I finally took the time to sit down with this movie for a second time. While I stand by everything I said the first go round I do feel a bit differently after seeing it again. I was incredibly disappointed when I watched this movie in the theater and I was so befuddled by my reaction I could hardly ascertain what the reason was. I don’t love this movie after seeing it for the second time but I am at least willing to admit I have much more respect for it. While personal disappointment can’t be overlooked I don’t think I gave the movie a fair response when I first wrote about it.
I’ll admit it, I got caught up in the hype. The media heavily promoted this film and when initial reviews came in they were overwhelmingly positive. My expectations were already dangerously high but by the time I sat down in the theater to see it I expected something bordering on the impossible. I expected the best Wolverine movie to date, I expected all the stops to be pulled and for there to be a no holds bar approach to this one. Obviously I had allowed myself to get to a point where nothing would be satisfactory. While I went looking for the best yet I hadn’t at all prepared myself for it to simply be winding down and closing out the character. Yeah I knew this was it, Hugh Jackman made it very clear he wasn’t doing it again, but still I didn’t expect that finality to be so central to the story line.
I don’t know what I was expecting but the writing was on the wall. There was no premier actor cast as the villain in this movie because while there were villains the ultimate villain was time, and self. It’s the smart way to take the story if you’re looking to create a closing chapter for your central character. I don’t like it personally but I don’t have to. It wasn’t what I wanted but plenty of people really loved what they did. I would have rather seen WolverShane ride off into the sunset with the fate of his life uncertain. I would have loved a Wolverine who was still strong while all those around him had grown weak. Wolverine as an old man still disappoints me but in the confines of this story it was appropriate and Jackman gave a terrific performance.
I think another problem with this movie is the fact that Wolverine is a bit out shined by his clone. Not only was X-23 a total badass throughout the whole movie but the actress that brought her to life was really exceptional. I don’t know what kind of future Daphne Keen has as an actress but she was perfect for this role. X-23 was an incredibly badass little girl. I love how she was able to speak but didn’t until late in the film. I love that scream she unleashes when she is attacking. I love how fearsome and incredible of a fighter she is. I think the casting department did a great job finding this girl and I hope she has a bright future ahead of her.
I would have liked this movie much more had they brought back Liev Schreiber for a significant role as Sabretooth. I think vendettas are such an important part to the Wolverine character. He is so old that he has enemies everywhere and his personal grudges are part of what always made him appeal to me as a kid. As I mentioned earlier the real villains in this movie are time and self. Time is against Logan as he has finally reached a breaking point in age, and ultimately the big be all villain was Logan himself. He has always been fighting who he is in the Wolverine movies but in this one it really gets interesting when he is killed by a clone of himself. See what they did there? Yeah it makes for great symbolism but I still think it could have been done differently and it could have been better.
It’s true with nearly any movie that it could have been better but right now I’m simply here to acknowledge that this one isn’t as bad as I felt after seeing it for the first time. I gave myself time to cool off and went back in with an open mind and found that there was plenty to like about this movie. Personal expectations can be powerfully influential in forming opinions and mine poisoned my perception of this movie. Having seen it a second time I think that it is worth your time to see it.
ORIGINAL POST 3/6/2017
I had really high expectations for this movie; so much so that I was willing to sit at the front of the auditorium in a sold out show on opening weekend just to see it. I had something personal invested in this one as a long time Wolverine fan. This one wasn’t going to be the let down the others were and I wholeheartedly believed that. I was so excited for this final film to have a hard R rating and I was pumped after listening to early reviews that raved about it. Calling it not just great but one of the greatest comic book films ever made.
Maybe that was a bit too much of an overstatement. Maybe my expectations were too high. Maybe too much of the film was shown in the trailers. Or maybe it was just too late to try to do Wolverine the right way. I haven’t narrowed it down yet but this movie fell way short of my expectations and not even all the blood or fucks in all their R rated glory were enough to tip the scales for me.
I’ll be careful here because I don’t want to spoil anything, as if trailers didn’t spoil the whole damn movie for us already. I also have no interest in discouraging anybody else from seeing it because I still want the movie to be successful. Success for Logan means there is more potential for more R rated comic book films. It was liked by all I attended the film with and watching it a second time I may feel differently after expectations are held firmly in check.
Without spoiling anything I’ll simply say I didn’t care for the old Wolverine. If they were going to legitimately adapt the Old Man Logan comic that would have been one thing but that isn’t what they did in this movie. In this movie Wolverine is simply old, and he couldn’t physically capture the violence necessary to deliver on that R rating. Not for me anyway. Don’t get me wrong, he has plenty of great scenes in this movie but where was this R rating when Wolverine was in his prime? Where was the final end all be all villain for Wolverine to fight? Be it Sabertooth, Omega Red, or any of the many villains he has personally had a vendetta with over the years? This film really could have used a legitimate villain and what we got simply wasn’t good enough. This movie wasn’t a Wolverine story though, it was a Wolverine ending and too much of the film simply led to that ending.
I think for this movie to have been as good as it was promised to be it had to top all of the other Wolverine performances from the past. I simply don’t think it did. I think the film easily beats out the Wolverine we have seen in his solo movies but it can’t top his roles in X2 or X-Men Days of Future Past. I feel like we needed to see a cooler Wolverine for the final ride and what we saw was an old and defeated Wolverine.
I have been lost on what to think about this movie because I want so bad to like it but I simply can’t. I have accepted my disappointment and will hope I feel differently once I see it a second time. I just think with any hero you have to work the cool factor. If you can’t make Wolverine cool you did something wrong and I don’t think there was anything cool about Wolverine in this movie. Not only was he not cool I wouldn’t even call him likable as the disgruntled old man who doesn’t have it in him to be a good guy anymore.
I didn’t hate this movie and I wouldn’t argue with anybody that liked it. It just wasn’t what I wanted it to be and I found that so disappointing as a fan. Ultimately, even at a PG-13 level I thought Wolverine had better fight scenes in X2 and I thought he was at his coolest in X-Men Days of Future Past. For either of those things to be possible this movie wasn’t what it was supposed to be, for me anyway.
We love Wolverine because he is a badass, but he wasn’t badass in this movie. He didn’t have his iconic look at all, featuring neither the awesome hair or the sideburns. He grabbed cigars at one time but I don’t remember him smoking any of them. He spends more time getting his ass kicked than kicking ass. While Logan is usually gruff I’d call him more ornery and pissy in this rendition. This guy had feral rage and claws that popped out of his hands but that’s about it.
Unfortunately I think the coolest thing about this movie was the Deadpool teaser at the beginning. It was a fun little short that reminds us Fox still has something going for it in the comic book department. I thought Patrick Stewart was great as always and I really liked X-23 and thought the actress playing her was exceptional. Donald Pierce seemed like he was going to be a really cool bad guy but he sort of just fell off as the movie progressed.
Bottom Line: Go see this movie for yourself and form your own opinions. I was the exception when walking out of the theater and plenty of people probably won’t agree with me here. It’s blasphemous I know to criticize Hugh Jackman on his final go around and I’m sorry. I was not impressed with what he and James Mangold did with this opportunity.