Just this past weekend, again Adam J Dunn and I rode into the night with comrades to watch yet another moving picture that rests embedded in our subconscious and imagination. Logan is yet another stab in the dark from Sony to translate the X-Men compendium to live action. X-Men 2 & 3 somewhat embodied the universe while selling it short at the same time. And then… (sigh)… then there was X-Men Origins: Wolverine and then The Wolverine to the sound of an underwhelming thud.
You see, Logan, also known as Wolverine, is one of the most emotionally dynamic characters known to comics. His psyche goes deeper and darker than most Tier 1 characters, and remains as an empathetic realm for most readers. Logan embodies loneliness, sadness and unapologetic rage… a triad we all walk at some point. His story is filled with loss, untimely death, unrequited love, and violence. Aside from Rick, of The Walking Dead, Logan is one of the most unenviable protagonists you could come by- And none of the past Wolverine movies have scratched the surface of Logan’s story… until now.
I won’t spoil anything for you in the new Wolverine movie “Logan”, where there is a means between telling a story and showing a story. Logan follows the latter, and my favorite, path to divulging a narrative and does it damn well. With little to no speaking throughout the movie, Logan unsuspectingly constricts itself around you arteries, and then squeezes (hard) at the end. You may think this is like all movies, however for me it was unlike any other in that it pressed intensely upon a subject near to me. Again, giving nothing away, the reasons as to why Logan pressed so close to my heart was its story weaving an arc on the presence & absence of fatherhood. How a father can be physically in your life, and still feel as if he’s not there, and inversely how someone can be absolutely non-existent or tangible to you, yet they weigh heavy as ever upon your thoughts.
Primarily, from my own childhood, Logan wrought up some s— I didn’t expect to get into the night I took the film in. Then residually, Logan also painted a reflection of every young girl and boy I’ve worked with throughout my lifetime who hasn’t had a father figure in their life… which are most the kids I’ve worked with. The unbridled rage, unapologetic pushing away of love, and remedy for heartbreak by usurping heartlessness were perfectly held in the hands of this film, and then placed at your feet. Whether you picked up these themes depended on your level of empathy with the subject.
Telling a story of forgiveness, fatherhood, and tragedy is a feat ultimately grazing the realms of Shakespeare. However, showing it… without telling, is an accomplishment James Mangold, director of Logan, has just now introduced into the Lexicon of comic films. Thank goodness for that.