Logan, based on Mark Millar’s Old Man Logan series, is set to be the final solo Wolverine film, after X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009) and The Wolverine (2013). Directed by James Mangold, it stars (who else?) Hugh Jackman as the eponymous character.
Now, Wolverine has always viewed his power – and his subsequent immortality – as a curse. It has not only indirectly caused him many painful incidents, but has also forced him to live on with harrowing memories. In the trailer, however, Wolverine’s scars show us that his healing abilities are fading, and him grappling with this loss of power will undoubtedly become a point of emotional leverage in the film. We also see Professor X (Patrick Stewart), the reliable de factor leader of the X-Men, looking frailer than we’ve ever seen him before; as well as the first appearance of who seems to be X-23 (Dafne Keen), a young mutant who has the same powers as Wolverine, being cloned from his DNA.
The trailer deviates in its tone from the usual fare one might expect from superhero flicks, suggesting a story with more emotional nuances than its predecessors have had. Instead of booming bass horns or a grand orchestral accompaniment, the first few scenes open with the strains of ‘Hurt’ as sung by Johnny Cash, showing the titular character in isolation – standing in a desolate landscape, at a cemetery, in front of a mirror. The song carries on all the way throughout the entire duration of the trailer, the final chorus lending a sense of gravitas to the climax of the trailer. Of course, the montage of fight scenes assures us that the core components – action, suspense, and violence – of the Wolverine films are still very much there.
The ending shot of X-23 holding on to Wolverine’s hand however, brings the focus back to the characters, creating a scene that has led many commenters to point out its reminiscence to The Last of Us. It is also perhaps telling that the title of the film refers quite simply to the real name of the mutant, rather than the superhero alias viewers may be more familiar with.
Jackman, who has arguably made the character with his acting abilities and ‘tough guy’ vibe, is poised to give us his most solemn and emotionally affecting performance as Wolverine, if the trailer is anything to go by. Logan may finally be the Wolverine movie to achieve the critical acclaim the previous two failed to, promising to explore the human (or should I say mutant?) condition in the way that all the best X-Men films do.
Logan will be released in theatres on March 3, 2017.
Yee Heng Yeh
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