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Credit – Johnny Cash

“And I heard, as it were, the noise of thunder
One of the four beasts saying,
‘Come and see.’ and I saw, and behold a white horse”
There’s a man goin’ ’round takin’ names
And he decides who to free and who to blame
Everybody won’t be treated all the same
There’ll be a golden ladder reachin’ down
When the man comes around”

The end credits of the movie Logan are accompanied by this song.   I cannot think of a more fitting song.  This movie is true genius in its entirety.  An antihero film on par with the Dark Knight.   Not a comic book movie, but a real film of note.  See it in a theater with the full on digital sound and video projection of Dolby Atmos.  You wont regret it.

Set in the near future, Logan is able to do something that most superhero films cant do, ground itself in humanity.  When I walk into a superhero film, I expect to be carried away for two hours by flying people, aliens, or some sort of magic.  But, I never forget that I am watching a superhero movie.  Logan is so grounded in muck and grime that it takes itself very seriously.  At times I forgot I was watching a movie about a man with claws, and that is an awesome achievement.

Hugh Jackman is a marvel in this film.   He really is Logan / Wolverine.  However, since Logan is world weary and worn out, Jackman plays him with a pained, damaged expression.  He is never really comfortable both emotionally and physically and Jackman gives him a limp to reinforce this fact.  His facial features are not those of youth, they are those of a person who has done too much, seen too much, and cannot forget.   Jackman should really win some sort of award for this role, even be nominated for next year’s Oscar, he is that good.

Patrick Stewart is a delight as a ninety plus year Professor Charles Xavier.   He caused a mass mutant catastrophe years back and is dealing with the inability to control his mind. One of the most powerful telekenetic mutants of all time is begin to lose control because of age and has devastating seizures that cause people to die.  Logan, because of his ability to heal, is one of the few remaining x-men that can be his caretaker.   The give and take between Logan and Professor X is a highlight and I can see the affection that the actors have for one another.

However, the real scene stealer is 12 year old, 4 foot tall Dafne Keen.  As mutant X-23 she it unforgettable.  Her fluidity of movement, ferociousness, and connection to Logan allow Keen to play this role as sidekick, pupil, and naive newcomer.  She acts with her eyes and it works wonders.   Just the right amount of side eye, eyes wide open, and eyes filled with anger allow Keen to hit every beat with her character.   I really hope they allow her to grow with the character as she could be the cornerstone of a new mutant franchise.

Director James Mangold makes every choice in the film perfectly.  From the locations, to the acting, editing, and the soundtrack, Logan comes alive with his every choice.   At one point, the movie Shane is playing in a background and becomes the perfect backdrop to this modern day western and road trip movie.

Enjoy this one folks, we will never again see Jackman as The Wolverine.

4 stars – A Hitting a Mark recommendation.

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