Back in the ancient moviegoing days of March 2017, “Logan” could do no wrong. It was a gory, critically-acclaimed thriller, the only other film that even received close to as much acclaim was Jordan Peele’s “Get Out,” released just a week earlier. There was just something about Hugh Jackman saying the F-word and stabbing bad guys in the head that got people all giddy inside.
Now in December, most of the praises and few of “Logan’s” faults hold true today. It is more a Western than a Comic Book movie, bearing more in common with “Tombstone” than it does with “The Avengers.” It speaks the F-word too often and easy, like a basement full of 14-year-olds who just came across their first copy of “Pulp Fiction.” Its villains are forgettable and poorly-assembled: The Wolverine clone is more creepy than scary, and the southern, metal arm guy is extremely insecure that people won’t believe he’s from below the Mason Dixon line so he speaks every word with over-emphasized confederate inflection.
But the simple storytelling and deft relationships between Charles, Laura and Logan are perfectly crafted and executed. Director James Mangold and writer Scott Frank have a keen understanding of not just their characters but the universe in which they live. They analyze and appreciate how these characters will act in an strange set of new circumstances, where every one of their actions and choices feels wholly authentic to both human and mutant kind.
I highly doubt this will be the last film where audiences greet Logan. The X-Men universe is so befuddled in its time-wimeyness that it’d have to walk a football field’s worth of storytelling tightrope just to keep continuity, Fox will probably just say “fuck it” and find an easy way to throw Wolverine back on that rope. But even if I’m wrong and this is the last outing that audiences get to have with Logan, I’m still glad that its a triumphant and memorable reunion. He is simply the single best comic book character to exist on film, not just because he he’s had a lifetime of cool powers, but because he’s had another lifetime’s worth of regret on top of it. Yeah, Tony Stark is sad about making Ultron, and Bruce Wayne is sorry about essentially killing Superman. But come on guys, grab a tissue and see if you can handle a day living in Logan’s fucking world. Asides from maybe the Incredible Hulk, Logan is the only super individual who wishes he wasn’t super. And that’s what, ironically and poetically, makes him the most human hero of them all.