My recent list of the most dated parts of the original X-Men movie included things like Hugh Jackman’s comparatively non-huge, non-jacked-man physique, Wolverine’s non-stop smoking, and the heroes’ black leather costumes. The list also included the relative lack of Easter eggs; even with about ten major roles in the film, the first X-Men movie is, at least by contemporary standards, a small movie. There’s no sense of a wider Marvel Universe beyond the edges of the frame, there’re few appearances by (or references to) other mutants, and there’s no post-credits scene to tease future films. It is a movie unto itself.
Logan - Page 2
You probably know that Logan is based on the Marvel Comics series “Old Man Logan” by Mark Millar and Steve McNiven. But did you know that Logan really came together when Hugh Jackman woke up in the middle of the night after a long conversation (and a few drinks) about Wolverine with Chappie director Neill Blomkamp? Jackman recorded a voice memo on his phone of what he wanted the movie to look like and eventually that became Logan. That’s just one of the facts featured in the newest episode of You Think You Know Movies!
With Hugh Jackman’s Logan opening in theaters this weekend, the top spot of this list was never in doubt. The questions were always whether audiences would respond well to the first major R-rated superhero movie. Was the big opening of Deadpool an abberation or a sign of things to come? If today’s numbers are any indication, the answer is, maybe a little bit of both.
There are two ways in which Logan represents a major change for superhero movies. The first, and most obvious, is the maturity of its content. Wolverine swears, Xavier swears, people get decapitated, and both Hugh Jackman and Dafne Keen spend the majority of the film covered in fake blood. Perhaps the more interesting change, though, is what Logan doesn’t do. It doesn’t feel the need to wrap up two decades’ worth of canon, or leave the door open for a sequel, or culminate in a big fight sequence with recognizable faces from the X-Men universe. Put it another way: Logan is the best at what it does, but what it does isn’t very superhero movie-ish.
While much has been made of Hugh Jackman’s last turn as Wolverine, as those who have seen the film can attest, many of Logan’s most haunting moments belong to Patrick Stewart’s elderly Charles Xavier. For nearly two decades, Stewart’s character has been synonymous with both control and wisdom, making his weakened state hard to watch. We’re used to watching our superheroes fight off every enemy, but seeing them eaten away from within? That’s a powerful reflection of our own mortality.
The internet’s movie rumormongers did get a few things right about Logan, Hugh Jackman’s third and supposedly final solo Wolverine movie. They did correctly predict that Logan’ female clone, X-23, would co-star in the film. They also anticipated that the movie would be loosely based on a Marvel Comics storyline called “Old Man Logan.” Of course, after that rumor was initially posted, it was also publicly debunked by one site. You win some, you lose some.
It boggles my mind that it’s been almost 17 years since the very first X-Men opened in theaters. Where did that time go? There was one X-Men movie, I blinked, and then there were 10. It’s like some crazy time paradox; maybe when I wasn’t paying attention Hugh Jackman went back in time and stopped Jennifer Lawrence from killing Peter Dinklage.
A couple weeks back, 20th Century Fox released the final runtime for Logan — and it was a few minutes longer than the version that screened for press and industry folks, leading many to speculate that there was a post-credits scene attached. Given previous rumors that Ryan Reynolds had filmed a Deadpool scene for the Wolverine sequel, it was reasonable to suspect that perhaps Logan had a teaser for Deadpool 2 attached at the end. James Mangold denied these rumors, on all counts, but we now know exactly what is attached to Logan, and it both isn’t and is what you think. Spoilers ahead!
When the first teaser images for Logan landed online last fall, there was something particularly intriguing about them — aside from the fact that this is Hugh Jackman’s final outing as Wolverine, of course. The photos were mostly in black and white, leading some to suspect that maybe the film itself was black and white. That suspicion was laid to rest with the arrival of the first teaser, but it might not have been entirely off.
The high temperature in New York City last Sunday was 44 degrees. The official start of summer is still 113 days — almost four full months — away.