* Performances! These are the best performances of any X-Men film yet, save maybe Deadpool. Patrick Stewart owns the 2017 Best Supporting Actor Oscar as far as I'm concerned. The rest of the cast was also on point--Stephen Merchant's Caliban and Boyd Holbrook's Pierce especially. And finally, this girl playing Laura/X-23 gave a truly honest and sincere performance of rage, pain, and vulnerability.
* The action! Finally, a Wolverine film that has the fight scenes I’ve been waiting to see since I started reading Wolverine comics back in junior high school. Even though there was yet another battle in the woods (it’s basically an Wolverine trope at this point) I still thoroughly enjoyed the full on Wolvie rage. Some of the X-23 fights were cut a bit too much, but I give that a pass as I’m sure most of her stuff was a mix of stunts and CGI.
* Representation of the “not too distant future” in 2029. Subtle but impactful notes were put into the script to remind the audience this wasn’t present day.
* And finally, something important the filmmakers paid homage to from the comics was they basically kept Logan’s (most recent) death the same as it was the comics. In the comics a vat of melted adamantium is poured over Logan and it hardens in this statuesque pose on a rooftop as the sun sets. What really kills Logan in the film isn’t X-24, but it’s the adamantium wearing down his healing factor to the point he’s mortal. So the adamantium kills him from the inside out in the film and not from the outside in like the comics. I see what you did there screenwriters, and I like it!
*Speaking of death scenes, that burial of Xavier had me misty eyed. It goes back to the performances compliment, but this may’ve been Jackman’s best scene. He went from understated and vulnerable to full on shovel rage. It was a very well done scene.
*Logan’s final words were also pretty damned perfect. I wanna say I remember another character using those as final words, but until someone proves that, I’ll give it to Logan.
* Overly complex plot! If you want to make a superhero Western mash-up, then keep the plot simple. There was way too much new info to process, and this leads me to my second criticism…
* Too many important plot points are left to minimal exposition or just plain left unexplained. Granted, if this was a stand alone film then the minimal explanations would be great service to the pacing of the plot. However, that’s not the case here! LOGAN is in a universe with nine previous fucking films built behind it. And LOGAN implies way too much with no explanation. These giant plot points (Yes, plural.) that were left unexplained became extremely distracting for me. Here is a list:
1.Wait, why are there no new mutants born in the last, what’d Xavier say, 25 years? Please, ‘splain dat to me again Dr. Rice!?!?
2. WTF happened “a year ago” with Charles in Westchester and which X-Men did he kill? The radio report made it sound like Xavier killed seven X-Men. Who?!? How? Why is implied, but the rest needed a flashback.
3. Why is it Dr. Rice and not Mr. Sinister the main behind the scenes pulling the strings? I get Rice has ties to the Weapon X project, but Age of Apocalypse and Bryan Singer told us we’d have fucking Mr. Sinister! http://collider.com/wolverine-3-mist...-bryan-singer/
[My guess is he was supposed to be the big bad Wolvie fights to the death, but they thought it’d be all symbolic” if the only thing that could kill Wolverine was another Wolverine, hence X-24. [I don’t remember if X-24 is even a thing in the comics.]
4. When, how, and why did the X-Men go from hated and feared mutant scum to beloved superheroes like the Avengers? Why are there X-Men comics and toys in this universe now?
5. What’s Eden and who runs it? Why is Eden even necessary if the X-Men made mutants viewed as superheroes in this world!?!? And if these kids aren’t “natural mutants” what makes Eden so eager to take these kids in? Yeah, just Eden in general is a big fucking question mark.
And some less crucial points that still irked me:
6. Why are Dr. Rice & the Reevers only in pursuit of Laura? Why not the other escaped kids?
7. Speaking of which, who got those other X-23 kids to the rendezvous point in North Dakota? Presumably the other nurses, but where are they?
8. How the hell did Laura get Logan in to the hospital after Xavier’s burial? Please tell me there’s not a dead fisherman and his dog back by that pond/lake! “What’s in the box, Laura? What’s in the boooox?!?”
9. Why did Logan ask Caliban to help with Xavier? And why is he a complete 180 from the Caliban in Age of Apocalypse?
10. How do Dr. Rice & co. know where Logan and Xavier are hiding but not the US government? You’d think after what’s implied to have happened in Westchester that Xavier be on their most wanted list.
11. How are those X-23 kids gonna be on a time crunch to cross the border to Eden but have enough time to move and bury Logan? Shouldn’t other government agencies still have been in pursuit of them after the first wave was wiped out?
* The heavy handed symbolism.
Turning that cross into an X at the end should’ve been a moving moment, but I was so burned out on the heavy handed symbolism with Shane that it just came off as so utterly corny to me. Ditto for Laura reciting that Shane monologue at Logan’s grave. This was an opportunity for some great original writing, but instead they just cribbed it. Not cool. After nine movies with this character he deserved his own memorable send off. Came across as lazy writing to me. [But Logan’s actual final words, as I mentioned earlier, were near perfect.
And the other bit of heavy handed symbolism was X-24. I mean, *ugh* wasn’t the adamantium poisoning enough to get across Logan is his own worst enemy? I think a character may have even spoken those exact words in the film. So why did Mangold feel the need to literally clone Logan and have him fight “himself” to get that point across? *sigh* It just felt like another missed opportunity for originality.