Logan: When the actors cost more than the production.


Shared on Thu, 03/09/2017 - 09:26

Finally having found the chance to enlist a family-member to cart me to the Imax in my hometown, I was able to see 'Logan' before it left the theater already. The high rate of rotation of movies in Imax means that you have to pounce on the chance to reserve a seat. If you instead wait to reserve at your leasure, you'll be seeing another movie. So, I went to see 'Logan' on it's closing night.

Overall, the thing that struck me the most was how low-fi the entire production was. As a road-movie it missed the mark because the traveling was kept to a minimum and as a static-piece it missed the mark because the story kept moving on. 'Logan' in this respect was a mismatch of going and stopping that made the entire experience nervous and twitchy as the movie kept on trying to tell back-stories while the action was in the other room. The basic story of 'Logan' wouldn't have been misplaced as an indie 'search for your soul' forgettable with c-list actors who're ready to take the next step in their careers. To see Hugh Jackman and Sir Patrick Stewart in a setting like this was a weird experience. The feeling was exacerbated by the fact that the instances where CGI-effects were used stood out like a sour thumb. I'm convinced that self-driving transport is a real thing that'll come to be commonplace in a mere five years. Yet, the CGI-trucks (Graphically enlarged cargo-containers on a Renault-Magnum flatbed with the cab-over badly edited out.) floating over an empty secondary road were a painful watch indeed. Suspension of disbelief is hard enough to maintain without post-production tearing one away from it.

About two years ago, SarcasmoJones asked me to review the ill-fated Batman game, Arkham Knight. If fell through on the given that we in Europe don't venerate super-heroes like many americans do. To illustrate, we don't associate the fourth of july with Captain America. To most of us, super-heroes are just arrogant pricks with plot-convenience tools. In Europe, down to earth people with a healthy dose of McGyver are far more relatable than a dude in spandex protecting an entire city that is policed by incompetent fools. Hard-core super-hero veneration is a niche-activity in Europe to which I don't subscribe. I don't like Logan because he's the Wolverine, but I like Logan for who he his as a person. Had he just been Logan without being the Wolverine, I would still have made it a point to go see the movie. Its because of this that the movie Logan didn't disappoint.

Hugh Jackman once again nailed the Logan-character. Chronologically, naturally born mutants are a thing of the past. Proven not to be  a result of humanity reaching the point of ascension, but a disease of cancer-quality, medicine has cured humanity of mutantdom. The last known mutants, Charles Xavier, Caliban and Wolverine, are a disillusioned, desperate and destitute bunch. Xavier, in his nineties, is of feeble mind, Caliban has grown sensitive to even artifical light sources and Wolverine tries to provide for them by hiring himself out as a limo-driver for party-goers while struggling with advanced alcoholism. Logan tries to get the money together to make Xavier's fondest wish come true, living on a boat off the coast. There's also a necessity for it as Xavier in his old age doesn't have full control over his brain anymore.

Their plans come under pressure when they get trusted upon them the care over a pre-teen girl with wolverine-like abilities. Unlike the natural-born mutants, this girl was created in a secret lab where the american government goes herpy-derpy with the super-soldier trope once again. Striker would be proud. But the super-soldiers turned out to have a conscience and wouldn't become as ruthless as the government hoped, so its decided that they all should be put down and that the program would be rebooted with the newly added stipulation that new super-soldiers should be like Kurt Russel.

The kids are busted out by their care-givers and brought to a place mentioned in super-hero comics of old, from where they can cross the border into safe territory. The wolverine-kid was separated from the group and so it's up to Logan and Xavier to see the kid to safety. While ultimately successful, nothing goes as planned. By the time the end-credits roll, naturally born mutants are a bad memory, but a bunch of artificially created mutants are growing up in safety. High points in 'Logan' were the moments where Xavier and Logan interact. With nothing left to them but their humanity, both characters are at their most likable. Since 'Logan' marks the end of an era, a worthier send-off of characters that we grew up with couldn't have been made. How the SJW-army will distort the series with the new mutants remains to be seen. Wolverine-girl has been established now as mal-adjusted but with a heart of gold and honest emoshiuns, but when Logan does it, it's cool. When wolverine-girl does it, I wanted her to stand on her own two feet. In my perception, given the fact that there was little growth in wolverine-girl's character, wolverine-girl is in serious danger of becoming another one-dimensional super-hero who ends up doing good in contrast to her motivations. Time will tell.

'Logan' is a good movie none the less. Despite the low-fi production values and despite the sometimes ham-fisted writing to usher in a new generation of mutants. I couldn't escape the feeling that the salary for Hugh Jackman and Sir Patrick Stewart weighed heavily on what the production-team ultimately could do in terms of content and visual splendor usually going hand-in-hand with super-heo movies, but I'm also glad that I went to see it. The latter far outweighs the former. I'll miss this wolverine. If that's what the objective of 'Logan' was, then it succeeded.



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