Logan


Viewed – 21 March 2017  Cinema

It would be easy for me to write this off as just another Wolverine movie.  After all I didn’t entirely miss his (generally) absent status from X-Men Apocalypse, and well the character has been milked to death.  But from initial images showing a more grizzled, aged Wolverine and early positive hype I thought I’d give it a go.

Logan

No question though, Hugh Jackman was born to play Logan/Wolverine.  He has all the grumpy but likeable personality perfect for such a tortured character.  This latest take see’s him departed from his X-Men colleagues sometime in the future when many of them are believed dead and all he has for company between trips away as a grumpy limo driver, is an aged, half senile Dr Xavier (a heart-breaking Patrick Stewart).  So along comes a Mexican woman and a mysterious girl (a star making Dafne Keen) who she wishes for Logan to transport across the border to a ‘safe haven’ known as Eden, where more people like her and Logan himself are seeking refuge.  On their heels is a scenery chewing villain (Boyd Holbrook) and a megalomaniac scientist (Richard E Grant).

Dafne KeenWhat surprised me was just how brutal this latest Wolverine movie is.  We get beheadings, vicious stabbings and dismembered limbs-a-plenty and it seriously doesn’t hold back.  Some of the violence and the general tone here is light-years away from what I’m used to seeing in a comic book movie and it really helped this spring to life … especially in brilliantly executed (pun intended) action sequences that are amongst the best in the genre.  Director James Mangold has delivered a confident and mature road movie that is held together by three strong central characters and their slowly developing bond that makes this much more meaningful and powerful than I could have expected.  This is one of the most intense and gripping comic book inspired movies I’ve seen in a long time and in the closing moments I can honestly say Jackman deserved an Oscar nod.  But we know that won’t happen for this sort of material, unless perhaps you happen to die in real life (ahem…Heath Ledger RIP).

Simply put – go see this movie.

Verdict:  5 /5

The Wolverine


Viewed – 01 August 2013  Cinema

In recent years I have grown tired of the never ending X-Men franchise, and have only seen a small portion of X-Men 3 and not seen at all the last Wolverine movie.  So you could say I am playing catch up with this, but from the trailer, that looked all sorts of kick-ass, I felt this deserved my attention.

The Wolverine (2012) Hugh Jackman as Wolverine

Hugh Jackman, perfectly cast as the mutant Logan, who never ages, can heal automatically and yes, has unbreakable metal fused throughout his body, resulting in those iconic talons that sprout from his knuckles,  Starting in World War II where he saves the life of a Japanese soldier, we quickly jump to modern day where a Japanese girl with some bad-ass samurai skills, contacts Logan with a message that his old friend, yes that Japanese soldier is now on his death bed in Tokyo and wishes for Logan to come and see him one last time.

Switching the action to Tokyo and throwing in sword fighting, samurais, ninjas and a love interest with a Japanese heiress, this is an immediately interesting approach for a character that for me at least, was starting to get a bit tired.  Expertly directed by James Mangold marking his first summer blockbuster (previously known for biopic Walk The Line and Stallone thriller Copland), this is full of style, thrilling encounters, great CGI and a lead character so unashamedly gruff and chiseled, that not enjoying this is near impossible.  For the ladies Hugh is shirtless and ripped for the most part and has the charisma to make for a likable moody hero.  For us guys we get a sexy but deadly Viper woman who can melt your face when she blows you a kiss and has a forked tongue (hissss), and looks simply mouth watering in her skin tight green Lycra.  Add to this a re-occurring cameo from Famke jansen’s Jean Gray (from the X-Men movies) and Rila Fukushima as the toughest schoolgirl since Hitgirl … and what’s not to like?

Events kind of get a bit silly towards the end, and the pace sags in the middle, but with a ton of action (including a stunning bullet train fight) and some good characters and a great setting, I came away suitably impressed.

Verdict:  4 /5