Logan (2017)

The Good and The BadHugh Jackman (Logan); Patrick Stewart (Charles); Dafne Keen (Laura); Boyd Holbrook (Pierce, mech man); Richard E. Grant (Dr. Rice); Stephen Merchant (Caliban) 

Who doesn’t like Wolverine? He’s a tough as fuck mutant and behind that loner exterior and perpetual snarl he is compassionate and one of the most complex and likeable characters from the X-Men verse. Logan marks the 3rd (I believe) Wolverine focused flick and there is no doubt that it is also the best.

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The flick is set in the year 2029 and presents an aged, grizzled, depressed Logan who is not well. Aside from being pickled by booze most of the time, he is dying, actually dying. His healing abilities are stunted and pus oozes from his knuckles after he let’s loose the claws. Aside from Logan being nearly human, he has a job like any other normal human as a limo driver for hire. As the movie starts so does the action and extreme violence (which doesn’t let up) as Logan’s limo is in the process of being stripped of its wheels and he is forced to fight back with deadly force, although he seems to hesitate on being lethal…at first. Limbs fly off and blood splatter is everywhere.

Alright so I was basically starting to tell the movie in great detail, nearly scene by scene but I think I will try to condense it a bit. Logan encounters a woman who knows he’s Wolverine and begs for his help – he runs her off. He is approached by a dickhead with a mechanical arm who is looking for that same woman -he all but runs him off. Down to Mexico where Professor X is slowly losing his mind and has to be sedated or he could kill everyone. Apparently there are nearly no mutants left in world and none being born. Logan meets the woman again and a girl, about 10-12 years old, and the woman begs again for help but offers money this time. He takes it, the woman dies, the kid tags along, mechanical hand wants the kid and finds her, Laura, with Logan and Charles in Mexico.

Turns out Laura is a mini version of Logan; genetically created and surgically altered with adamantium just as he had been. She wants to go to Eden in North Dakota where she is to meet up with other kids like her, mutants created by a misguided doctor Xander Rice. The plan is to head to Canada where there is some sort of sanctuary. And off they go – Logan, Charles and Laura while being chased by mech man and his crew. Innocents die and Charles is killed by Wolverine, or at least a Wolverine look a like. I think they call him X-24 where as Laura is X-23. X-24 is pure brute and killer but under the control of Xander Rice and mech man to a point. Logan and Laura continue to Eden after he is nearly killed by X-24 and they finally find the other children from the hospital where Laura was born.

Logan is healing since they gave him a green serum that juices up the mutants and Laura is hopes he will go to Canada with them but he doesn’t and things go bad. Again. Mech man and X-24 chase them through the woods, Logan juices to the max but alas it is not enough and he dies at the hands of his Doppelganger. Laura kills X-24 but only moments before Logan dies. The kids continue to run to Canada.

Final Thoughts: I admit I am not doing this movie justice. It is so much better than described. The acting is fantastic and action is the best. Over the course of the X-Men and Wolverine movies they have been good to awful (X-Men 3) and they have been missing something – the gritty edge and violence that should come with a story that is basically about a war between the evil forces and those trying to be good and help others through the battle. The violence is punctuated so much more by Laura and her rage fueled savagery. And when she and Logan are fighting side by side, the action is incredible. The story brought the end of one of my favourite characters but Logan’s legacy continues with Laura and the new generation of mutants that are more gritty and hard-hitting than their predecessors. Logan gets 5 out 5 Wolverines.

 

 

2017 Upcoming Flicks

Where is the time going. February is nearly half done and I’m late to getting to the movies of 2017. So, here is the list of what I’m looking forward.

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Justice League Dark – February 7 – I just finished Volume 1 of the Justice League Dark New 52 and I’m a fan of Constantine which is the draw here.

John Wick: Chapter 2 – February 10 – Well, the first one was good and there have been plenty of good reviews for the follow-up.

Patient Zero – February 17, 2017 – Super virus. Highly intelligent infected with a special language and a search for patient zero. Add in some decent casting with Matt Smith, Natalie Dormer and Clive Standen and it may have potential however, I’ve heard very little about this movie including where it is available to see.

A Cure for Wellness – February 17, 2017 – Creepy wellness centres. Mixed reviews so far but I’m still interested.

giftsThe Girl with All the Gifts – February 24, 2017 – Read the book, which I enjoyed so I’m curious to see how it translates to film.

Logan – March 3, 2017 – Grizzled old Logan. This looks like it will be the best one of the bunch as far as Wolverine movies go.

T2: Trainspotting – March 3, 2017 -21 years after the original was released, it’ll be interesting to see how they mature these characters and if the follow-up maintains the gritty edge of the original.

Kong: Skull Island – March 10, 2017 – Not usually my kind of movie (something about giant, talking, thinking gorillas bugs me) but the trailer for this makes it appealing. Have to see what the reviews say.

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The Belko Experiment – March 17, 2017 – People locked in at work, forced to kill one another….office work is a bitch. Violence bred by the instinct to survive and the bending of people’s morals and conscience. Would you kill to save yourself?

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 – May 5 – Probably more of the same as the first movie but there’s nothing wrong with that plus, little Groot.

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword – May 12 – A King Arthur flick directed by Guy Ritchie and starring Charlie Hunnan should be a great. Add in an impressive cast and Charlie Hunnan shirtless, nothing wrong with that. Let’s hope the best part of this isn’t the trailer.

The Dark Tower – July 28 – It’s unclear which books of the Stephen King Dark Tower series are going to be in the first movie but from what I’ve seen, it kind of looks like it will meld The Gunslinger and The Drawing of the Three. I’ve read the first 4 books of the series and am in the process of going through the series completely. Really like the casting of Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey and I this is one of the rare good Stephen King adaptations.

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IT – September 8 – Another Stephen King based movie. Loved the book and while the TV movie tried to bring the story to life it hasn’t held up over time (just realized that I have it on DVD). Hopefully the movie is as good and creepy as the book.

Murder on the Orient Express – November 22 – An updated adaptation of an Agatha Christie classic. Love her books and most of the previous film/TV adaptations that I have seen have been good.

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The Wolverine (2013)

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The Gist: Summoned to Japan by an old acquaintance, Wolverine becomes embroiled in a conflict that forces him to confront his own demons. (IMDB)

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Heroes & Antiheroes: Hugh Jackman (Logan), Tao Okamoto (Mariko), Rila Fukushima (Yukio), Haruhiko Yamanouchi (Yashida), Svetlana Khodchenkova (Viper)

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My Take: One of the best X-Men has returned and this outing is far better than the previous one.  Logan has been living in seclusion in the mountains following the death of Jean Grey.  One night after the senseless killing of his buddy, the Grizzly Bear, Logan heads into town to get vengeance but is stopped by a cute, kick ass young woman Yukio.

Logan is off to Japan to bid farewell to a man, Yashida, he saved during World War 2 but of course it’s not that simple.  Yashida wants to free Logan of his immortal torment by making him mortal so that the old fellow can have Logan’s ability to live forever.  Even if you were sick of living, would you give up your ability to be immortal, to heal instantly?  I think not.  So that is the basic premise for the story which also involves Yashida’s granddaughter Mariko whom he is leaving his empire to, angering his son.  This sets it up nicely for Logan to get cozy with the beautiful young woman while protecting her.   Throw in Logan’s recurring visions of the dead Jean Grey and an unnecessary female mutant villain named Viper (she is a poisonous creature) and you have a superhero movie.

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Final Thoughts: Wolverine is probably my favourite of the X-Men with Gambit a close second.  The story of Wolverine’s isolation and finding a new appreciation for who and what he is was well told.  The character of Viper, however was needless.  They could have used a non-mutant character but at least we get to see her in a different green outfit in nearly every scene.  And I must add that Hugh Jackman looks freakin’ amazing in this flick.  Just look at that body. Wow.  All in all, this was a good movie and I think more people should go and see.  Good story, good action.

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