In a year of letdowns and total flops (“Inferno”), a select few movies emerged as notably more...
Wolverine finally gets an “R” rating, but it doesn’t amount to much.
Is it worth $10? Unless you’re a Wolverine fan, No.
You know that dream you have where you’re trying to get somewhere in a hurry but your feet feel like lead and you’re moving like molasses? “Logan” is that nightmare burned into film (or captured on digital, more likely).
The movie takes place in the near-ish future of 2029. The titular former X-Man (Hugh Jackman returning for his ninth go around as the character) is aging, his regenerative mutant powers slowly failing him. He’s a mess and so is the world around him. Most mutants are gone. There’s political upheaval. We get glimpses of it in an opening that, as good science fiction does, uses a futuristic setting to hold up a mirror to our present: frat bros jeer “USA” as they drive past a group of refugees being rounded up by border police. The world building ends there, though, as the rest of the future is only glimpsed by Logan’s constant reiteration that the world sucks.
Early on, Professor X yells, “Blame someone else for your boring shit!” He’s right. Logan/Wolverine is boring. That line, this movie, and its lackluster predecessors finally elicited this epiphany: I’m not a fan of the character. Hugh Jackman is charismatic and does a good job as always, but he can’t cover the fact that Logan simply isn’t that interesting. It matters less when he’s part of a team in the “X-Men” movies, where his angry shtick is offset by the differing personalities of the mutants around him. But when he’s front and center, he’s one note and monotonous.
And so is the movie. It’s dour and grim, but not much else. Director James Mangold seems to conflate misery with maturity, but by the umpteenth time that Logan stated some variation of “I’m not the man you think I am,” I began to suspect that the movie had little to say… except that Wolverine is not the man we think he is.
Having said that, this is probably still the Wolverine movie fans have been clamoring for. If you fall into that camp, ignore me. See the movie. But know this: an “R” rating is not a magical salve; “Logan” has mature themes and content, yes, but that doesn’t make it mature.