Thanks to the kind folk over at Glashütte Originals, AUGUSTMAN was in Berlin last week for the Berlin International Film Festival, where Logan premiered. Red carpet glitz and glamour aside, the idea that a Marvel film or “comic book movie” would make its debut in the heart of culture and at a festival usually catered for arthouse films is unheard of. Therein lies the appeal of Logan though – it’s a comic book film that merely exists in the same universe but with all the style of a proper film. That was the direction for both Hugh Jackman and James Mangold, the director of the film. At the press conference, Jackman and Mangold both made it clear that the desire to do Logan came from wanting to depart from the comic book world.
Logan for us, is by far, the best film of the X-Men franchise so far. It’s as gritty as graphic novels (and not comic books) have proven they can be, it’s got all the heart and love that a character that’s almost 43 years old should have and action that matches up to Mad Max: Fury Road, one of our favourite action films in a long time. The story sees a down and out Logan, struggling to make a quick buck to get him and Prof. Charles Xavier out of the States. Xavier, played by the ever-immaculate Sir Patrick Stewart, isn’t quite the saviour of mutants any longer and struggles with an aging brain and constant seizures. Logan isn’t quite the Wolverine we’ve come to know as well, plagued by a degeneration of his mutant regenerative abilities. All this changes of course with the introduction of Laura, a young new mutant that is trying to escape the filthy robot claws of Donald Pierce, played by Boyd Holbrook. Logan and Xavier are forced to help her and along the way, discover the extent of her abilities.
It’s been 17 years since the first X-Men film and oh, how far we’ve come. Getting the studio to agree with an R rating might have been unheard of back then but with the success of Deadpool, it seems like violence is the new in. Logan is gloriously violent and not in the gimmicky way we’ve seen from Marvel films through the years. It’s balls to the walls action and representative of the Wolverine comic books we grew up with. Logan doesn’t quip, he swears. Logan shoves his claws in bad guys’ heads because it’s the quickest way to win a fight. Amidst all the action however, is real heart.
The journey of Logan, Xavier and Laura is the tale of a new family finding themselves against the world, perhaps echoing current situations. Mangold’s choice to base plenty of the film in New Mexico and most parts of the Southern States is a great analogy for the northward journey many take to seek a better life. Just with much less bloodshed. In all, Logan is for the comic book fanboy that has been disillusioned with Marvel’s gimmicky lowest common denominator films. It’s for the fans of Wolverine that have wanted to see a proper Berserker-mode Wolverine. But on top of that, it’s for anyone that loves a good story.
Logan opens March 2 in Singapore