BY MATTHEW EVANGELISTA
Standing through the sunroof of a limousine a group of young, drunk and rowdy white men glide past a seemingly endless line of Mexicans at the border yelling, in a snobbish stupor, “U-S-A, U-S-A.”
This is the first, but not the last, piece of social commentary which tracks alongside the main plot of Logan, director James Mangold’s newest film featuring Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine. This movie will conclude Jackman’s 17-year saga playing this Marvel Superhero character.
In this R-rated action film two dying old men, played by Jackman and Sir Patrick Stewart, must protect a young girl from the genetic-weapons company that created her. For nine films Jackman played the character of The Wolverine (Logan), and this film is just as much of a send-off for the character and Jackman as it is the end of an era.
But riddled in between the personal journey of Logan, his mentor and his daughter, are tales of morality which go beyond good and bad. Logan emphasizes a deliberate rejection of superhero mythology and morality, a choice made by Mangold to highlight the damaging and more grounded effects of Wolverine, his powers, and how they affect him and the world around him. Superman can save people with his strength and speed, but The Wolverine can only do what the blades in his hands were designed for: cut, slash and kill.
This character drama and its catalysts are powerful even for viewers not familiar with the character or the series. Logan begins and ends without assuming too much from the audience relating to the series history, a massive boon for how the characters and story begin and move forward.
The violence is done just right, and never feels gratuitous; however, this is still a hard R. There are bloody fights, gory scenes and emotionally distressing moments which include the violent death of a child.
However, among all the death and pathos is a hopeful film, specifically in the way the film is shot and edited. Night scenes are always graded with thick bright neon colours, and the days are spent on open highway and field capturing bright yellow savannah and crisp blue/white skies.
What Logan promises viewers is more than fantastic and exciting action. It offers pertinent messages relating to the challenges we face to be good people despite our sometimes negative nature, and, most importantly, offers an exciting experience for all viewers, not just comic book fans.
To echo the words of critics: This isn’t just a good superhero movie. This is a good movie.