Originally written on October 23, 2016
By: Nick Poulimenakos
It has been probably over two months since I have written anything on this website but lets get back into it right now!
After weeks of releasing behind-the-scenes photos of the cast and scenery, the teaser poster and announcing its official title, director James Mangold and 20th Century Fox have finally released the first trailer for the newest entry into the X-Men film franchise, Logan. This film brings us to the distant future where the X-Men are once again gone and the mutant population has vanished. Logan/Wolverine (Hugh Jackman), who’s powers are not what they once were, has been living away from the world, taking care of an older and unstable Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart). Logan’s world is flipped upside down when a young girl named Laura, who is very similar to him in terms of their mutant powers arrives after being hunted down by “reavers.” Now Logan and Professor X must protect Laura from this new band villains and unleash his famous claws one more time.
Stepping away from the CGI-heavy, end of the world scenario type superhero movies, Logan embraces a more self-contained, character driven story that feels separated from the main X-Men franchise. After viewing the trailer an absurd number of times, here are seven reasons why I believe that Logan has the potential to be the best film in the entire X-Men series.
- Rated-R Wolverine
For years, fans of the character have been patiently waiting to see a full-blown, berserker-rage type Wolverine. While we’ve gotten snippets of this rage in X2, The Wolverine, and X-Men Apocalypse, none of those movies had the proper MPAA rating to demonstrate the full level of violence that Wolverine can truly bring to his enemies. This film however seems to fully embrace its rating by showing Wolverine taking no prisoners when fighting Reavers during the trailer. The style of fighting demonstrated by Wolverine truly resembles an animal fighting for his life and we will definitely see the carnage he leaves behind him.
Straight from the X-Men comic books comes X-23. Also known as Laura Kinney, X-23 is a genetically engineered clone of Wolverine and possess similar powers such as enhanced strength and speed, two retractable claws in her hands and one in each foot, and a regenerative healing factor. Since this is Jackman’s final time portraying the character, it makes sense the Fox is looking to keep the essence of the character alive without actually having him present. Debuting in the trailer, X-23 seems to be just as action packed and violent despite her age and size, managing to defeat several different Reavers on her own and damn it could not look more amazing.
- Mister Sinister Confirmed
When the X-Men Apocalypse Blu-ray/DVD was released, director Bryan Singer confirmed that iconic X-Men villain Nathaniel Essex aka Mister Sinister would be making his cinematic debut in Logan. Speculation began as to what role he would play in this film ranging from him being the primary antagonist to appearing in nothing more than a cameo. Then Fox released an official synopsis of the film confirming that Sinister is the reason behind the mutants and X-Men being gone from the world, the Reavers and behind the creation of X-23. So, while I don’t believe Sinister’s role will be huge in this film, I do think that he will have a substantial part as perhaps a secondary or behind-the-scenes villain setting up future appearances in other X-Men films such as Gambit, Deadpool 2 or another main-series film.
- Patrick Stewart Returns as Professor X
Dating back to the first X-Men film in 2000, Patrick Stewart has beautifully played the leader of the X-Men, Charles Xavier, or more commonly known as Professor X. What makes his inclusion in this film so exciting is sort of the role reversal between himself and Wolverine. While the original trilogy had Xavier acting as a surrogate father/guide to Wolverine, he is now left in the hands of the man he once tried to help. Logan takes care of an older Xavier who is suffering from Alzheimer’s disease which causes his powers to be increasingly unstable. On top of that, based off of past and current interviews, this looks to be Patrick Stewart’s final time as Xavier so it looks as though this film will be closing his story arc as well.
- A Different Genre, a Different Comic Book Film
There is no doubt that this is still technically a blockbuster/superhero film. However, after watching the trailer, you don’t get that vibe at all. What we see is a man who is struggling with the world around him after continuously getting knocked down. This is a film that feels very disconnected from the main X-Men franchise and I love it. It is a very self-contained, character focused story that puts less emphasis on the big explosions and CGI glory action sequences and puts more attention on emotion and themes of sacrifice and loyalty. Visually, Logan has a feel akin to George Miller’s Mad Max: Fury Road, the video game The Last of Us, and, to a certain extent, Sergio Leone’s The Good The Bad and The Ugly. It does not look like a typical Bryan Singer X-Men film. Director James Mangold has even stated that the reason why he used “Hurt” by Johnny Cash for the debut trailer was to separate his film from the overbearing big time feel of a typical comic book film.
- Where Are All the Mutants?
Two things have been confirmed since Logan debuted its trailer. The first is that this film does indeed follow the new timeline set by events that occurred in X-Men Days of Future Past. The second is that it is Nathaniel Essex (Mister Sinister) who wiped out the X-Men. What intrigues me the most is how he destroyed the team of mutants and why only Wolverine and Xavier are left standing? When DOFP ended, Wolverine was standing next to Storm, Beast and a resurrected Cyclops and Jean Grey. What happened in the last several number of years that caused the world to revert back to the dystopian era that Wolverine tried to avert?
- One Last Time
Ever since the film was announced, Hugh Jackman has stated that this will be the final time he portrays the iconic X-Men anti-hero. Wolverine is and forever will be my favourite superhero and knowing that this will be his final time on the silver screen is a sad thought. Jackman looks like he’s put his all into this role displaying more emotion and depth than ever before. When the trailer debuted online, I will be the first to admit that I shed a literal tear. This is a bruised and battered Wolverine in a world where he has lost everything once again. This is a man who is fighting for not only his survival but his mentor’s and X-23’s as well. Gone is the loner/drifter character and in comes the more fatherly Wolverine who will do anything to protect the people he loves, no matter how violent it has to be. This, is Old Man Logan.
You can be damn sure that I will be seeing this film opening night when it premieres on March 3, 2017.