How Logan marks the evolutionary growth of the superhero genre


#1

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2017/06/21/how-logan-marks-the-evolutiona.html


#2

This was the most honest of the X Men series, by far.


#3

I love this movie so much; but have one glaring gripe…it is the EXACT bookend to the timeline created by X-Men, X2, and X3. It ignores anything in the continuity which we know “live” which is First Class, Days of Future Past, and Apocalypse.

I love that the story brought to an end the timeline of Bryan Singer’s X-Men trilogy; it is just a timeline I hated. Movies like X2 and X3 did to the genre then what the DC movies like BvS and Suicide Squad and to a lesser extent Apocalypse are doing to it now…they make it into a punchline.

Not every superhero genre movie can be good, and certainly not every one has to be serious fare (see Ant-man, GotG 1 & 2, Deadpool). I expect a clunker from time to time. I expect to laugh from time to time.

What I want though every time is a good story, good character development, good dialogue. I always point to Captain American: The Winter Soldier as the pinnacle of the genre. It is IMO the single best superhero movie. This is a film that holds water as a story and for character development is you remove all the superhero elements. Its like Backdraft, The Departed, Internal Affairs, Chinatown, All the President’s Men…its conspiracy investigation thriller at its best, wrapped up in a superhero flick. And the best part is we KNOW who the Winter Soldier already is…yet we still get the weight and power of the reveal because it’s acted so well.

I’ll stop rambling on about TWS. It really is my favorite. Followed closely by Dr Strange, Deadpool, Logan, and Iron Man. I love what Mangold did here. This was my favorite type of story from Uncanny X-Men…grit and realism.


#4

I think it’s also worth noting that with Logan, it shows that superhero IP owners might be willing to step outside of the huge bloated continuity franchises. Some of the Marvel Studios movies are good fun, but they’re all forced to maintain continuity and maintain the House Style.

Comicbooks have been willing to step outside of continuity and explore alternatives for decades, it would be nice to see the film versions do the same.

I’d love to see — for example — Grant Morrison’s All-Star Superman adapted into live action, completely ignore the DC Zack Snyder House Style, and cast an entirely different group of actors for the characters.


#5

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again:

While I really liked the characters and the acting (Jackman and Stewart in particular), and the director did a good job, I disliked the story. In particular the way the heroes again and again leave their enemies alive, so they can come back later in the film. As Logan obviously has no problem with killing people in this movie, it boggles me that he doesn’t kill his enemies while they’re vulnerable.

Early in the movie, the first villain (who they believe/know killed the nurse) is knocked out, but instead of killing him, Caliban is tasked with dumping him in a ditch (so he can die from dehydration?). Or, later on, when the Logan clone is trapped on some farm equipment, he’s left alive so that he can appear in the movie’s climax. Seriously, Logan’s supposedly four or five times as old as me, but he still hasn’t figured out that homicidal maniacs out to kill you won’t stop just because you run away?

Yes, I know it’s hard to get continuity in a script if all the villains die every half hour, but wouldn’t it be better if your character’s actions made more sense?

Also, weren’t the kid mutants written off as failures? So why is Evil Corp trying to capture them, rather than kill them?


#6

For the last few years Marvel Comics have had new characters taking over the mantel of heroes from other characters. Like Sam Wilson, the Falcon becoming Captain America, or a smart black teenager Riri Williams becoming the new Iron Man (going by the name of Iron Heart), or Jane Foster picking up the hammer, Mjolnir and becoming the new Thor, etc.

I’m hoping that the Marvel Cinematic Universe takes its cue from the comics and when the actors playing the roles of their major characters retire their character, that instead of just recasting the role, they retire Tony Stark, Steve Rogers, etc. So that we can get a final chapter of these characters before a new character takes over. I’m not sure if anything else will be as good as Logan, but I think some interesting films could be made if they take that route. Plus it would be more interesting going forward with new actors playing new characters instead of new takes on old characters.


#7

I think you may be right about… robot hand guy, though there is something to Logan’s killing. It is almost always a response to an imminent threat. When someone is unconscious, they aren’t an imminent threat, which makes killing them more like what we think of as murder. It’s a calculation, its a choice, rather than a reflex. The counter to this is the hotel scene, where he does pre-emptively take out all the reavers on the way to stop Charles, however, again they present an immediate threat and will, as soon as Charles is sedated, shoot the protagonists and kill them. His killings are animalistic, and that’s the defining characteristic of the wolverine; savagery.

There’s also something to be said for the enemies you know vs the enemies you don’t know. Killing RHG wouldn’t stop Akali, they would just send someone else, possibly someone worse, which they did anyway because RHG failed to show results, but that didn’t happen until later.

As for X24 trapped on the farming equipment; two things, 1- He seemed pretty dead after the shotgun blast that left a void from his eye socket to about half way into the skull. 2-If that didn’t kill him, then there was only one way to kill him, the bullet, the single adamantium bullet that Logan had reserved for his own skull one day as the only foreseeable way to avoid a very long and painful death. So Logan is presented with a best case scenario, X24 is already dead, and a worst case scenario, X24 is alive and he somehow misses the shot (I suppose he could hold the gun to X24’s head, but would put him in range of the claws which could make him miss).

However the most likely reason is because of the first point I made. Logan’s killings are animalistic responses to immediate danger and bursts of fear. Without the immediate danger, he can’t bring himself to do it. He struggles to keep the most dangerous character in the entire movie alive as long as possible; a person who could kill thousands while having a seizure, someone who actively avoids taking the medication he is given with the only caveat to his benefit being that he doesn’t know what he’s doing. Granted, Charles is Logan’s oldest living friend, but the calculating mind set you talk about is the kind that would put Xavier down.

It’s one thing to kill a person who is actively trying to kill you, it’s another to kill a person just because they are dangerous. That’s kind of the point of the bad guys; mutants are dangerous. That’s why they worked to eliminate free mutation, to control it and allow only mutations that were benign in the general population. Of course, that also meant there would be no equal to their mutant mercenaries, born and raised to be perfect killers, but you can’t expect to keep shareholders happy by just making the world safer, you have to turn a profit.

As for capturing the kids vs killing them. Living mutants are a potential test bed for all kinds of applications, not to mention a source of practically unlimited genetic samples. They are failures as soldiers, but are still worth more than the cost of mercenaries; granted at some point, it’ll get hard to hire people with such a high turnover rate. “Didn’t you hire like fifty people from here last week?” “Um… expansion?”


#8

You might also be interested in this take on the movie, from the always excellent “Movies With Mikey.”

(Full disclosure : I haven’t actually watched this episode yet because I haven’t seen the movie yet, and didn’t want the spoilers.)


#9

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