Me: "Professor Xavier said 'fuck'!"While I did enjoy the movie, I also felt a little bit lost in the first 10 minutes or so. Looking at other reviews and commentary after I finished it, it turns out I was not alone. (X-Men: Days of Future WTF has also seriously screwed up my entire timeline/understanding of this franchise.) It also turns out that was entirely intentional. For instance, "the Westchester incident." Even as some of the details were dribbled out to us, I didn't fully understand the weight of what they (and Professor X) were saying. I immediately recognized "Westchester" as "home base" for Xavier's school, but it didn't dawn on me that the "incident" and Professor X "hurting people" truly meant wiping out mutants.
My Unit: "So? He's a grown man."
Me: "Yeah, but usually he's the one who's all 'we like everybody, let's give you a family,'..."
Her: "That's how you know things are fucked up."
Her (referring to its R rating): "And then they had sex and smoked cigarettes."
Me: "Professor X and Wolverine did not have sex. In that scene. That I'm aware of. But if they do --"
Her: "You'll let me know."
Me: "Of course! I'll be like, 'What the fuck is this?? Triple-X-Men??!?'"
Reading that SlashFilm.com article filled some holes and brought even more gravity to an already heavy film. I really feel like Logan is a contemporary Western, and not just because Johnny Cash is featured on the soundtrack. (Sidenote: the use of his cover of Nine Inch Nails' "Hurt" in the first trailer was fucking brilliant.) Perhaps I've not watched enough Westerns (original or contemporary or remakes) but "Old Man Logan," world-weary and still struggling with "doing the right thing" or being left alone, a fiesty young girl character, zero love interest, and yes, of course, all of the desert landscape featured all said "Western" to me, in the same vein as True Grit and 3:10 to Yuma.
Laura's first fight scene (even her name screams "Western!") was insanely cool. I did gasp"Jesus!" at the screen when her toe-claw first flipped out. I was trying to explain to my Unit the intensity of the scene, but could only squeak out, "She's practically feral!"
In fact, let's talk about Laura for just a moment. Well, let's talk about Dafne Keen Fernandez: she's under 13 and can do more (and better) acting with zero words than some adult actors I know, even with whole monologues at their disposal. And how awesome is it that she's:
- a girl
- kicks major ass in this film
"Old Man Logan" is kinda hot. There. I said it. Just as we get used to Hugh Jackman as "Old Man Logan," though, the movie smacks us in the face. Old Man Logan makes sense: he's older (well, closer to looking his own age, I guess); he's a little more mellow (for Wolverine) with age; he needs reading glasses; he's used to hard work put you don't wanna poke the bear (see: Munson family scenes). We don't even realize how accustomed we've grown to him until BAM! Other Wolverine (X-24) shows up and reminds us what we're really used to seeing. It's a great visual comparison to show us exactly just how far he's come/how much he's changed. Plus, how often do you get watch Hugh Jackman fight himself?
I love Patrick Stewart's Xavier in this film because he's quite a bit different from previous Charles Xavier's, even the James McAvoy Xavier's. Everything from saying "fuck" to the funny (but still sad and pathetic) "I need to pee" -- all of it. He runs the emotional gamut in this film in ways that we're not used to Professor X (or really Patrick Stewart, for that matter). Like the Unit conversation above said, it showcases how desperate things have gotten.
As a whole the movie had only one false note for me, and unfortunately, it was a large (loud?) one. The ending fight scene, as Logan is impaled by the tree branch and Laura is crying over him, she cries "Daddy." Not "Dad," not "Father," not even the (infinitely more plausible) "Logan," but "Daddy." And then she repeats it, like, two more times. Those three words felt entirely forced to me; they did not ring true at all.
Yes, we know Logan's DNA was used, so he is technically her father; chances are she knows that, too. And even though they formed a fast and strange but slightly paternal relationship, it didn't make sense (to me) that she would cry out "Daddy" while crying over his dying/dead body. If anything a "Nooo!" (though not Luke Skywalker style dramatic) would make more sense; best would probably just be the crying/ wailing/keening that doesn't require any words at all. Maybe it's because Leonard is dead inside, but that part struck me as entirely forced; I can't seem to find another word to describe it.
Now that I've purchased, watched, and finished the movie comes the really tough question: do I file it under "L" for "Logan" or under "X" alongside X-Men, X-Men 2, X3, X-Men: First Class, and Wolverine?