“Logan”

 

            This one is for all those Marvel Comic fans who have been looking for the end of the current chapter and the beginning of the next one.

            At some point in the not-too-distant future, Logan, aka Wolverine (Hugh Jackman), is in bad shape, physically and psychologically.  He's a limo driver with a drinking problem, which is bad enough.  But when he goes “home” to a remote place where he keeps tabs on a couple of the other old mutants, it's downright pathetic.  They all seem to be wondering why they're not dead already.  They're certainly not doing anybody else any good.

            And it's not like Wolverine hasn't been asked.  There's this one woman who's cornered him repeatedly, asking for his help, and he doesn't want to help her.  There's a strange-looking dude who tells him that he's looking for the woman who's looking for him.  Logan tells them both to take a flying leap.  (By the way, the R rating is well-deserved, both for the language and the subsequent violence. This one is not for little kids.)  But now he thinks the woman must have good reason to be so panicked.

By the time he realizes this, it's too late to help her, but there's this girl she was with---he assumed she's the daughter---and now he learns that the girl is a mutant, like him, with powers remarkably similar to his.  She wants to go to Eden, a certain remote locale in North Dakota, where they'll all be safe, and Logan tries to tell her she's been reading too many X-Men comic books (irony is about the only humor available in this grim story).

            Turns out that the girl is a mutant, but through a type of in vitro fertilization procdure, along with other children who were being raised by some mysterious mad scientiest in charge of some quasi-government experimental program.

            So now we have the irascible Logan and the mute girl on some kind of road trip that involves running from their relentless foes, while at the same time trying to figure out if there's any connection between them.

            Be prepared for truckloads of violence, but also a reluctant but noticeable character development.  There's not really a moral to the story, and we've only tangentially eliminated a risk to society (there's more bad guys where these came from).  But the few moments of tenderness are almost wistful in contrast to the grim preponderance of violence.  It may not be a storybook ending, but it is typically comic book, in the presentation of people who appear superhuman, but in fact are defined by their vulnerable humanity.

 

Questions for Discussion:

1)                  What do you like about movies depicting comic book figures, like Batman, Superman, etc.?

2)                  What do you not like about movies depicting comic book figures?

3)                  What's a current “real” example of a governmental program that's out of control?

 

Dr. Ronald P. Salfen, DFW Film Critics Association