“Logan” is one of the best comic book adaptations of all time

It’s rare that a comic book or superhero movie becomes truly critically acclaimed and catches on with awards season. It happened with The Dark Knight, for example. To a lesser extent, it happened last year with Deadpool. This week, Logan opens and very well might become the next. This is not only one of the most mature outings of this nature, it’s one of the most violent as well. Closer to a western than an action flick, it’s really something special. Fans of Wolverine will both be delighted and shocked at what everyone has accomplished here. This film really gets 2017 going. The year has its first actually great movie now.

The film is the latest in a long line of X-Men sequels, while also functioning as a third solo Wolverine flick. It’s a loose adaptation of the Old Man Logan storyline, set in the future and following Logan (Hugh Jackman), formerly the X-Men team member known as Wolverine. It centers around an older Logan, one in the future who doesn’t have the same healing abilities that he once did. Logan is taking care of a feeble Professor Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart) along the Mexican border, in relative anonymity. That is short lived, however, when a young girl named Laura (Dafne Keen) with very special abilities comes into their orbit. Her presence puts the three of them on the run, hoping to find sanctuary and evade the evil forces pursuing them. James Mangold co-writes with Scott Frank and Michael Green, as well as directs this film. Also in the cast are Richard E. Grant, Boyd Holbrook, Eriq La Salle, Stephen Merchant, Elizabeth Rodriguez, and more. Marco Beltrami contributes the score, while John Mathieson handles the cinematography. It’s top notch work all around.

This is an insanely good movie. It makes violence and brutality really mean something. This is one of Mangold’s best looking and best directed films ever. Jackman and Stewart are phenomenal, with each turning in their best work as these characters yet. If there’s a weakness here, it’s that the villains are kind of generic and that things stretch on a little too long at the end, especially when the climax is telegraphed early on. Other than that, it’s terrific, with a final shot that’s among the best that the genre has ever offered. There’s tons to love here with this one, trust me.

Believe it or not, there’s a chance that Logan could be an awards player. A lot will depend on how the year progresses, but right now 20th Century Fox has to be thinking about the kind of campaign it will be launching. At least right now, there’s outside possibilities in Best Picture, Best Director (for Mangold), Best Actor (for Jackman), Best Supporting Actor (for Stewart), Best Supporting Actress (for Keen), Best Adapted Screenplay (for Frank, Green, and Mangold), Best Film Editing, Best Makeup & Hairstyling, Best Sound Editing, Best Sound Mixing, and Best Visual Effects. Gun to my head, only Stewart in Supporting Actor seems like it could end up being a thing, but starting buzz this early means that anything is possible.

Overall, starting tomorrow you all can see what I’ve known for a few weeks…that Logan is something special. Jackman and Stewart have always been passionate about their characters, but it’s at another level here. This can stand toe to toe with the best comic book adaptations of all time, and that’s no small praise. Whether you tend to like superhero type flicks or not, this well worth making time for. It transcends simple description and pigeonholing. As long as you can handle some extreme violence, you’re likely to be moved by what Mangold and company have crafted. Without question, it’s the best thing that 2017 has had to offer yet…

Be sure to check out Logan, opening in theaters everywhere this weekend!

About Joey Magidson

A graduate of Stony Brook University (where he studied Cinema and Cultural Studies), resides in Brooklyn, New York. He contributes to several other film-related websites and is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association.

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