Thursday 21 May 2015

Movie Review: Logan

Director – James Mangold

Cast – Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, Dafne Keen, Stephen Merchant

Quick take : High on action thriller with a bizarre storyline

Rating – 4/5

Review: Hugh Jackman has spent a lifetime chasing the Wolverine dream. While his contribution to the X-Men movies has been invaluable, the success of a stand alone Wolverine movie has long eluded him. But with Logan, he and director James Mangold have finally cracked the code. Pity then, that they did so on a farewell movie. Logan closes the chapter on solo Wolverine magic, but it does so with true grit and a dramatic punch that can knock you out. This is the best Wolverine movie to date. Even with respects to the X-Men universe, this bloody and gory drama lives up to greats like X-Men: First Class and Days Of Future Past. The story is set in a dystopian future where the mutants are nearly extinct. The usually ripped and rabid Wolverine is now an old and haggard man. His days of fighting evil and crime are over. He’s a chauffeur in a limousine. He also takes care of an old and seemingly senile Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart) back home. They live in an abandoned factory and the entire setup looks like a cross between the Mad Max universe and a Jason Bourne movie. Things get interesting when Logan is approached by a nurse who asks his help to get a young girl to a safe haven for mutant children. The phase where Logan and this young girl have to journey to an unknown location makes the main crux of the story. What makes Logan uniquely interesting is that it depicts Hugh Jackman's Wolverine aka Logan as an older and down on luck man. He’s not your regular leather clad, ripped superhero. He’s a broken man, struggling to survive and then he has to face the reality of being a father too. It’s a complete departure for the Wolverine character. It makes the slick anti-hero into a grimace carrying lone rider, something of a Clint Eastwood arc depicted with a lot more grief and tumult. Inspired from the dark and moody comic Old Man Logan, this movie makes an otherwise fancy costume powered superhero into a real and believable human. Scenes where Jackman's Logan has to accept and deal with parenting have been written with great wit and insight. In what can be called Wolverine's swan song, they make the legend into an unforgettable memory. Apart from solid writing and controlled direction, Logan also benefits from three superlative performances. Patrick Stewart as Professor X is a near cuckoo man, unlike his usual depictions of finesse and intelligence. His performance just reminds you of what a good actor he is and that even in a wheel chair, a great performer can shimmy up pure brilliance. Young Dafne Keen as Logan's daughter Laura is a revelation. Her blood splattered performance reminds you of the manic goodness that Chloe Grace Moretz had managed back in 2010 with Mathew Vaughn’s Kick-Ass. She’s just a small girl, but when it comes to killing, she’s just as good as her Dad. Hugh Jackman as the dying, coughing and unhappy Logan is fantastic. Gruffy, unkempt and miserable, he plays the hero with a death wish to perfection. By the end of the film, we see a leaner and more attuned Wolverine. So the character goes through many shades and Jackman brings his A game. This is easily one of the best performances of his career. If you’ve grown up watching the X-Men movies then Logan is a story that just cannot be missed. The film does have a generous amount of gore and splatter. But the whole blood soaked approach is what makes this movie such a dark and fascinating experience.