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NEWBIES: If this is your first trip here (welcome!), here’s the QT on what these reviews are.
THIS WEEK: The third (and final) of the Hugh Jackman Wolverine “unintentional trilogy” takes place in 2029 where new mutants have for some reason ceased being born. Bearded, weary Wolvie now lives with albino mutant Caliban (Stephen “The Office” Merchant) and a senile Professor X (Patrick “I am not Picard” Stewart) whom they have to keep drugged up so his mental seizures don’t kill everyone. Sure enough, a new mutant (and scary secrets) emerges, with gov’t and corporate goons after it; and Logan (reluctantly, of course), decides to help…and immediately regrets it.
Written by Scott Frank & James Mangold and Michael Green. Story and directed by James “The Wolverine” Mangold.
- Nice casting. Of course, Jackman and Stewart bring their usual perfect-character skills. Right from the start, Jackman is (in Logan’s own words) “f***d up,” and sure looks it; I think he physically limps through the whole film. Stewart is everyone’s sad elderly grandfather, with bits of wisdom and old Xavier intellectual prowess. They make a great pair. Merchant is both pathetic and heroic. The little girl (Dafne Keen) is ferociously good too. Obvious bad-guy Pierce (Boyd Holbrook) is appropriately hateable.
- Other casting, like the Munson family (especially Eriq La Salle), is great, and it’s fun seeing Quincy Fouse from THE GOLDBERGS in a more serious role.
- Several scenes with X-Men comics (drawn by Joe Quesada and Dan Panosian) and they play a part in the story.
- Oddly, the film begins with a trailer for the next DEADPOOL, which is hilarious (but has nothing to do with LOGAN).
- Since this is rated “R,” you get tons of blood and violence for your money. I’d say more hack ‘n’ slash “Snikkkting” than in any other Wolverine or X-movie.
- Effects are fine. The director said he wanted to avoid “the special effects arms race” so there are no exploding planets or even cities, no giant-sized creatures. Just a smattering of various mutant powers (vibration, electricity, ice-breath, forest-moving, etcetera) and mechanical appendages, so easier on the budget and time to do it right. The (many) scenes of adamantium claws cutting thru skull and bone like they’re butter look a bit too easy to believe, but nonetheless really well done. You’ll wonder how they did it so seamlessly!
- Decent story. Good balance between set-up and conflict overall, plus unexpected turns and events. Redemption, regret, soul-searching, hope, humor, turmoil, love, and all that jazz. Easy-to-follow plot and it makes sense overall.
- Great stunt work—the many fights are a blast. And seeing a 10-year-old girl go apes**t crazy, slicing thru 200-pound security dudes like a hysterical buzz saw, never gets old! Hilariously sick fun.
- Though overall dark, there are a few (much-needed) bits of funny, especially exchanges between Wolverine and—well, everybody. (The scene of him dealing with a broken-down truck is pretty much me.)
- Since Jackman has said publicly this is his last go-round as the Canadian terror, it’s proper closure.
- As with the “Pros” above, this definitely earns its “R”, so this is NOT for kids! Plenty of “F” bombs, cursing, violence and bloodshed, including horrible treatment of children.
- Sometimes sad and hard to watch Prof. X become such a mess, and mighty Logan gets the crap beat out of him more than once. Plus a couple of nasty death scenes that are equally sad.
- Suspension Of Disbelief Dept.: The downside of having mutants is that you have to show that they have special powers, but when they’re being chased and hunted, they have to also appear vulnerable. That’s easy and acceptable when it’s super-villains, but not with ordinary goons with guns. If you can control electricity, wind, and stuff in the forest, why wait to use it until guys are grabbing you? Why not band together earlier and stop everyone in their tracks before the chase even starts? Well, apparently because the script writers needed it. *sigh*
- FROM MIKE: Suspension Of Disbelief Dept. Part 2: Since it takes place in the future, they gave Wolvie a redesigned “futuristic” limo (which actually looked retro if you’re a car person). Every other vehicle, including those used by the bad guys/government, is inexplicably from 2016 or older. (Can you say, “We only had a budget of $100 million and didn’t want to blow it on car design?”) And fashion apparently doesn’t change either.
- Some fans may not like the ending. Also, it would have been nice to tie in the boat mentioned throughout the film with the end somehow—it just gets forgotten. (I would have shown the girl grown up, driving it.)
- FROM MIKE: While it was awesome to see Wolverine co-creators Len Wein and Roy Thomas (and others) in the “Thanks” section in the end credits, there wasn’t a single credit for co-creator Herb Trimpe! (At least I didn’t notice it. If you did, please let me know in the “comments” section.)
- A Marvel movie with no “button,” either at the main credits or the very end? WTF?? (Then again, considering the ending, it’s understandable. Just not fun.)
If you can avoid the spoilers, you might as well wait till this is on video/on-demand. Not a ton of “big-screen” moments, and plus you’ll want to see some of the cool stunts and fights over again because they happen so fast. Not the type of flick I’d ever want to see again from start to finish, especially because of the brutal last half-hour or so. But an important addition to the whole X-thing and a necessary ending to the longest-running (17 years!) film-superhero single-actor portrayal in history.
P.S.: Commemorate the big occasion with an original art commission of your own! Get one from Pascale—he’s done Wolvie before and digs ‘im. He’ll draw you up somethin’ sweet, cool, funny and/or fun, and fairly cheap, too. Just ask Craig here!
DISCLAIMER: The opinions expressed herein are not necessarily those of Wednesday’s Heroes, Mike Pascale, mutants, non-mutants, X-23-33, Transigen, Essex Corp., Professor X’s School For Gifted Children or Bru-Hed’s Home For Wayward Strippers (which is always looking for applicants. Send pics to firstname.lastname@example.org).