My first memory of reading Wolverine as a child was from the 1982 limited mini-series by Claremont/Miller. It was only 4 issues but it packed a punch, bub. Believe me. It was raw, largely unfiltered and certainly should have been rated “R”. I remember it well. Snikt !
Here we are many years later and the next Wolverine movie, Logan, is on the way. It is slated to be the last appearance for Hugh Jackman in the role that made him a star. It is the ninth time Jackman has played our favorite clawed hero and the first time it will be rated “R”. Finally.
This least civilized, yet wildly popular, of all super heroes is finally off the leash. Adamantium be praised ! All thanks to the success of last year’s R-rated hit, Deadpool.
Ironically, the comic origins of Deadpool tell us that the powers that he acquired are from the blood of Wolverine. So Wolverine, the fictional character, had to literally bleed to get the IRL cinematic treatment he truly deserves. Fitting, I suppose. Wolverine has bled rivers through the years after all. Kind of his thing, really.
The “R” is important. Because when a protagonists’ primary method of attack is to stab bad guys with a half a dozen daggers springing from his fists then major gore is going to happen. Lots.
The plot sketch from the studio is as follows:
“In the near future, a weary Logan cares for an ailing Professor X in a hide out on the Mexican border. But Logan’s attempts to hide from the world and his legacy are up-ended when a young mutant arrives, being pursued by dark forces.”
The year is set to be 2029 according to all reports I have read. Logan is aging visibly now. He has unhealed scars. Seems that mostly all the mutants are gone now. The few that are left are hunted. Thus the conflict is outlined. Hunting Logan will not end well for anyone.
The trailer portrays a different approach than the prior Wolverine films. I like that. Sure, there is cool action. Even, dare I say it, some berserker-rage action. Sure, there is some borrowing from the comic storylines – in this case “Old Man Logan” by Millar/McNiven from 2008. The difference that I see in the trailers is the tone and feel.
I could be wrong. But the melancholy of the character really seems to come through. Not just that age has caught up to Logan. He does not heal as fast as he is used to doing all his long life. That is true. However, the weight of all the death and killing over the years seems to be weighing him down visibly in some of these scenes. The Johnny Cash underscoring the emotion in the background is dead perfect too. Great choice.
The director/writer, James Mangold, is clearly shooting for a western vibe. A different tonal approach is a welcome change for me. It will undoubtedly help this film stand on its own. While comparisons will inevitably be made to the previous films, surely that is unavoidable, yet staking out some new territory makes sense. Logan has a huge lone cowboy, Josey Wales aspect to his character. No secret there.
Hoping it all comes together as it seems it might. Logan opens in theaters on March 3, 2017.