Wednesday, March 22, 2017

It Came From The Cineplex: Logan

Whew! It was touch and go there for a while, but we all put our heads down, pushed ourselves to the limit and made it through the horrible, horrible January/February Film Dumping Ground! Finally! It should be smooth sailing now (for a while), as there're some pretty good movies filling the cineplex this month.

Logan was written by Scott Frank, Michael Green and James Mangold. It was directed by James Mangold.

Frank previously wrote Malice, Get Shorty, Out Of Sight, Minority Report, Flight Of The Phoenix (2004), The Interpreter, The Lookout, Marley & Me (!), The Wolverine and A Walk Among The Tombstones. Green has primarily worked in TV, writing episodes of Smallville, Everwood, Heroes and Gotham. He also wrote the screenplay for the Green Lantern movie. Well, I'm sure he's a decent person anyway...

Mangold is a prolific writer and director. He wrote and directed Heavy, Cop Land, Girl, Interrupted, Kate & Leopold and Walk The Line. He directed Identity, 3:10 To Yuma (2007), Knight And Day and The Wolverine.


Logan is a well written, well acted and very well made movie about superheroes that isn't a superhero movie. I cannot emphasize this enough— this is not a superhero film. There're no people in elaborate costumes shooting rays out of their hands to be found anywhere here. It's more like a post-modern, deconstructionist western, with a few superhero trappings thrown in here and there to remind us of what we're watching.

And you know what? That's OK! I'm fine with that. I have no problem with director James Mangold trying something different here. The genre needs to expand like this, lest it become stale and die.

I'm also impressed that Fox let Mangold make such an offbeat, bleak and dour film such as this, without attempting to meddle and tweak it for maximum audience appeal. Maybe Fox learned their lesson from their disastrous 2015 Fantastic Four train wreck, and have decided to let their directors do the job they were hired to do. Hear that, Warner Bros.? You don't have to micromanage and second guess your directors! That's how you get crap like Suicide Squad!

It's also a fitting and well-earned sendoff for the Wolverine character, as well as Hugh Jackman.

But (you knew there'd be a but), as much as I admire and appreciate Logan as a film, sadly it just didn't resonate with me the way it has with most of the public. I like the movie, but I don't love it. As good as it was, I honestly have no desire to ever see it again.

I think part of the problem is the grim and depressing tone. Logan is all about characters at the very end of their days. I just don't like seeing superheroes laid low in such a hopeless manner. Your mileage of course may vary.

Another reason I may not have loved the movie— unlike the entire rest of the world, I've never really been a fan of the Wolverine character. He's always been the focus of most of the X-Men movies, even when he shouldn't have been. In fact, he even shoved poor Kitty Pride out of the spotlight to take over as the main character in X-Men: Days Of Future Past. I just don't get his appeal.

As near as I can tell, this is the ninth time Hugh Jackman has played Wolverine, aka Logan, over the past seventeen (!) years. Yep, believe it or not, it's been a whopping seventeen years since The X-Men premiered way back in 2000. Where the hell has the time gone?

Jackman swears he's hanging up his claws for good, and this is the last time he's playing Wolverine. No doubt he wants to finally relax and eat something besides boiled chicken and wheat germ again! 

I wouldn't get too misty-eyed about Jackman's announcement though. I have no doubt that if they back a big enough truckload of money into his driveway, he'll change his mind. After all, old comic book characters die and get better all the time!

Logan is very loosely based on the Old Man Logan storyline  (by Mark Millar and Steve McNiven) that appeared in the Wolverine comic back in 2008. The comic story is set in an alternate future, in which Wolverine was tricked into killing off all the other X-men by Spider-Man villain Mysterio. He then goes on an introspective, cross country road trip with Hawkeye of the Avengers.

Logan tweaks the story quite a bit, ditching Hawkeye (since Marvel Studios owns him) for Professor Charles Xavier, and making him the one who killed off the X-Men in a psychic attack. The film also adds X-23, aka Wolverine's genetically engineered "daughter."

The film also borrows quite a few elements from the 2014 comic Death Of Wolverine, in which Logan's healing factor has been weakened by a super-virus, causing his adamantium claws and skeleton to slowly poison him. He ends up sacrificing himself to save a young group of mutants, which is quite similar to what happens in the movie.

Logan's "daughter" Laura, aka X-23, is also loosely based on her comic book counterpart, although the version seen here is considerably younger than she's typically portrayed.

One character I wasn't crazy about it the film was X-24, the Wolverine clone. Mangold worked hard to create a gritty, realistic, grounded (there's that "G" word) and lived-in world. He then comes thisssssss close to flushing it all down the crapper by dragging out the most overused and outrageously comic booky plot there is— the evil twin!

For any parents out there planning on taking your kids to this film, be warned— Logan is NOT a typical comic book movie. It's a hard R film filled with brutal violence and adult language, and is definitely NOT for kids. Even if you set aside all the adult content, there's little in the film that would appeal to a child who likes superheroes. I think a kid would be bored to death during most of it.

Despite that, I saw at least three or four clueless Parents Of The Year bringing their six and seven year olds into the theater with them, no doubt thinking this is a typical X-Men movie. Gosh, if only there were some way to inform parents as to whether a movie is appropriate for their children or not. Some sort of system that would label the content of a film, possibly assigning it a rating.

So far the film's a huge hit, pulling in $525 million worldwide ($185 million in the U.S.) against its $97 million budget. Hey movie studios, see what happens when you hire a competent director and leave him alone to make a movie?

Lastly, I think my favorite part of the film was the Deadpool 2 teaser that was attached to each print! I'm impressed that Fox, who makes the Deadpool movies, was somehow able to talk Warner Bros. into letting them use John Williams' iconic Superman The Movie soundtrack!


The Plot:
It's 2029, and the world's a mess. Wolverine, aka James Howlett, aka Logan (played by Hugh Jackman), is now working as a limo driver in El Paso. He looks much older than he did the last time we saw him, as apparently his 
mutant healing factor has slowed down considerably. For the first time, any wound he receives now leaves a scar. Apparently his adamantium in his claws and bones are slowly poisoning him, and he's taken to self-medicating with booze to dull his constant pain. 

As Logan naps in the back of his limo, he's awakened by gang members trying to strip his ride. Tired and weary, he tells them to get lost. They begin beating him, and he reluctantly pops his retractable claws (sort of) and begins slashing away at them. He's shot several times before killing them all. He staggers into the limo and speeds away.

Logan drives across the border into Mexico to an abandoned shack. Inside he sees Caliban (played by Stephen Merchant), an albino mutant with a severe aversion to sunlight and the ability to track other mutants. Caliban lives in the shack and cares for Professor Charles Xavier (played by Patrick Stewart)..

Xavier, who's now well into his nineties, is the world's most powerful telepath. Unfortunately he's also suffering from dementia. His sanity comes and goes, and he occasionally has violent seizures, in which his mutant mind emits deadly blasts of psychic energy. Logan houses Xavier inside a fallen water tank to shield the world from his psychic blasts. He also keeps him under near constant sedation with drugs he scrounges from a local hospital.

Logan enters the tank and Xavier babbles incoherently to him. Suddenly he has a seizure and Logan's hit point blank by the psychic blast. He's barely able to sedate Xavier in time. Caliban complains to Logan, saying he needs to find more sedatives, as Xavier's seizures are getting worse. Logan says he's saving money for a boat, so the three of them can sail to the Bahamas, where Xavier won't be able to harm anyone. Caliban's less than thrilled by this prospect, what with his aversion to the sun.

Back in the States, Logan gets a gig driving a group to a cemetery. A Mexican woman named Gabriella approaches and asks for his help, but he rudely blows her off. Later in Mexico, Donald Pierce, the chief of security for Transigen, approaches Logan. Pierce, who sports a bionic hand, is one of the Reavers
— a group of cyberntetically enhanced enforcers. He asks of anyone's sought Logan's help recently. Logan lies and says no. Pierce gives him his business card (?) and leaves.

Later Logan gets a text and drives to a motel to pick up a fare. It turns out to be Gabriella, who offers him $50,000 to take her and her daughter Laura to a sanctuary in Canada called Eden. Logan sees Laura in the courtyard, playing with a red ball. Foreshadowing! He's suspicious, but since he needs $75,000 to buy a boat, he reluctantly accepts. For plot reasons they arrange to meet the next day, instead of leaving immediately.

For more plot reasons, Logan returns to Mexico and tells Caliban he'll be gone a few days on a job. Caliban senses Logan's sick, and is hiding some sort of illness. Logan angrily tells him to mind his own bees wax.

Logan returns to the motel, and finds Gabriella dead in her room, and Laura nowhere to be seen. Logan takes Gabriella's cell phone and leaves. He returns to Mexico (man, he puts the miles on that limo in this movie!) and Caliban notices the trunk is open and a red ball's lying on the ground. Foreshadowing Payoff!

Pierce returns (alone). and hints that he knows Logan's keeping Xavier inside the tank. Logan knocks him out and tells Caliban to take Pierce out into the desert and leave him. Inside the shack, Xavier's having a moment of lucidity as he feeds Laura a bowl of cereal. He scans her mind and realizes she's actually a mutant. He 
marvels (heh) at her, saying it's been twenty five years since a mutant was born into the world.

Meanwhile, Caliban drives Pierce into the desert. He wakes up and quickly overpowers the less-than-super Caliban. Pierce returns to the shack, just as his Reavers arrive. Pierce spots Laura and tries to capture her, but SURPRISE! She pops adamantium claws from her hands (two on each, as opposed to Logan's three) and a claw on each foot (?).

Laura savagely tears through the Reavers in a hard R-rated orgy of violence. Logan loads Xavier into the limo and roars off. Laura jumps in and they drive through the desert, with the Reavers in hot pursuit. Logan spots an approaching train and flies the limo across the tracks with millimeters to spare. The train forms a miles-long barrier between them and the Reavers and he drives off to safety.

Pierce then tortures Caliban with sunlight to force him to track Logan and Laura.

Meanwhile in El Paso, Logan watches a series of expository videos on Gabriella's phone. Basically she was a nurse at Transigen in Mexico, and Laura was a patient there
— not her daughter. The company was supposedly a cancer research facility, but in reality they were genetically creating mutants. The company, including project head Dr. Rice, treated the superpowered kids like lab animals, but Gabriella and the other nurses tried to give them as much of a childhood as they could.

Logan notes that the mute Laura's like a feral child, with no awareness of the rules of society. Xavier says Laura is Logan's daughter (actually, clone would be more apt), somehow created from his DNA, but Logan refuses to believe it. They stop in Oklahoma and enter a casino hotel to rest & freshen up.

In the hotel, Xavier and Laura watch Shane on TV, which I'm sure wasn't meant to be symbolic or a metaphor or anything. Logan looks through Laura's backpack and finds files Gabriella stole from Transigen, confirming that Laura
— also known as X-23— was grown from his DNA. This makes her technically his daughter. He watches another video on Gabriella's phone, in which she says Transigen shut down their Mexico facility, so she and several other nurses tried to smuggle the kids out and into North Dakota, where they could make their way to a place called Eden in Canada. He also finds an old X-Men comic (!) in the backpack, and as he leafs through it, and sees a mention of Eden. This calls the whole existence of the Canadian mutant sanctuary into question.

The next day Logan sells the limo and buys a used pickup truck. He returns to the casino hotel and notices Reavers milling around outside. He races up to his room to grab Xavier and Laura. Suddenly Xavier has a seizure and everyone in the casino is frozen in horrible pain. Logan struggles to enter the room, and sees it's filled with Reavers. He somehow manages to fight against the psychic assault and kill them all before sedating Xavier. He rushes Xavier and Laura to the truck.

Logan, Xavier and Laura then take an extended road trip to North Dakota. Along the way they're almost run off the road by speeding self-driving trucks (The World Of The Future!). A truck pulling a horse trailer is driven off the road in front of them. The driver manages to avoid crashing, but his horses escape the trailer and run out onto the dangerous highway. Xavier uses his telepathy to calm the horses and make them line up so the farmer and his family can get them back in the trailer.

Logan helps the family push their truck out of the ditch. They introduce themselves as the Munsons, and invite Logan and his "family" to a home cooked meal at their house. Logan politely declines, but Xavier says they'd be delighted. At the Munson house, Logan pretends Xavier's his father and Laura his daughter. After a satisfying meal, the Munsons insist their guests spend the night. Xavier readily agrees again, before Logan can protest.

Mrs. Munson notes that their water is out, and Mr. Munson says he'll have to fix the pump at a station several miles away. Logan offers to go with him. He sees the pumping station is actually owned by a huge corporation that's trying to force the Munsons off their farm. Mr. Munson cuts the lock on the fence and enters the pumping station and restarts the pump.

As Munson and Logan are leaving, they're confronted by a truckload of armed men who accuse them of trespassing. Logan manages to scare them off without killing anyone.

Back at the Munson home, Xavier's lying in bed, and sees a figure he assumes is Logan looming over him. He says this is the best time he's had in years. The figure looks exactly like a younger Logan, and he suddenly pops his claws and stabs Xavier in the chest (!). He grabs Laura and puts her in metal restraints, as we see he's already killed Mrs. Munson and her teen son.

Just then, the pump station rednecks arrive at the Munson house, eager for revenge. The Logan clone, who's called X-24, easily kills them all. Munson and the real Logan arrive on the scene and see the carnage. Logan rushes upstairs to rescue Xavier, while Munson's mortally wounded by X-24.

Logan and X-24 then fight, in another bloody, hard R-rated battle. X-24's winning of course, until he's shot by the dying Munson. Dr. Rice and Pierce arrive to capture Laura. Caliban's with them, and during the commotion he grabs two grenades and detonates them, sacrificing himself to give Logan and Laura a chance to escape. Pierce is caught in the blast, and Logan manages to get Xavier and Laura in his truck and drive off.

Some time later, Xavier begins coughing and Logan pulls to the side of the road. Xavier tells Logan to accept Laura as his daughter, and dies. Logan buries him next to a river. He screams in anguish and passes out.

Dr, Rice restores the battered X-24 with an injection of a glowing (of course) green serum. Pierce repairs his bionic hand, and notices Laura's comic book, which contains the coordinates to Eden.

Logan wakes in a doctors office, after Laura apparently stole an SUV and drove him there. He leaves with Laura, who's now inexplicably speaking Spanish. Logan drives a few miles, but the battle with X-24 was too much for him and he passes out again. Laura takes over and drives.

Some time later, Logan wakes up in the truck, and sees a house on a cliff high above him. He climbs up to the house and sees it's filled with other mutant children from the Mexican Transigen experiment. This is apparently Eden, which wasn't mythical after all. The kids nurse Logan back to health by giving him small, controlled doses of the green serum. After a few days he's almost back to normal, or at least to the level he was at the beginning of the film.

Laura sees Logan fingering a bullet, and asks him what it is. He says it's made of adamantium, the same substance as his unbreakable claws. He says it's the only thing that can kill him (Foreshadowing Alert!) and he once considered using it to commit suicide. He gives her the bullet. Plot Point!

The next day the New Mutants leave for Canada while Logan sleeps (So I guess this isn't Eden after all? Or it is, but was just the first stop on their tour? I'm confused). He wakes up some time later and spots the kids in the distance, making their way through the mountains. He also spots a Transigen convoy heading right for them. He injects himself with a large dose of green serum, and turns into the berserker Wolverine we all know and love.

The kids are being hunted down and tranqed by Pierce and his Reavers. Logan rushes in and kills dozens of Reavers, as Laura pops her claws and savagely helps. The serum begins to wear off as Dr. Rice appears and starts monologuing to Logan. He says Transigen wiped out all mutants twenty five years ago with a genetically engineered virus. They then began cloning select mutants (such as X-23 and X-24) to use as weapons. Rice also mentions that Logan killed his father during his escape from the Weapon X program at Alkali Lake years ago, and apparently wants revenge..

Logan decides he's heard enough exposition and shoots Rice dead. Pierce then sics X-24 on him. They battle again, while the New Mutants use their powers to kill Pierce. Somehow Logan calls up the last of his strength and overpowers X-24. Rictor uses his powers to lift the earth under a truck and slam it on top of X-24.

Logan tells the kids to hurry across the border to Canada, although I have no Earthly idea why anyone thinks that'll save them. Suddenly X-24 reappears like a slasher movie villain and impales Logan on a jagged tree branch. Laura shoots X-24 in the head with the adamantium bullet, killing him instantly. Plot Point Resolved!

The kids pull Logan off the branch, and he begins remembering film clips of his long life as he slowly dies. He tells Laura not to become the weapon she was created to be (seems a bit too late for that!) and dies in her arms.

The kids bury Logan, and Laura recites a speech from Shane over his grave. As the rest of the kids head for the border, she takes the crude cross from his grave and tilts it so it resembles an "X." She and the others head north to sanctuary.


• I'm not even going to attempt to figure out how this film fits into the laughable and completely hosed X-Men Movie Continuity. I gave up trying to make sense of the franchise's timeline long ago, and now just treat every film in the series as a standalone feature. It's easier on my head that way.

As a perfect example of this convoluted continuity, at one point Xavier says there hasn't been a mutant born in twenty five years. The movie takes place in 2029, so if I remember my math, that means the last mutant was born sometime in 2004!

The X-Men, which was released in 2000, begins with an onscreen caption that reads, "In The Not Too Distant Future." If we believe Xavier, then that means it probably took place around 2004 or even later— after the last mutant was born.

But then in nearly every movie, evil mutant Magneto goes on and on about how Homo Superior (aka mutants) will rule the world! How's he expect that to happen if no more of them are being born? It's gonna be a pretty short reign for them!

To complicate matters even further, the events of X-Men: Days Of Future Past supposedly altered the timeline, meaning certain events, and some of the movies themselves, never "officially" happened!

This is all just another example of the woeful, haphazard and "reset by time travel shenanigans" continuity of these movies.

• Thank Thor for Johnny Cash! Without the bleak and starkly introspective songs he wrote in the twilight of his career, modern movie soundtracks would be completely silent. Logan features two Cash songs! They use his cover of Hurt in the trailer, and When The Man Comes Around in the end credits.

To prove I ain't kidding, the new Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales trailer even uses a Johnny Cash song! I don't understand what undead pirates and The Man In Black could possibly have to do with one another, but apparently Disney does!

To be clear, I like Johnny Cash as much as the next person. I'm just afraid constantly using him in EVERY trailer and soundtrack is going to turn him into the new "BRAAAAAAAAAHHHM! BRAAAAAAAAAHHHM!"

 It was a nice touch when one of Logan's claws refused to pop out all the way, as if even they're starting to wear out over time.

That said, he tries to pull it all the way out of its hidden socket in the worst manner possible— by grabbing the entire blade and pulling with all his might, slicing his fingers open in the process. Couldn't he have just, oh I don't know, gripped the TOP of the blade instead? I guess that just goes to show how tough our Logan is!
• X-23, aka Laura, actually got her start on TV rather than in the comics! She first appeared in the X-Men: Evolution TV series in 2003. She made her comic book debut in NYX in 2004.

In the comics she's the cloned daughter of Wolverine, designed to be the perfect killing machine for an organization called The Facility. She eventually encounters Wolverine, and becomes a student at Xavier's School For Gifted Students, and later becomes a member of the mutant team X-Force.

Like her "father," she has a mutant healing factor, enhanced speed and senses, and retractable adamantium claws in her hands and feet. Why only two claws on her hands instead of three? Because comics, that's why!

• Caliban's appeared in the X-men movie universe before. He was in X-Men: Apocalypse, although there he was played by actor Tómas Lemarquis and seemed like a completely different character. He's played here by writer/actor Stephan Merchant, who co-created the original British The Office with Ricky Gervais. 

Caliban's been in the comics for years, first appearing way back in 1981, where he was a member of an underground-dwelling clan of mutants who called themselves the Morlocks. He's flipped sides numerous times, even joining the various X-men teams at times.

• Donald Pierce and the cybernetically enhance Reavers have appeared in various X-Men & Wolverine comics over the years. As you might expect though, their appearance in the comics is a bit more extreme. Look at those guys! No wonder they're so angry! You'd be upset too if everything below your waist was replaced by a tank!

• Earlier I said I am not a fan of the Wolverine character. I think a big part of that has to do with the slapdash nature of his origin and powers, and the way it seems like it was all made up as the creators went along.

For example, Wolverine first appeared in 1974 (!), in The Incredible Hulk #180. In that issue, his trademark metal claws were actually built into his gloves, and not part of his body!

Think about that for a minute! The most iconic part of the entire Wolverine character— his claws— started out as what amounts to party horns that extended from the backs of his gloves!

In 1975, Wolverine joined the all-new X-Men team, and his claws were retconned so they were now bionic implants, which extended from the back of his hands. This is where we also discovered he was a mutant with the ability to ability to heal faster than normal. 

After that, new traits and powers gradually accumulated on the character like barnacles. Not only were his claws made of adamantium, his skeleton was replaced with the indestructable metal as well. When a reader helpfully pointed out that bones actually generate blood cells in the human body and Wolverine couldn't survive with such an alteration, the writers quickly backtracked and said his skeleton was merely reinforced with adamantium!

Sometime in the 1990s, the concept of Wolverine's long life was introduced, as we found out he was born sometime around 1880 and fought in every major war afterward. This was also the period in which the villain Magneto, who can control metal, pulled all the adamantium from Wolverine's body, revealing that his claws were actually made of bone, and just covered with metal (?).

As I said, virtually everything about the character is convoluted and feels like it was made up as time went on.

Of course, the same thing happened with Superman, who's one of my all-time favorite characters. So maybe I have no idea what I'm talking about.

I appreciate the fact that the movie doesn't spoon-feed info to the audience, requiring us to work things out for ourselves.

For example, I don't think anyone actually comes out and clearly spells out that the adamantium in Logan's body is slowly poisoning him and causing his mutant healing factor to fail, but it's pretty heavily implied.

Similarly, Xavier briefly mentions the "horrible thing he did in Westchester." The script doesn't elaborate on what exactly happened, but I can make a pretty good guess. Xavier's School For Gifted Youngsters was located in Westchester, so I'm betting he probably experienced his first psychic seizure there, which inadvertently killed all his students.

• Speaking of Xavier's psychic seizures, they were almost as bad in the theater as they were in the world of the movie! The one he had in the casino just went on and on, and after a while it felt like someone was sticking an ice pick in the corner of my eye. It felt like the speakers in my theater were tuned to the precise frequency to drive me nuts. It definitely helped draw me into the movie, as I kept wishing Logan would hurry up and sedate Xavier.

Kudos to the filmmakers for such a creative, if annoying, sequence!

• Logan looks through Laura's backpack and finds a stash of old X-Men comics. Apparently in the X-Men Cinematic Universe, the team is real, but Marvel produces a series of comics inspired by their exploits.

Eh... I'm not a fan of this idea, as it kind of took me out of the movie for a bit. This is actually an old trope, used quite a bit by Marvel Comics. In the early days of The Fantastic Four, the Thing reads an FF comic book and complains about how inaccurate it is.

By the way, the X-Men comics Logan leafs through were created especially for the film by Marvel CCO Joe Quesada and Dan Panosian.

• During their road trip, both Logan's group and the Munson family are almost killed by fast-moving, self-driving trucks roaring down the highway. Does that seem right? If corporations of the future insist on these dangerous vehicles sharing the road with humans, shouldn't they have their own restricted lane?

• As Xavier rests in the Munson's home, he's attacked by X-24, a clone of Logan. For a couple of seconds, I honestly thought X-24, with his slicked back hair and mutton chop sideburns, was Logan's old nemesis Sabertooth. I'm betting that was intentional.

As I said earlier, I felt the X-24 character almost derailed the film. It wanted so much to NOT be a comic book movie, and then it goes and includes the most over the top comic book villain possible.

I get the metaphor— X-24 was a younger, sleeker version of Logan, and he was literally battling the memory of himself here. But I think his inclusion may have gone a step or two over the line.

• In Eden, Rictor injects Logan with the green super serum to help him heal faster. Logan objects, as he saw Dr. Rice inject X-24 with the serum, which caused the clone to fly into an uncontrollable berserker rage. Rictor assures him the serum's safe in small doses.

How the hell does he know THAT? He's a twelve year old kid! Were the New Mutants regularly injected with the serum in Mexico, so he knows of what he speaks from experience? Does the label on the serum bottle say, "WARNING! Administer in small doses, to avoid berserker rage?"

• Speaking of Rictor, as one of the New Mutants, he has the power to control the Earth and cause it to quake. I'm assuming this is how he got his code name. For some reason though, it's spelled "Rictor," instead of "Richter," as in "Richter Scale." There's a version of the character in the comics, and his name's spelled the same way there too. Odd.

• Logan carries an adamantium bullet, saying it's the only thing that can pierce his metal skull and kill him. I'm not quite clear on how that's supposed to work. 
Adamantium is an indestructible metal. Nothing can cut, break or burn through it. I guess the movie wants us to believe that the only thing that can affect adamantium is more adamantium. I suppose that might work, but it seems iffy to me.

By the way, the adamantium bullet made its debut back in X-Men Origins: Wolverine. In that film, William Stryker shoots Logan in the head at point blank range with an adamantium bullet. Strangely enough it doesn't kill him, but it does cause his infamous memory loss.

• It was great to see a superhero movie in which the entire world isn't at stake. Logan's just trying to protect some kids from some guys with guns. For once there was no blue laser shooting up into the sky at the end!

• Logan tells the New Mutants to hurry and cross the border into Canada, where they'll be safe at last. But why? Pearce and the Ravagers don't seem like the type who'd respect national borders. Are we to believe these hired killers and thugs will stop at the edge of the border, put their hands on their hips, say, "Dang it, they got away!" and then turn around and go home?

I suppose at that point, Dr. Rice, Pierce and probably all the Reavers were dead, so maybe there was no one else chasing them.

Logan is a dark, gritty, hyper-violent and well-made film that's more like a western than a superhero movie. Don't like traditional superhero movies? Then you'll love Logan. t's definitely worth a look at the cineplex. But leave your kids at home. I give it a B+.

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