In a time when Marvel continues to churn out the same superhero film time-and-time again ('Deadpool' and 'Guardians' aside due to their fresh take on the genre), it's refreshing when something as intricate and beautifully-executed as 'Logan' is made, and on the extremely rare occasion I have given a superhero film a "masterpiece" rating. I mean let's face it, that first trailer was a dead giveaway of how damn good it was going to be.
I understand that Marvel has made the attempt to build characters through a series of films previously, such as they have tried with the Avengers films, but never have I seen a film that treats character development as seriously, and pulls it off with such precision, as they did here in 'Logan', a film that focuses more on the "humane" aspect of the character and how vulnerable he is as a superhero, instead of the over-the-top execution that's usually featured ('X- Men Origins' I'm looking at you).
Two characters that we've come to know and love, James "Wolverine" Howlett (aka Logan) and Charles "Professor X" Xavier, are put to the test of time as we see them in their new state, once characters that resembled strength and power, are now withering and vulnerable. And the gut-punching, adrenaline-pumping action has been swapped out for slow-moving, emotional drama and character development. Does it work? You bet! From start to finish we are led on a journey of discovery and empathy, with James Mangold more than making up for his previous effort that is 'The Wolverine'.
I think it's the uncertainty throughout that gives the film that powerful punch. In the other X-Men films (and most other Marvel films for that), we are faced with a plethora of superheroes each fighting a seemingly impossible army, but no matter what, there is always a general feeling that the good guys will win, and this usually happens. So when attending a superhero film, you sit back in ease, knowing the protagonists will succeed, however in 'Logan' that never happens, there is never that sense of safety, we can't be certain of their outcomes. Every step of the way, Wolverine looks tired, he looks sick, he's dying gradually, and due to his weakened form, we are left worrying for the character, there is that emotional attachment that most other superhero films lack. This is the harrowing truth throughout, we are emotionally-concerned from start to finish.
With utterly stunning cinematography, a hard-hitting score, fantastic direction and a superhero performance that might just be the first Oscar-deserving one ever. Wolverine's outing makes for the best Marvel film to date, a gritty and emotional adventure into the vulnerability of superheroes.