Are “R” rated comic movies the way to go? FOX seems to think so. With Deadpool and now Logan, FOX has made some serious moolah on making the “X-Universe” more adult.
Does it work? I can’t deny they are getting what they want – money.
Is it necessary? I don’t think so. At this point, what FOX is doing is nothing more than a gimmick. Making Watchmen or V for Vendetta “R” rated? Totally fit the source material. Deadpool and Logan could have easily been still rated PG-13 and not have lost any story impact. In fact, a hint of restraint may have even made the final product better, especially in the case of Deadpool. He’s funnier when he has to dance around the line of obscenity. It makes the writers more creative. Letting him do whatever he wants lessens his impact.
But I digress. This is about Logan.
Could this movie have been PG-13? Yes.
Should it have been? Maybe.
I liked that we got a foul-mouthed Logan and that we got to see the full impact of what those claws could do. However, I didn’t think that it helped the movie any more than just trying to show audiences that this movie was “SUPER SERIOUS”. It was like when Transformers: The Movie came out in the 80’s and they threw a few curse words in there to make sure it got a “PG” rating instead of “G”. The words didn’t help the story at all, they just wanted the audience to perceive the movie differently. It comes down to marketing, ultimately. But it feels a little like a Jr. High kid peppering his vocabulary with “fucks” just to make himself feel more adult. Protip: It doesn’t make you seem more adult. Maturity comes from deep meaningful content, not the ability to say bad words or show boobs.
FOX liked to advertise that this movie “Transcends the comic-book genre“.
What they were trying to say was that “It isn’t as silly as the other X-Men movies we made!” However, it was still silly. We’ll get into that in a minute.
What were my general impressions of the film? Overall… I liked it. It felt like a one-off comic in one of Marvel’s various “mature” lines.
Now we are going to jump into SPOILER territory.
The movie really broke down for me in the 3rd act. I enjoyed the set-up immensely. Seeing Logan trying to make ends meet as a driver, taking care of Charles and trying to figure out what to do next to keep him (and the rest of the world) safe was a great beginning. Injecting Laura/X-23 in there and the problems that then caused to Logan’s plans was perfect. The road trip with the 3 generations cross-country was when this movie hit its stride and I was loving every minute of it. Stephen Merchant as Caliban was delightful, even if it was a bit criminal to not utilize his comedic skills more.
The tone and cinematography was spot-on. The acting? Top notch. It was heartbreaking when the family that the trio helped out was tragically massacred by the Reavers (I LOVED LOVED LOVED THAT THEY WERE IN THIS!) and X-24.
This is the moment it started to break down for me. As soon as I saw them give X-24 the “magic healing juice” I knew we were in for upcoming maguffin silliness… and I was unfortunately right. Suddenly, Laura can talk. Suddenly, she can drive. She has NO PROBLEM WHATSOEVER getting herself to the coordinates from the comic book. So why did they need Wolverine? Did the nurse just want to try and connect Laura with her sort-of father? I guess that could be a motivation. So we are at Eden now. Maybe? it seems these “New Mutants” are heading across the border to get to a safe haven. I thought that WAS Eden? Or the coordinates from the comic were just to this tree-house meeting spot? And now the Reavers have a drone and know where the kids are.
We know it’s a matter of time before they are attacked. But don’t worry. X-23 is all-kinds of badass and can easily take down the best of them.
Oh, here we go! They are being chased by the Reavers! It’s time for X-23 to start tearing through them!
Oh… She is just running with the other kids. She could have killed like 8 of them right now, but she’s just running. Don’t these other kids have powers too? We saw the Youtube clip of them doing all sorts of weird stuff. Why are they all just running?
Oh look, the “magic healing juice” was left by Wolverine with a handy note saying “Don’t take it all at one time.” Har, har, har.
Oh, hooray! Logan is all berzerker ragey running through the woods! Except he looks really old and weird and suddenly the sound mix is off.
Oh! NOW the kids have powers! Electric powers! Plant-blasting powers!
Oh! Now Wolverine’s magic drugs are wearing off and he is getting tired. I wonder if Laura still has that “magic item” that might save them all. Remember that bit of foreshadowing? Where Logan had an Adamantium bullet that he was going to kill himself with? Where did we see that thing before?
Oh! It was in one of the earlier X-Men movies! The Wolverine movie that nobody liked! It got shot into his brain and bounced around in his skull, scrambling up his memory!
Oh. It’s supposed to kill him this time? Why? Doesn’t he still have a healing factor? I mean, I don’t mean to nitpick… but the Adamantium was placed inside him after he was born. I imagine that if he were to destroy some of it, that his natural healing ability would just regrow what should be there anyway… you know… like bones.
Maybe Old man Logan just doesn’t have the healing factor to deal with it, but you would think that a younger, fresh-faced hot-off the test-tube version would right?
Oh. I guess not. X-24 is dead, apparently.
Oh, Logan is now dying. He was stabbed with some wood. I don’t think any of us saw that being enough damage to kill him. Maybe Wolverine is now like a Sonic Screwdriver from Doctor Who? His weakness is wood?
Oh sweet, Laura is crying and calling him Daddy. Out of all the Spanish words she has rattled off, and the few English ones she knows, she respects him enough to call him “Daddy” in English cause she knows he will understand that.
Oh. I’m sitting in the theater with zero emotion as a character I have enjoyed through 7 movies now dies. Nevermind that in a movie like “Up”, they can make me cry about character dying that I knew for only 10 minutes.
Yeah, 3rd act of this movie… You suck! What happened? Did you simply just forget the rest of the movie that had just happened? Were you out partying too much the night before? Maybe you had to pee really bad and just wanted to get things done quickly and didn’t actually think it through?
The great deception of the movie is that it is unrelenting enough that I didn’t think about most of these things right in the moment. It wasn’t until a quick conversation with Steve right before I wrote this down that it all became apparent.
That being said, Logan probably has the fewest problems like this of any of the X-Men movies. Take that for what it’s worth.