James Mangold, Logan and Why Marvel Just Isn’t Doing it For Me Anymore.

Logan changed the superhero movie genre for me in a way that I have not been able to really articulate since walking out of the theater in March of last year; I was honestly stunned in to silence for a good part of the way home. Not because I was shocked, but because I had been so engrossed by the film that I had to go over it a few times in my head to essentially get out of it.

I had been so sure of the kind of movie I was going in to, I mean Mangold also directed “The Wolverine” which happens to be the only other Wolverine standalone that’s worth a damn. But Logan was not The Wolverine, not even fucking close. I had seen the trailer, I had read the least spoiler filled review I could (I was still spoiled) but literally nothing prepared me.

It was genre bending, gut wrenching and most importantly there were consequences. And that was really the whole core of the movie, that our actions have consequences and we can not take back the things that we do.

I can’t say this movie was the beginning of the end of my love affair with Superhero films, that started with The Avengers: Age of Ultron, but I can say that Logan was the definitive end of my enthusiasm. The difference however is that A:AoU made me hate what they’d become, Logan made me regret what they’d never be.

Iron Man came out in May of 2008, a little over ten years ago and that started this whole Marvel experiment. This of course egged on DC which, I mean let’s be honest, Wonder Woman was great but DC is a mess and with the people they have in charge will never and I mean never achieve the same success that Marvel has with it’s cinematic universe. And looking back yeah those older movies aren’t exactly gold either, but they had a little bit more punk rock to them, if that makes any sense.

Because look, Marvel wasn’t sure it was even gonna work! And they knew that instead of attempting to polish a turd, they thought “let’s just throw the turd out and see how many flies we can attract”. We were the flies and that turd was all ready turning gold as they threw it (Oh yeah, it was). The problem, I think, is they kept polishing it, kept polishing it and kept polishing it and now I’m kinda missing the smell and they have a perfect gold ball they forgot was a turd in the first place.

Now I’m not saying Iron Man, CA: The First Avenger and all those other early movies were shit, what I’m saying is that there was a certain urgency to them, a certain grittiness that the later films only manage to imitate.

And that’s what it feels like; it’s a formula and because they’re afraid to lose money and because they’ve forced these actors in to Disney torture contracts we can expect at least the next slew of Marvel films to be exactly the same as the last slew of Marvel films and for there to still be no consequences for anyone’s actions.

And before you say “But Jess haven’t you seen Infinity War? So many people died!” No I haven’t seen Infinity War and thanks for spoiling it for me asshole. We all know DAMN WELL that the next movie will bring at least half or more of the people back. I mean for god sake Black Panther 2 and Spiderman 2 had all ready been confirmed BEFORE Infinity War came out! Talk about ruining your emotional fucking impact; and I guess for some of you thats interesting but for me it’s cheap and incredibly lazy. Had I not been spoiled and seen the movie when everyone else had I might have felt differently but I really don’t think so, I honestly feel like I would have been just as angry then as I am now.

I remember asking mi esposo every day until Logan came out on bluray (May 23rd, 2017) “it’s coming out soon right?” Because I needed to see it again. I didn’t have the money to go to the theater a bunch of times like I wanted to, but I could wait a few months for the DVD. Normally I can’t stand to watch the same film in the same week, but it never got that way with Logan.

I recently went through and watched three of the most recent Marvel films that I didn’t catch in the theater:  Dr. Strange, Spiderman and Black Panther and found myself unattached for most of them. Though I graded Spiderman at an A, the movie itself was still typical Marvel fare. Even when Tony is like “You’re not responsible enough!” and takes the suit Peter is like “I’m going to do it anyway!”

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Not likely Secretary Ross

But Peter still manages to pull it off, then Tony tries to make him an Avenger- Peter thankfully does the right thing and goes back to school.

Nobody learns anything and just when you think they do (Iron Man 3) a new movie comes out to show you that no, in fact they haven’t learned a damn thing (CA: Civil War, Infinity War, etc). Now it’s not fair to say there are NO ramifications because that would be a lie, but they’re all short lived.

In Logan every X-Film is canon and every mutant has been wiped out, destroyed by the decisions of just one man (Whose idea is the same as the Weapon X program and the same as Ajax and his crew in Deadpool). The longer the movie goes the more you see just how long reaching the decisions of these people were.

And I guess it’s not fair to compare the WHOLE of the MCU to one single XMEN film, but when you put it in to perspective there isn’t one regular Marvel film you can even do that to. For example, you can’t point at Thor and say “That, that is the film that defines the MCU” because it isn’t. And it’s not just because there are so many, but because there are so many that are so sub-par and so many that conflict with so many others that again, it just isn’t fair.

There is a scene in Logan where he goes in to see Charles for the first time in a while and Charles is rolling around a giant, silo I guess, and is quoting commercials. At first it’s kinda funny but as the scene goes on you’re now pulled in to the whole reason they’re where they are in the first place, Charles has a degenerative brain disease and Logan is the only XMEN left.

It’s heartbreaking to watch two men who have spent their whole lives being strong just beaten down and sickly and it’s because they’re having to not only live with the decisions THEY made but the ones made by others.

Anyway, I have a lot more to say about this but it has taken me almost 3 days to write it and I’d like to move on to other subjects. I’ll come back to it when I get one of those “And another thing!” moments.

-Jess