Logan

Logan ★★★★½

Well, color me surprised. A revisionist, character-driven, unapologetically gory, road trip actioner thriller, deeply rooted in classic westerns, with a minor superhero flair. As much as the set pieces are re-invigoratingly ferocious for the genre, to the extent of feeling slightly excessive by the second half, and both Xavier's and Wolverine's beats working like a charm despite being seriously grim, the picture's most praise-worthy drastic shift considering the current state of the tentpole franchise formula, is the comprehension and appreciation of the basic concept of establishing effective stakes.

It should be obvious to every director at the helm of any given blockbuster, that in order to pull the audience in towards your product, they fundamentally have to be convinced that these individuals are authentic enough to be seen as human beings, even within a heightened universe like this one, and that something of harm could potentially happen to them, and Mangold excels at both these principals with remarkable earnestness.

For a movie about kids escaping a damnable living situation in Mexico by crossing the border to the U.S., only to get relentlessly harassed and chased after by a bunch of government-backed paramilitary redneck nutjobs led by a blonded asshole named Donald, and further looking at Canada as a feasible safe haven to hell they've encountered, it's insane how much the script dances around the immigration topic without never even coming close to saying a substantial syllable about it. Still ballsy of them to have a plot like that, but I guess the superficial Trump-administration subtext is going to be saturated really quick this year.

Marvel's best film since... I wanna say... Raimi's 'Spider-Man 2'?Although playing the hyperbole game is not that fun when there's practically no room for meaningful dispute.

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