Movie Review: Logan

Perfect trailers are difficult to surpass. Though we live in an era where movie teasers have become a science, generally able to make almost any flick seem watch-worthy, there are rare gems that continue to shine brightly.

Watchmen in particular comes to mind; it had a fantastic trailer that I still enjoy watching despite the film that turned out to be a grave disappointment (cliche: The book was better).

The Logan trailer featuring Johnny Cash's cover of Hurt is what I'd consider a perfect trailer, and it underscores just how impactful music choice can be. If you haven't seen it, please witness it below.

Logan is a bit of an aberration amongst comic book movies in that it doesn't lift any particular comic storyline directly. Yes, it is clearly influenced by Old Man Logan, a post-apocalyptic What If? story penned by Mark Millar, but plot and rights complications prohibit a direct adaptation.

Instead, Logan takes the spirit of Old Man Logan by placing everyone's favorite Canadian mutant in the not-so-distant future, bereft of his team of fellow mutants and his reasons to fight. Real-world news that both Hugh Jackman and Patrick Stewart are saying goodbye to their X-Men characters with this film add to what is already an emotionally-charged film.

Minor spoilers ahead.

Though the trailer does an excellent job drawing you in and setting up the story, it does not prepare you for the raw emotion of a time-ravaged Charles (Professor X, now 90+) and Logan (well over 100). Adult fans of the X-Men will likely find Charles' struggles with an aging mind particularly poignant, and Logan's initial reticence to charge once more into the fray is all too easily understood.

And this is a Wolverine film for adults. Marketed at the R-rating, it is more violent than past films (and celebrates the f-bomb quite flagrantly), but it also rises above the standard formula of superhero films and stands as an excellent film, period. The mentor/friendship chemistry between Jackman and Stewart has never been more present, and solid supporting actors help share the weight of such a heavy story.

In the end, I find it satisfying that Wolverine's journey over the last 17 years (inclusive of the X-Men content) has ultimately matured with its fans. Themes that would not much appeal to the 18 year old version of me that saw X-Men in the theater now stab me in the heart, and I'm betting that I'm not alone.

Having said that, in following the films for that long I'll admit it wasn't quite the send-off I had hoped for (plot reasons, not film quality)--but in the end I'm relieved that it was an admirable send-off just the same.

The fact that Johnny Cash's Hurt has risen to the top of my playlists is simply a bonus.