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Wick's Review

Created Mar 18, 2017 12:20AM PST • Edited Mar 04, 2018 02:45AM PST

  1. Quality
  2. Perfect 5.0

    I prefer a comedy after a bad day. Logan ain’t no comedy, but it sure as hell was balm for a bad day. More Johnny Cash than Johnny Storm, it’s the first Country comik movie, yet returns to true X-Men in the end.

    Marvel, wow. Keep on keeping on with one riveting, arousing blockbuster after another. Grounded in human foibles as is their special wont, Logan bids adieu to the Wolverine, a titan of the Marvel canon, alone and as a seminal X-Man. It’s a hell of a swan song, with Hugh Jackman playing it for all it’s worth, joined by Patrick Stewart as the even more illing Charles Xavier, Professor X as he’s more widely known.

    James Mangold directed Jackman in The Wolverine four years ago, a classically PG-13 comik movie. He’s turned it up to 11 on the PG-13 scale in Logan. Most of the R-rated edginess is used for loads of absurdly well-produced ultra-violence. A little of the ultra? More like lots of it as these Wolverines exercise their inner savagery. We’re talking three claws through a mook’s head with the left and another mook cleanly decapitated with the right. Overgrown boys like me are the target audience and boy does it ever connect.

    Does it deserve a full Perfect? I’ve only bestowed five purple beams on two other Marvel movies.

    • Iron Man 1 was a singular movie, funny, flashy, cataclysmic and clever, the blockbuster that put Marvel movies into orbit. It lampooned its characters and our media-soaked, computer-aided age.
    • Captain America 2 was superlative. Stunningly assured, super-powered yet supremely human, it hit on contemporary neuroses, yet reinforced traditional American values. Its final credits rule!

    Logan measures up in a profoundly downbeat way, using not one but two Johnny Cash songs and not one but two major X-Men. It features a terrific villain in Boyd Holbrook’s corporate hitman, well-turned dialog, several mordant laughs, and an auspicious new successor. It even spoofs on its own comic-book origins. Logan may be the end, but it tees up a new generation of mutants to occupy the multiplexes going forward.

    That’s a perfect movie.

  3. Great 4.0

    Hugh Jackman made both Logan and Wolverine his own over the course of nine blockbusters. Logan is presumably his final performance as the angry man with the muttonchops and wicked claws. Coming on top of his superlative performance four years ago in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, he is going out on a rising crescendo. Still, it will be nice to see him in more roles where he can smile every once in a while.

    Patrick Stewart is one of the great actors of this or any other era. His seventh and final performance as the beloved Charles Xavier, headmaster to the X-Men, is perhaps his best. Brilliantly mordant, occasionally funny, deeply human, he gives us the superhero as frail old man. It’s damn near Shakespearean.

    Boyd Holbrook punches way above his weight in the essential role of supervillain, the most important role in any action movie. With this star-turn, Holbrook should emerge as a real moviestar, not just a supporting player like the one who jumped offscreen in Run All Night, The Skeleton Twins and Gone Girl.

    Dafne Keen makes a largely understated mega-debut as a prepubescent mutant with Wolverine-like capabilities. A child star is born!


    • Stephen Merchant is touching and soulful as Caliban the albino mutant, a gentle giant.
    • Elizabeth Rodriguez underwhelms as a Mexican nurse with precious cargo.
    • Richard E. Grant is appropriately demented as a Mengele-like mad doctor.
    • Eriq La Salle remains a uniquely powerful actor all these years after he was a central star of E.R.
    • Elise Neal cuts an impressive figure as his wife.
    • Quincy Fouse impresses in the micro-role of their son.
  4. Male Stars Really Great 4.5
  5. Female Stars Great 4.0
  6. Female Costars Very Good 3.5
  7. Male Costars Really Great 4.5
  8. Perfect 5.0

    As is Marvel’s wont, Logan dances on the line of hot political issues, including illegal immigration and a supposedly rapacious pharmaceutical industry. As to the former, the first reel is set on the Mexico border, with the final reel set on the Canadian. Border crossings loom large.

    The now extended list of X-Men movies typically touch greatness. Logan is the first to touch perfection, a feat that seems positively super powered.

  9. Direction Perfect 5.0
  10. Play Perfect 5.0

    Everything introduced gets used, the litmus test of a masterful script. One example among many are Logan’s final words.

    Terrific passive-egressive lines. To wit:

    Charles Xavier: Fuck off, Logan.
    Logan: See, you know who I am.
    Charles Xavier: I always know who you are, I just sometimes don’t recognize you.

    Or this:

    Logan: You don’t understand, something bad happens to the people I care about.
    Laura: Then I’m okay.

  11. Music Perfect 5.0
  12. Visuals Great 4.0

    100 stunts

    Thousands of imagery crew.

  13. Content
  14. Sordid 3.3

    Ultra-violent, with f-bombs raining down, this rare R-rated superhero movie doesn’t waste the freedom to transgress. Note the pronounced Violence score.

  15. Sex Innocent 1.5
  16. Violence Monstrous 4.6
  17. Rudeness Nasty 3.7
  18. Supernatural 4.0

    Logan is a relatively restrained superhero movie, clocking in at a “mere” 4X normal reality, based on 3.0 CircoRealty, 4.0 PhysioReality and a full 5.0 BioReality. So much for reality hijinks.

    Logan is more than a little interesting as a post-Judeo-Christian comic book movie. It’s not just that the Wolverine owes essentially nothing to the Wolfman/Werewolf of European folklore, but it evidences essentially no Judeo-Christian fealty, even though the whole thing deals with death and regret. The one nod towards Christian imagery gets turned into X-Men imagery in a witty final touch to an often witty movie.

  19. Circumstantial Surreal 3.0
  20. Biological Fantasy 5.0
  21. Physical Supernatural 4.0


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