Logan Review

Logan (2017)

*WARNING: ADAM ANT-IUM LACED SPOILERS!*


BRIAN:
So why didn’t the nurse just find some guy with an airplane and give him the $20,000 to fly them to North Dakota?

BRAD: $20,000 can buy an airplane!

BRIAN: But who’s gonna fly it, kid? You?

BRAD: I’m still scratching my head as to what the “bad guys” wanted with those kids. And how exactly were they going to kill X-23 if they did want her dead.

BRIAN: I guess they created the mutant kids for an army for some reason but they grew unruly and then they made the clone Wolverine and didn’t need the kids anymore so they had to kill them, for some reason.

BRAD: But did they want to make mutants or eliminate mutants for their ultimate plan? If they want to eliminate mutants then why are they making them? They are already a dying “species” anyway.

BRIAN: Zander Rice, the head of the Transigen project, who reveals that the destruction of mutantkind is due to a virus created by the Transigen Project, as an effort to control the mutant population and create their own for weaponization.

OK… That’s like when we had that ant infestation so I killed them all and created my own ants.

BRAD: Hahahaha. Yeah. That’s the perfect analogy. The fucking plot should’ve been that mutantkind is becoming extinct but the bad guys (Transigen) want to make evil mutants for their own nefarious schemes. X-23 was the last born mutant who was made into a female Wolverine by Stryker’s people in the old Weapon X program. Transigen needs her DNA to make their new mutant weapon. She seeks asylum from an aging and weak Logan and Professor X.

Transigen making X-23 and then wanting to kill her makes zero sense to the overall plot.

BRIAN: Yeah that makes more sense.

And what was the end goal for the children? Where were they going? Did they think Transigen couldn’t cross into Canada for some reason?

By the way it’s now the #37 movie of all time according to IMDb. I hate our society.

BRAD: Probably because he said “fuck” 3 dozen times in the first half of the movie. And they showed a pair of tits.

BRIAN: Did he say fuck?? When?

BRAD: After every time he woke from a nap. So every 12 minutes.

BRIAN: Did he ever say fuck as he was waking up? That would have been the ultimate scene.

BRAD: It’s also sad knowing that they basically remade the first Wolverine movie with him fighting a mutant clone made in a lab. Why couldn’t the end battle be him and his arch-nemesis Sabretooth? That would’ve at least been interesting and fitting. Or them teaming up to fight someone.

BRIAN: Brad, Brad, Brad… you just don’t get it. His fiercest battle was with HIMSELF. AND HE WAS SAVED BY A MORE PURE AND INNOCENT VERSION OF HIMSELF!!!!

BRAD: Just like Superman III!

BRIAN: Exactly. 

Also, why was it such a hard journey for Laura, and all of the other mutant kids seemingly had no issues getting to Eden? Transigen seemed to send their entire security force after just her. Why?

BRAD: Yeah, I thought that last night. How did all those other kids get there with no trouble? And it would seem X-23 was the better fighter/survivalist of all those kids so you would think she’d be the exception to getting there.

Also, I remembered that she had 2 claws on each hand but she also had an awesome claw in each her feet, which she only used once.

BRIAN: Yeah, the chubby electric kid had an easier go of it than the little survivalist? And why was she so feral in the beginning and didn’t know how society worked at all? The other kids seemed perfectly normal in that respect. Coupled with the fact that none of them spoke Spanish.

I remember she used the foot claws once in the first fight and once at the end. Fortunately, her shoes stayed intact.

I bet when I watch this again on home video I might like it more, but as of now I was just underwhelmed and couldn’t get past all of these obvious plot holes we’ve been talking about, but it’s my fault for being wired that way.

BRAD: How long were those kids there by themselves? And how did they live or eat? Were they hunting lizards and small birds in the wilderness with their mutant powers?

I watched Red Letter Media’s “Half in the Bag” and they absolutely loved Logan. Barely even nit picked it. Maybe people were pleasantly surprised that it wasn’t like the first two Wolverine movies and that influenced their reviews? I mean, I certainly didn’t hate it and I agree, I bet another viewing might change my mind to like it more but I do feel the convoluted plot hindered my enjoyment. A simpler story could’ve been worked out.

BRIAN: Maybe I just missed this, but I was expecting someone else to be running Eden, and not the kids who escaped. Unless Rictor escaped previously? I thought they were meeting up with helpful adult mutants. And how dumb was it that the coordinates were in the comic book? No one from Transigen thought, “Hmm, could be nothing, but maybe we should check this location out just in case.”

I really think it’s just the notion of this comic book film being “adult” and adult nerds being better able to justify their nerdom.

BRAD: I’m still not sure how I feel about the whole X-Men comic books in the film. It feels really dumb to have a comic book movie franchise based on a comic book series have a fictional comic book series based on the same characters in the franchise. Why did they do that exactly? Were they trying to say that the last of the mutants published a comic book to help the other mutants find a safe haven and that’s why the coordinates were in the book? But then you’d have a whole subplot of mutant comic book writers and artists making a highly successful comic book series just to help other mutants. Seems ridiculous.

Couldn’t they have made a fictional comic book series like “Z-Men” and have characters roughly like the X-Men and maybe have someone hand write the coordinates for the doctor and X-23?

This is what I mean by making a simpler story.

You maybe right about adult geeks trying to make these adolescent comic book stories into something more grand in scope. I mean, people are saying Jackman’s performance is oscar-worthy! C’mon!

BRIAN: Right, like somebody had to put the coordinates in there, so who were they? And why was no one at Eden except the kids? That really makes no sense. It would have been better if it were just Laura and Charles had a vision of a safe harbor and they had to get her there because she was the last mutant and they wanted to protect her but the government wanted her for themselves.

And also, Caliban’s sacrifice amounted exactly to nothing. They still managed to track down the kids.

BRAD: And Caliban didn’t actually kill anyone (of consequence) but himself. 

BRIAN: Right, he just blew up the van, but that didn’t necessarily slow them down much. They weren’t in a hurry anyway, as evidenced by X-24 just standing there and listening to Charles’s whole speech before he stabbed him in the heart, even though in every other scene he acts like a literal wolverine.

BRAD: Exactly! The X-24 reveal and subsequent scenes with him made little to no sense to the overall pacing of the picture. It’s scenes like these that you and I were like, this is dumb, but everyone else didn’t think twice about and ended up just really liking the movie.

BRIAN: How did Caliban’s powers work, anyway? I assumed he could just sense where the mutants were, but he would have had to verbally tell the Reavers that info, right? Why would he do that?

BRAD: Yeah, Caliban is basically an albino mutant tracker. Which making him Prof X’s caretaker meaningless since there are no more mutants. They could’ve easily made Caliban, Forge (the mutant who has mechanical powers) to take care of him and fix up old vehicles and such and it would’ve worked too. Maybe there was a deleted scene of Logan and Caliban talking about how Caliban just can’t locate any more mutants and its been so long since he sensed any kinda of thing. Otherwise, it seems he’s only in this film to assist the Reavers find Logan and company. Which like you said, makes no sense since he was to verbally tell them the information.

BRIAN: I just can’t picture how Caliban helped them. I guess they tortured him until he told them their location? But why would he do that if he was going to kill himself anyway? How specific were his powers? They found Charles in that hotel room, does Caliban say “Oklahoma City, The Lucky Horseshoe Hotel & Casino, Room 286, on the bed by the window”? They may as well have had a device that detected adamantium. Or instead of the random Caliban, have like an older Jean Grey be the one being forced to help them, and Wolverine didn’t know she was alive, then it’s a big twist and a big sacrifice for her. 

BRAD: I’m not that knowledgeable with Caliban since he’s one of the more newer mutants after I stopped reading. I doubt he knows the exact location or coordinates of any mutant but can sense them in the vicinity. Maybe like a very powerful bloodhound mutant. Maybe there’s a deleted scene of him being tortured…who knows. He did seem somewhat cowardly or at least not-up-for-confrontation so maybe he helped the Reavers and feeling guilty about it, sacrificed himself when the moment arose. At any rate he was useless.

And is it common knowledge that Albino’s react violently to sunlight or was that just for Caliban?

But you made a great point about Jean Grey being the one to be forced to help the Reavers. This would’ve made a better twist or sub-plot to Logan’s character arc. Would he sacrifice himself to help his daughter or his long lost love? That would’ve been interesting.

And again, I’ll bring up Sabretooth, who not only would’ve nicely bookended the Wolverine movies by being a friend/foe in this as well but he too could’ve helped the Reavers because he is a good tracker having the same keen senses as Wolverine does. And they could’ve had a great fight by the middle/last third and maybe have him team up with Wolverine to fight X-24 or something to redeem Sabretooth as well as make a decent twist to his relationship to Wolverine. We’ve already gave this too much thought.

BRIAN: Why did some of the Reaver guys have robot arms? Is that a comics thing? Maybe it would have seemed cool if there was any sort of backstory for the villains, aside from “He created KISS to destroy KISS.”

BRAD: Yeah, the Reavers were all genetically-altered and mostly cybernetic villains/mercenaries so that was pretty much a comics thing. But I was just reading who the main Reaver guy was (Pierce) and he was the de facto leader of the Reavers back in the 80s comics. I didn’t realize this because I don’t think they ever said Pierce’s name in the movie. Richard E. Grant is in the comics too but that was way past my time but he was just like the comics, his dad was killed by Wolverine when he escaped the Weapon X program and years later made X-23.

And making it R-rated was dumb and unnecessary to the overall story. They just wanted to cram in as many ‘fucks’ and ‘shits’ and have gory death scenes as possible when it meant nothing to story but fan-boys think making an R-rated comic book movie automatically makes it better, edgier and adult-themed. And that’s bullshit.

BRIAN: Yeah the R wasn’t necessary whatsoever, but I did like some of the gorier kills at least. Especially when Wolverine, Too hacked the rancher’s head off.

BRAD: I also liked the violence since the previous X-Men movies always had no blood when it came to Wolverine’s kills, which is ridiculous since he’s slicing people with 6 giant knives. So I do appreciate the gore for once but I still think it didn’t make it a better movie though.

And I’m a huge Wolverine fan but I realized that his character just doesn’t work in these movies. Tonally he’s just alright but his character arc is all over the place and that’s mostly because in the films he’s always the main hero (because of his popularity—wherein in the early comics he was always the loose-cannon, anti-authority tough guy). In the first film appearance, he’s a loner and what’s to be left alone but falls for Jean Grey and joins the X-Men, also hoping Prof. X can figure out his shady past. He’s a full fledged member of the team and school in the next 2 movies. His second solo movie is him being a recluse and loner again, living off the grid because Jean Grey and Prof X died. But he’s found to help that dying Japanese man and ends up falling in love again with Mariko. This movie fucked up so much in the finale that I don’t even want to rehash it again but he ends up not with Mariko for some reason that I can’t recall. He’s called back the X-Men by the end credits but that didn’t much matter because that lead to the far future for Days of Future Past where again, he’s a full-fledged responsible member of the X-Men. Now in this other far future of 2029, he’s a miserable ailing alcoholic (I think, they show him drinking a lot in the beginning but they forget this plot-detail mid-way through) who it seems is reluctantly caring for a dying Prof X and trying to maintain a low profile, even though he brutally slaughters a few gangbangers who are only trying to steal his hubcaps. He meets his “daughter” and somewhat reluctantly is tasked with trying to get her to Canada.

There was really no character arc in all these films. He was always a loner if needed be or a friendly member of the X-Men if needed to be. He was always a hero, despite his rage and reluctancy to be a member of a group or even with a shady past. In every movie they seem to start over with his persona and then make him a hero, who most times sacrifices his life for the greater good. If Logan, the film, wanted to make a greater dramatic impact for me, they needed him to be even more broken or grown to be attached to X-23 by the end. Since he was already caring for Prof X since the beginning it shows he’s a caring person even though he’s down in the dumps. So we already know he’s going to take care of X-23, albeit reluctantly but he’s going to fulfill his mission regardless. I wish I was paying more attention to his dying words to X-23 but it was something like: “So this is what it feels like…” meaning being part of a family, or caring for someone other than yourself kinda of deal. I just feel by the end of every movie with Wolverine, he realizes this epiphany. Or did he say that line to illustrate his feeling towards finally dying? That I can see since he was basically invulnerable in every other movie but that diminishes his last dying words to his supposed daughter.

BRIAN: You’re absolutely right, he developed family-like or deep-love feelings for the X-Men, Jean Grey, Rogue, Mariko, Xavier, etc. How is this some new feeling he’s experiencing if he’s experienced it in every single fucking movie so far?

BRAD: The truth is, you can’t have a Batman-like loner character when he develops and can experience these feelings for other people. The reason The Dark Knight worked so well is part Wayne not being able to have a relationship with Rachel Dawes and even more so, is a huge part of her untimely death. I bring this up because Logan is being compared TDK as an edgy and dark “adult-themed” comic book flick and I’m sorry Logan tried hard to do it but I think failed with the character arc. Especially when the villain(s) are so poorly developed or even explained.

I also see that they tried to make Logan like a Mad Max feature (we joked about the kids and Captain Walker when we watched it) but I really do think they wanted to make Wolverine into a Mad Max-like character who has to reluctantly help someone.

I give the film more credit than usual to faithfully adapt a comics’ story, this being “Old Man Logan” instead of cobbling together multiple other stories to try to make a new story (Like X-Men Apocalypse did). I wish more comic book movies followed this idea of adapting more faithfully to the original sources. This would’ve greatly benefitted The Wolverine as well and I said that repeatedly.

However, this was a lot better the the previous two Wolverine solo flicks and a decent send-off for Jackman and Stewart for their respective characters after 17 or so years playing them. I was hoping for better but I’m just glad it wasn’t a total disaster. And perhaps I am being too hard on Logan because I’ve always been such a huge fan of the character and know him too well and expect more from the films. But I’ve always liked his performances in the X-Men movies as opposed to his solo films. Maybe he just works better for me in a larger cast, contrasted against Cyclops or Jean Grey or even Storm. I appreciated the tone and look of Logan and liked the direction at which they were going with it and of course the performances were fantastic. Weird seeing Eriq La Salle in a comic book movie but anything’s possible these days. While I didn’t love it after my initial viewing, it could very well grow on me after time. And I wouldn’t not recommend it to anyone because it had a lot of decent action as well as dramatic scenes. My main fault with this film is the story.

Score: 6 Perfectly Edited and Narrated Expositional Video By A Rogue Nurse out of 10

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