Logan

Logan ★★★★½

I remain astonished by the mix of catharsis and carnage "Logan" has to offer. Free of any expectations to lead into another sequel or reboot, James Mangold gives every scene a chance to breathe, to ponder why all the killings and mutations matter, and to focus on how the characters perceive it all. The movie moves at a breakneck pace in spite of a general lack of action, since exposition is commendably left to video clips and snippets of talk radio. There's a subtle confidence in the worldbuilding here that reminds me of Rian Johnson's "Looper" in all the right ways--it practically begs its superheroic peers to keep up, trusting viewers to experience the journey rather than ask how it all adds up.

There may be occasional moments where "Logan" stretches to appease fans and Western watchers, but the general empathy and attention to detail wins out. In one of the tensest climaxes I've witnessed in any recent blockbuster, the runaway children of an oppressive society fight back with deservedly bloody results, and "Logan" earns its R-rating through introspection and justified anger. Seeing a dying relic of both Western and superhero cliches take one last stand to defend a new, more diverse and empowering future for the next generation of mutants is powerful and perfect for 2017.

Logan said it best... "Fuck."

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