the dismembered body parts in the movie. Now this movie is rated R in the US, but only MA in Australia due to our weak rating system (but that’s another rant). I had heard in advance that it was “violent and dark”. Those were three little words that didn’t prepare me suitably.
I’ve previously written in defense of violent movies: I’m glad that war movies are realistic. I’m OK with realistic violence that is contextually believable. Logan was over-the-top violence in at least three ways:
- Firstly, there was slicing-and-dicing. To be fair, it’s been awhile since I’ve seen the x-men movies, so I suspect I am forgetting the level of violence, but this was like The Gore Factory was having a closing down sale with everything at 80% off, and the prop master just went ballistic with the corporate credit card.
- Secondly, the violence was often malicious. Not only were they killing people but they were also doing it with intent of torture. Especially one of the the last scenes: brutal.
- Most importantly, the biggest problem I had with violence (that I’ve mentioned before) is that I’m not overly comfortable with children-actors being cast as the violent characters. The primary character (“Laura” played by Dafne Keen, 11 or 12 years old) – is the most disturbing violence in the movie because of her age. This young girl leaps around, screaming like a feral beast and eviscerating the bad guys with full-blood splatter. Now, I admit, this squeamishness is mine but it begs the question, if a child cannot see a movie because of certain scenes, how are they allowed to act in it? I worry about any ongoing consequences of being involved in such scenes.
Other Adult Content
In one scene Logan as chauffeur is “flashed” by a drunken woman at a bachelorette party. The nudity does not advance the plot or give insight into the character. It adds nothing, and if you were talking to your neighbour for 5 seconds you’d not see it, and wouldn’t miss it. Why add something which only pushes the rating up if it adds nothing? The movie is fairly slow to start, and too long, so this scene could have easily been cut. There is also much more swearing than I remember seeing other x-men movies.
Wolverine was always an edgy character, straddling the grey between reluctant-hero and anti-hero. He wasn’t (overly) bound by the concepts of good and evil. He just wanted to go about life the way he wanted to, protect those he loved and be left alone. His was the character that was tormented by a long life of pain, and a dark, somewhat-unknown history.
But to find my pal Wolverine, an alcoholic, possibly a drug-addict who is almost praying for death is not something that I was plased to find. The whole movie is depressing. That depression, combined with the young kid killing everyone is what left a sour taste in my mouth. There was very little redeeming about the movie.
I wouldn’t say the ending was a good ending. Yes, the kids escape but Logan is dead and there is no ‘adult’ to watch over them.
Other problems I had with the movie (in short):
- Wolverine has healing-factor and we’ve seen him heal instantly from terrible wounds. Including some that stretched the concept to the very boundary (and beyond) of believability. And now, I am to believe that the adamanti inside of him has been poisoning him all along? Really?
- These child mutants that have been trained to kill seem fairly easy for the human soldiers to round-up. Sure, a few of them die but a lot of the kids are simply tackled to the ground like regular kids. I would have believed some kind of tranquilizer guns, but just rounding them up in handcuffs is a little hard to believe.
- In the movie Laura is watching an old western movie with Professor X. You see a good 30 seconds of the dialogue. Instantly I knew this was coming back. And yes, of course, that’s the word she uses to speak over Wolverine’s grave. Not sure if it was supposed to be touching or poignant… it missed it’s mark and came of cheesy, at least to me.
Have you seen Logan? If so, do you agree or disagree?
Note: I later came up with my own plot for Logan.