Director James Mangold’s Logan is the best movie of the X-Men series.
Despite the fact that “Logan” is a purely commercial film, it was screened out of competition at the Berlinale 2017. It is the tenth installment in the X-Men film series and the last picture to focus on the character of Wolverine. The film is high quality entertainment and is the best movie of the X-Men series. We must admit that this blockbuster picture has certain artistic qualities lacking in many so-called art-house films shown at the Berlin International Film Festival. Firstly this picture has a vibrant style characterized by a dark creepy atmosphere, expressive lighting, interesting locations and good camera work. The film’s plot while being confined to the superhero genre, still manages to have original ideas and grips the viewer throughout the film.
The film is set in 2029 when the mutants have mostly died out. Logan (Hugh Jackman) has retired from his superhero activities and now works as a chauffeur. Something is poisoning him from inside, his healing powers have declined and he uses drink and prescription drugs to dull the pain. He takes care of his aged former mentor Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart), a powerful telepath who suffers from a neurodegenerative disease which causes him to experience agonizing seizures. By certain circumstances they are forced to take care of an 11 year old girl named Laura (Dafne Keen) who has escaped from a secret research facility and shares the same powers which Logan has. They try to escort Laura to a safe haven while the bounty hunter Pierce (Boyd Holbrook) tries to recapture her.
The main gripe which the critics had was excessive brutality, but this film is R-rated meaning that it is not for children under 17 years, and the violence is not vulgar or disturbing like in many films of today. The casting was excellent, all the main actors played very well, especially Hugh Jackman and Dafne Keen.
It is obvious when watching Logan that the director together with the crew watched many classic films and created a film influenced by the best of cinematography. Director James Mangold spoke about being inspired by Westerns, German Expressionism and Film Noir. Unfortunately many filmmakers nowadays are simply not interested in classics of the cinema which makes their creations poor from the artistic point of view.
Many pictures are made purely on a green screen with excessive quantity of SFX which makes these films unrealistic, unimpressive and claustrophobic. While Mangold was criticized for excessive CGI in his previous picture “The Wolverine”, in this respect Logan avoids this cinematographic dead end. The film was shot in many fascinating locations and the landscapes were chosen very well. The details were chosen with good taste and attention. The special effects are present, but are reserved and not intrusive like in many other pictures. The film serves as a good example on how to make a superhero picture without sacrificing artistic integrity.