Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Knowing When to Fold ‘em, or Thoughts on Logan

Wolverine, arguably the most iconic X-Man in the least X-Men-y movie, Logan (2017), directed by Hugh Jackman collaborator James Mangold from Girl, Interrupted (1999), Kate & Leopold (2001), Identity (2003) and The Wolverine (2013).  Hugh Jackman, with a beard like Mel Gibson (I will be so happy when this whole lumberjack look goes the way of Von Dutch hats and Member’s Only Jackets) and a black suit evoking images of another Man in Black is a weary, broken mutant in 2029 suffering from Adamantium poisoning and working as a limo driver. 
Logan is dragged into one last adventure when he teams up with British/Spanish actor 11 year old Dafne Keen (she was born in 2005, I have shoes older than her) making her big screen debut as the feisty baby mutant Laura/X-23, in a mostly silent, very physical role.  She acts with eyes punctuated with fight scenes like the little girl from Kick Ass (2010, I know it's Hit Girl/Chloe Grace Moretz, I don't care) or Natalie Portman in Leon: The Professional (1994).
Also with Stephen Merchant proving he’s no sidekick to Ricky Gervais as the mutant Caliban, which is a little on the nose as Patrick Stewart is playing Xavier as something between Prospero and Lear.  Though I have to tell you, it is strangely disconcerting to hear Captain Picard dropping F-bombs.  Also watch out for Richard E. Grant, who gets a free pass for life for Withnail andI (1986) as Zander Rice, the evil scientist baddie and Elizabeth Rodriguez from the first season of Fear the Walking Dead as Gabriela, Laura’s nurse.
There is an art to leaving a party at the exact right moment, and a certain poignancy to Hugh Jackman’s last performance of his career-defining role.  The movie serves as a satisfactory ending for final chapter, however there’s no emotional impact because you know the studios will just reboot this character with somebody new or one of the Hemsworth brothers.
These darker, more mature (or just violent) comic book movies, like last year’s Deadpool (2016), Suicide Squad (2016), and Batman V. Superman  2016, it sounds like a court case, do you suppose that was intentional?) have been getting a lot of attention as a welcome trend.  It’s ironic because it’s as if the world has forgotten about Sin City (2005), 300 (2006) and Watchmen (2009), three comic book movies that were initially criticized for being too dark and too violent.  The public is fickle, the studios play catch up and people like you and me are just caught in the middle, watching the world burn.

my first novel?  thanks for asking:)  it’s a the first book in a 4-volume supernatural martial arts series chock full of killer kung-fu witches, haunted carnivals, punk rock assassins, and a 24-hour diner with the best pie in town…
read for free on kindle unlimited or buy the paperback, available at fine bookstores everywhere (amazon).