Logan ★★★

Shane (1953)
The Cowboys (1972)
Paper Moon (1973)
The Gauntlet (1977)
Little Miss Sunshine (2006)
The Wrestler (2008)

Reportedly, those were Mangold's influences for creating an X-Men related film that felt more "humane", and in that purpose, it frankly succeeds. The influences are there. They show. They are effective. Or better put, they are effective in conceiving a film that feels more like a South Korean Chan-wook Park drama with cacophonic instances of relentlessness and brutality for telling its story. This is a desperate attempt of a struggling Mangold that improved, striving for reaching a dramatic status that elevates the already over-exploited X-Men Universe (let alone the over-ambitions of the MCU) to a level that perhaps is not suitable for it. Granted, it touches fibers. It moves you. It is very honest in its depiction of how everything comes to an end, not only eras but species and human life as well.

This is not the Logan we are used to. It has Aronofsky's splashes of drama to supposedly make a deeper character study who does not value life anymore but still takes care after the lives of two remaining mutants in the year of 2029, where mutants have almost ceased to exist up to a point where Logan asks himself whether if mutants were an accident of God. He is aging and is not as indestructible anymore, with a decaying self-healing ability. However, his past compells him to serve justice despite how much suffering he has gone through. There is a conscious sense of good in him despite his equally conscious denying of it. He is building a mask of cold-bloodedness and badassery in a hostile human world that has erradicated the mutants species but still believes in some sort of social justice.

So why did I did not enjoy this as the consensus is supposedly doing? Why is this being worshipped as "the greatest superhero movie ever made(!)" (initial reactions tend to be biased and exaggerate; time has proven to dilute responses to a more stable and balanced consensus)? For me, it was ordinarily shot and the contrivances of the mixed genres that ranged from South Korea to a road movie to a violent western to a suicidal drama to a John-Wick-like action film with graphic content did not provide a consistent roller-coaster ride, but that of a film that took way too many chances to be different and, at times, fell hard on its face in its unevenness. Its biggest fall was how the ending was supposed to be moving, but it wasn't, because the "sense of good" in the protagonist is too implied and less shown in the surface for truly sympathizing with a dehumanized, brutal mutant.

Logan fails in the same degree Deadpool (2016) did, but for different reasons. The former tried too much with too many things: balance too many oranges in the air with only two hands and you will eventually lose control. The latter's most notable aspects was that it defied the previously established conventionality of a blockbuster superhero movie hit being rated PG-13 through the introduction of R-rated violence and American-Pie like humor (where the smartest jokes where the counted twenty-three times that it broke the fourth wall) and it suddenly was the genre innovation of the decade. It wasn't; it was just a mix of Hollywood's modern elements of mainstream deterioration.

In Logan, during the good parts of my overall experience, I had to endure a pacing with constant highs and lows and no clear aim other than to depict a character transformation too pessimistic to feel humane, unlike the touching analysis of Aronofsky's battle ring family drama. This endurance also involved the typical evil corporation plot that dehumanizes people for repulsive experimental "scientific" purposes and the overused cliché of using a "family connection" for forcing the protagonist to be included in the main chain of events that he would have initially refused because of his cold-heartedness.

Nevertheless, even if this is not an experience that works for me because it doesn't escape its Hollywood stamps, I appreciate these valiant efforts that offer more good than bad and challenges the usual conventions of the genre. My main issue is that these comic-book conventions were defied with other Hollywood conventions belonging to other genres, which is a paradox. That is not the most proper way to get out of the box. Still, I recommend it for those TIRED of the overexploitation of the superhero genre, especially the MCU and X-Men films, and even for those that were bored to tears and/or disappointed by the previous Wolverine installments. I'm sure you will love it.

Declare me an X-Men: First Class (2011) supporter, which is still today my favorite Marvel film of all times. It seems I'll hold Superman (1978) forever as the greatest superhero movie of all times unless Infinity War does a miracle way beyond its capabilities and amazes my brain and senses out of my body.

Which, of course, won't happen.


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