One name. One word. And it explains one thing about him.
Unlike the other X-Men movies and their spin-offs centering on Wolverine character, this movie tastes and feels a world’s apart from its predecessors. After the disappointing “The Apocalypse” back in 2016, during which I, an avid movie-goer, fell asleep because it was just that terrible, I had expected Logan to have a different approach towards a superhero movie and the existence of mutants, and towards Wolverine character in particular. I couldn’t be more surprised and satisfied with what I watched.
To say that Logan is R-rated is a bit off the mark. Throughout the movie viewers would see revolting scenes like Logan stabbing his enemies with his claws ON THE FACE, ON THE CHEST, ON THE EYE, and the list went on. I deliberately counted the number of times someone’s head got cut off by Logan. Three, if my memory served me right. And that didn’t even include the number of heads Laura cut off on her own. The scenes where limbs were cut off and flying over the place were also quite numerous. The slaughtering moments happened really fast, in split seconds. But towards the end of the movie, those split seconds were extended long enough to point out how Logan’s claws go through the body part of his enemies. CGI or not, those scenes looked pretty real to me. I refrained from throwing up on my chair.
It was said that Logan’s final story took place sometime in 2029. There wasn’t much detail on what happened before that, and how Professor X ended up living inside a wooden barrel and being drugged on daily basis, or otherwise his seizure could cause temporary paralysis for the people around him. It was the coolest scene I’d seen since Quicksilver slowing down the time in “X-Men: Days of Future Past”. Professor X was taken care of by Caliban, an English albino, whose attitude was such a contrast with the rude, vengeful, and go-to-hell attitude of Logan. So, it was told that Caliban was staying with Professor X and Logan was out there making money for them to someday get away and find the Sun Seeker. There was no explanation about what Sun Seeker was and what it could do. Was this something included in the original comic book? I wouldn’t know.
Logan in 2029 was an old, limping, tired, and dying drunk. In one scene Professor X said that he’s in his 90’s. That would make Logan in his 60’s perhaps? Seeing Logan hunching forward with glasses on his nose and seeing Professor X’s dark irises (a sign of somebody being very old) just hit me right in the feel. They’re that old and their ends were coming. As absurd as any comic story would be about a facility where human-weapons were being developed, I saw the character of Laura jumping into Logan’s and Professor X’s life as a sign of hope and continuation; that the mutants wouldn’t just end with them.
The child actress who played Laura had impressively stoic and cold expression. I’d prefer her being mute all through the movie, though. I kind of disliked her tone speaking in Spanish or speaking in English with an accent. What I didn’t expect was seeing Laura killing that much and without remorse. I couldn’t tell whether being genetically-engineered meant no existence of one’s soul, conscience, and overall moral conduct. I could partly understand that she did all that for the sake of her survival. Nevertheless, seeing a kid taking people’s lives was too much for me to handle, considering I’m a mother myself. The other mutant kids might have been taught to kill or be killed as well, but they appeared pretty much normal, just like some orphan kids running away from the cruel orphanage towards a safer house. Until this scene when one of them was using her mutant power to stab some Transigen soldiers with pine needles. That was horrendous. There was also another scene when they were wrapping one Transigen soldier with grass, suffocating him, making him freeze, and blowing his entire body. His red blood cells were splattered all over the ground. That was sick. It would have been more acceptable if adults were assassins performing the killing. But children? It was way out of the line for me.
Logan movie’s approach was not about some mutants saving the world like they used to do. Its approach was about human having hope because DNA could be engineered to prevent disease, to raise human’s hidden best potentials, etc.; and also about human having future destruction if the future generation was not nurtured. Seeing mutant kids killing Transigen soldiers is actually not far from the truth these days. We’ve known child soldiers used in civil wars in many parts of the world: Africa, Middle East, you name it. The innocence of those children is taken away by irresponsible adults who think they have the right to bring their version of heaven to our current earth. When human children are taught from early age to hate anyone who doesn’t have the same religion, who doesn’t come from different race, who doesn’t possess the same physical look, who doesn’t adhere to the same principals; it’s only a matter of time until the scene of human children killing other children or older adults without any remorse will come to reality.
I cried a bit when Professor X was mumbling to who he thought was Logan, when the dawn was about to break and he thought that they’d be leaving again. Lying on the queen-sized bed while looking over Laura who was sleeping on the floor, reminiscing about the dinner he just had with the strangers who owned the house and the bed, it must have given Professor X a sense of normality even for a brief moment. Home, family, occupation, school, routines. Those were the things his life was lacking of because he was being mutant and taking mutants under his wings for so many years. My heart broke at the sight. And what was left of it was shattered to pieces when X-24 stabbed Professor X on his chest. I wanted to believe that the emotion on Logan’s face when Professor X was dying in his arms, was not only from Logan to Professor X, but also from Hugh Jackman to Patrick Stewart who had worked with him in many X-Men movies.
On the final scenes, Logan was helping the mutant kids to escape to the border. He was running around in his undershirt, with sagging flesh and short breath. His body and his power were not like they used to be. It was obvious when he was confronted with X-24, the newer, younger version of himself (by the way, was Hugh Jackman acting double as Logan and X-24?). Each passing second was to lead Logan to his death when his body couldn’t take new wounds anymore. When Laura held Logan’s hand, called him “Daddy”, and cried when he took his final breath, I wept. As much as I saw it coming, the deaths of Professor X and Logan scarred my heart as a fan of X-Men movies for seventeen years. It was the end; it was the goodbye. Logan died after he displayed his mutant ability, and he died in the simplest setting any human being would ask for; being next to the person who matters in his life. DNA wise, Laura was his daughter. Emotional wise, well, they had undergone many things together with the death of Professor X as the highlight.
In terms of settings for the movie, James Mangold did a fantastic job. The desserts, the long dry roads, the abandoned mining facility where Professor X was hidden, were enough to symbolize the desperation felt by the few left mutants. However, the woods and the water next to where Professor X and Logan were buried were a simple gesture of a peaceful ending, a closure to the lives which were filled with so much hardship. I loved it when Laura was citing what she heard from the Western movie she watched with Professor X over Logan’s graveyard.
“There is no living in killing. Once you do it, there is no turning back.”
When I remember the heated arguments in social media over simple thing like what brand of water and bread to consume, I can easily change that sentence into: “There is no living in hating. Once you do it, there is no turning back.”
One word. One name. And one thing. HUMAN.