Hugh Jackman reunites with The Wolverine’s James Mangold in the final chapter of LOGAN – the movie also sees Patrick Stewart reprising his X-Men role as Charles Xavier, Narco’s Boyd Holbrook cast as a villain of sorts and an unusual (but it works) piece of casting with Stephen Merchant playing mutant tracker Caliben….
In the near future 2029 to be precise a battle worn Logan is a Limo Driver, trying to save some money whilst caring for an ailing Professor X who’s he hid somewhere on the Mexican border….
The single most devastating thing about watching LOGAN was that I knew (everybody new) that this would be Hugh Jackman’s final outing as The Wolverine and this was in my opinion a game changer – James Mangold uses this knowledge as his filmmaking tool, his simple yet striking tone, deliberately slow pace and painful to watch narrative all builds to an agonising crecendo, it’s certainly not upbeat and unlike any other Marvel movie before it LOGAN is stripped bare of the usual comicbook humor, kaleidoscope of colour and deluded fantasy instead it’s a picture that’s dripping with a dark, gritty no-nonsense underbelly, utterly gut wrenching and humanized like no other movie of it’s ilk – even the performances in the picture seem better, Jackman captures the ageing tired Logan with a comfortable ease, his maturity as an actor gives him the tools to pull this off, you can see the pain he’s going through as he limps and claws his way through the storyline and Stewart is equally as impressive as Charles Xavier who requires medical assistance to not only help with an illness but to keep his powers at bay, there’s also an impressive film debut by Dafne Keen who kills it (literally) playing Laura, her fight scene’s, mannerism’s and interaction with Charles and Logan are a joy to watch….
One of my favourite moments in the movie (and there are many) takes place at the Munson Home – Logan, Laura and Charles help the Munson’s with some runaway horses after which they get invited back to their home and enjoy a brief trip into yesteryear, spending time with a loving family over a hot meal with smiles, real laughter and a bed to sleep in (Eriq La Salle playing the father of the family is as good in these 20mins as he’s ever been) – sadly the groups happiness does not last long and their ugly, brutal past catches up with them….
James Mangold’s LOGAN is the perfect send off for one comics most iconic stars – the film’s raw and uncompromising style allows it to become a far superior comicbook adapation than what’s come before, it’s not only a thing of beauty to look at but it’s also one hell of an emotionally charged rollercoaster ride that doesn’t let up until the final credits rise & Johnny Cash’s vocals hit home…. ★★★★½
X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014) – Movie Review ★★★★½
Director: Bryan Singer – Cast: Hugh Jackman, Jennifer Lawrence, James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Halle Berry, Ellen Page, Nicholas Hoult, Shawn Ashmore, Peter Dinklage, Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart – Synopsis: Kitty Pryde, Magneto and Professor X hatch a plan to send Wolverine back to 1973 where time can be re-written and the destruction of the Mutants by the evil Sentinels in their future world can be prevented – this plan all hinges on Wolverine persuading a young Professor X to work alongside his nemesis Magneto and stop Mystique assassinating Dr. Bolivar Trask the scientist responsible for the production of the Sentinels – Verdict: finally a superhero movie with the balls for excitement, exhilarating action scenes and an ensemble cast that don’t just talk the talk it walks the walk with strides of greatness and superhero acting masterclass – Days of Future Past is one of them rare cinematic experiences that you just want to re-watch instantly – of course I’d be lying if I said that Bryan Singer’s superhero flick was without it’s flaws (and I counted several) but in the grand scheme of things does that really matter? (sorry fan boys) – Days of Future Past is easily the best in the franchise, from them opening shots of the Sentinels in a future earth ravaged by war (reminiscent of Cameron’s T2) to that mesmerizing scene with Quicksilver as he deploys his mutant energies re-arranging the angle of gun fire, you know instantly that filmmaker Bryan Singer has returned to form and created the best X-Men movie yet! – yes the time travel is slightly confusing, and yep some of the characters are slightly underused but Singer’s method of direction is pretty powerful stuff, there’s a great deal of intensity and you seem to be involved with each character a rarity for this style of movie – I also loved the introduction of new characters Quicksilver and Kitty Pryde who both get some decent screen time, QuickSilver stealing all of his scenes and also being a fan of Game of Thrones it was pretty awesome seeing Peter Dinklage strutt his stuff playing Bolivar Trask – in my opinion along with Nolan’s Batman franchise the X-Men series always tops the comic book film adaptions – why you may ask? well unlike Thor, Iron Man, The Avengers or the Spiderman franchise they don’t rely on comedy to sell it’s product to it’s audience, it’s used sparingly and when done it’s used well and not gimmicky – the X-Men series has consistently delivered a high standard script and without question they have the best set of actors of any superhero franchise – here’s four that stood out from Days of Future Past – Hugh Jackman delivering a muscular, cigar chomping swagger as the Wolverine, Jennifer Lawrence as the confident, beautiful yet deadly Mystique, Michael Fassbender’s terrifying menace as the young Magneto and Patrick Stewart’s wise and intellectual X – when aced the superhero movie on the big screen can be an absolute delight and with Days of Future Past the balance between comedy, drama, action and suspense is delivered perfectly – Overall: after the horrible Jack the Giant Slayer a big welcome back to the talented Bryan Singer who has now directed 3 of my favorite superhero movies and has whet my appetite for Apocalypse….