March 5 2017

Logan review – Did we all see the same movie?

Logan is a bloated, gratuitous slog that is still entertaining, but overly long and downright pretentious at points.

I figured I might as well give everyone one sentence to focus all their hate on as what I’m about to say isn’t going to be popular.

I went into Logan with a lot of high hopes based on the excellent trailers and stellar reviews it has been receiving. There is no denying it was a fitting end to Hugh Jackman’s run as the character, but it feels as though the film decided if it was going to have an R-rating it meant it should throw everything at the wall even if it crosses the line into violence for violence sake.

Yes, Wolverine – and by extension, X-23 – are all about violence in the comics, but when you are being assaulted with it on film, it becomes numbing and loses its impact if not used judiciously. The previous films have handcuffed Wolverine in a lot of ways, but you still got the implication of what was happening without feeling the need to show us claws going through skull after skull in closeup.

And then there is the endless cursing. Trust me, I can curse like a sailor in my personal life, but I don’t do it every day endlessly because if you do it loses its impact and becomes white noise. That is exactly what happened with Logan. While it is fitting for the character to swear occasionally, doing it every other word just becomes distracting. The first time hearing him utter an F-bomb in the film you go, “Oh, the gloves are finally off!” but by the 20th you’re going, “Alright… we got it.”

In all of this “Lets embrace the R-rating!” orgy of bad habits, not once do we see Logan light a cigar.

I know at one time the MPAA had a ruling about smoking in a film immediately saddling it with an R-rating. Upon reflection and a bit of digging, it seems that rule has been relaxed somewhat. But here we are with an R-rated film with death upon death, copious amounts of swearing and even a completely useless topless shot and not once do we see Logan light up his trademark cigar. Why does this standout? There is a sight gag of Logan taking a handful of cigars from a convenience store. This isn’t to say I feel it somehow made it a lesser film, but it stood out in its oddness that they hung that gun on the wall and then went “Oh no, we can’t do that… but has anyone got another 55-gallon drum of fake blood they can roll in here?” He has smoked cigars before, why not here in this love letter to the R-rating?

I think my issue here isn’t so much with the movie. As I said, it was enjoyable, and Jackman did a great job, but it just isn’t what so many people are making it out to be. Some people are calling for Academy Award nominations and… it just isn’t there.

From violence for violence sake, to some really severe pacing issues throughout the course of the film I was left wondering if I somehow was missing what other people were seeing. As the house lights came up the friend I was seeing the film with turned to me and commented that he also felt the same. That somehow the critics had overhyped this film and it just wasn’t what people were making it out to be.

Again, and I can’t stress this enough, I am not calling this film ‘bad,’ I am just calling it… ‘eh.’ It’s still worth seeing, but just make sure you go in with your expectations measured… and a high threshold to violence and cursing.

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