Fondling Wolverines nice pair of smooth criminals got Deadpool his very own movie. The circle is now complete as it was the Merc with a Mouth that gave Logan the license to go balls out with the brutal uncaged intensity that the Wolverine deserved. This was the only fitting send off for Hugh Jackman and Sir Patrick Stewart in their iconic roles as two of the most famous X-Men.

Deadpool proved that there was a demand for an R-Rated superhero movie, and who better to follow up than James “Logan” Howlett, better known to the world as Wolverine. 18 years ago when Hugh Jackman was initially cast, a vicious and vitriolic cascade was initially spewed about this choice. Hardcore fanboys revolted and vomited at the idea of a man, until that time best known for playing singing and dancing Curly in the stage musical Oklahoma as well as bi-sexual Australian performer Peter Allen in The Boy from Oz, playing one of the most beloved & iconic superheroes in comic book history.

Every great writer knows that character development is the key to hooking their audience and making the character seem believable. Even within an extraordinary universe such as the one that Logan inhabits.

Great directors take that character and give them a story that is believable and meets the needs of the audience while staying true to the essence of the characters within it. With the seemingly various missteps that were made within the development of the Wolverine films, the last installment with Hugh Jackman at the helm was their last chance to nail it.

The truth behind the story of the Wolverine is that he is essentially a man who has outlived everyone he has ever cared about.

The women he has loved have been killed violently and even at his own hands, he has been manipulated by governments and is seemingly a magnet for violent confrontation. His journey throughout his long life always drawn him to War, however he has also shown a desire to do what is right.

In Logan we see the ultimate price he has paid for a life filled with loneliness and violence. Alcoholic, depressed, with probable PTSD he is dealing with the torment of some undisclosed yet mysteriously referenced incident, involving Xavier’s mental powers, at the Professor’s School for Gifted Youngsters, that claimed the lives of seven X-Men. Desperately trying to care for the Professor at the end of his life. Xavier has effectively become a threat to himself and everyone around him with his  psychic mind being designated a Weapon of Mass Destruction.

While hiding the Professor from the world and doing everything he can to get them to safety he is forced to aid a young mutant with the same mutation as is own. Directed by James Mangold this film takes the R rating and makes full use of it from the outset.

The opening scene shows the stark truth of the nature of the violent life that Logan has led. The violence and the language are not censored as Logan is forced to kill and maim his way out of a violent encounter.

There is an intimacy to the way Mangold has directed this film showing that the story is about Logan and how he is responding to the situation he is in. The use of the camera to stay close to the man showing the raw emotion of everything he is going through as well as the brute strength he applies to protect himself and those he has sworn to protect.

Every other actor in this film has taken on a supporting role with the story clearly centered on the legendary X-Man. Fighting his deteriorating health as he’s been slowly poisoned by the very thing that makes him formidable he simply keeps moving forward with a stubbornness and brute strength only driven by his desperation to do what is right.

Very few shots I found were focused on anything other than Jackman’s presence in the scene and the action he was engaged in or his affect on the action. Only at a couple of key moments do you feel you’re an outside observer to what he is going through. Seeing, from a distance, through the eyes of Laura as the stress finally becomes too much for him and he collapses.

Unlike the previous instalments in this saga the special effects and mutant powers have been deliberately subdued somewhat to only being responsible for advancing the story in a believable way. As have the sound effects, my personal experience of this film was that their was a brutal reality to the way in which the sound was used as were the camera angles used to compose the shots.

Many of the scenes were shot at eye level with the occasional low angle applied when Jackman was picking up Xavier in his frail state to move between the floor and a bed or his wheelchair. This low angle so often used to show the power of the subject on screen was used to show Logan’s brute strength being applied to the tender care of an old man he deeply respected. Even in a great deal of the action sequences the angle remained as if from the point of view of another observer within the scene.

So many reviews will reference the obvious parallels to the great cowboy film Shane that plays a key plot parallel and reference within the story line. However I found that the most powerful moments in the film were where they showed who Logan truly was. His desperate attempts to save Xavier after a particularly brutal attack on the old man and his desperate pleas with Xavier in those moment that the old man know that it wasn’t Logan that attacked him.

The other was Logan’s final words as he lay dying with Laura desperately asking him not to leave her and calling him daddy. He simply looked at her and said “that’s what that feels like”. Almost two centuries of life and never truly feeling loved or worthy of being loved until his last moments.

Great stories hang on great character development and great actors dig deep and find the truth of the character that they are playing. The truth behind Logan was that of a man desperate to be good, desperate to be honourable and desperate to feel worthy of someone’s love.

Deadpool’s success gave them license to go balls to the wall and tell this truth behind this iconic character and my personal opinion is that they fucking nailed it.

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About the Author: SR Smedley
SR Smedley holds a Bachelors Degree in Business Management with a particular focus on communications. He has also completed studies in financial planning as well as previously studying human health and nutrition. He is the Director of Operations of Franklin Media Australia, a self taught programmer and web developer and former SCUBA Diving Instructor. He also previously worked as a journalist for an award winning business journalist and former News Corp editor.

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