Something is happening in Hollywood. It’s been a slow change, but I’m so grateful for what I’m seeing. Studios are starting to take chances on smaller independent filmmakers taking on large blockbuster films. Rogue One, Skull Island, Jurassic World… These directors come from a world where the budget is so small that it’s vital that the script, the story, and the characters come first because there’s no money for flashy effects to distract you. They bring these sensibilities with them to these larger studio films and all of a sudden we are given films that are massive on scale but that actually WORK because they’ve taken the time develop characters and relationships!
Now, true, James Mangold has been working for a long time in the studio system… but he is someone who has let his foundation of being a storyteller first really guide him in making these larger studio films. What makes Logan work so well is that Mangold takes the time to really develop the emotion that these characters go through and he only uses large action sequences to further their journey- what a thought!
Logan may be one of the best “superhero” films made because it really does come off as a smaller independent film that focuses on the relationships between these three main characters. That being said, Mangold never lets character development or relationships slow down the pacing at any point. The action sequences, when they do occur, leave you breathless.
I will go as far as to say that Hugh Jackson gives the performance of his career in this film. Logan is a character that made Jackman’s career and he’s had almost two decades to perfect the role. In this film he’s given the ultimate opportunity to display his acting abilities in the role- and he takes full advantage of the situation. His performance is so raw and engrossing which is so powerful from a character that for the past 17 years has remained a closed shell that wouldn’t let anybody in. If it weren’t for awards bodies bias against “superhero” films and the fact that this movie is being released in March, I’d say Hugh Jackman could figure into an awards race with his work here.
I’d be remiss if I failed to mention the other two main players in this film that help provide the heart and soul: Sir Patrick Stewart’s brilliant Charles Xavier and breakout star of the film, Dafne Keen’s Laura. Stewart will always be continuously brilliant in everything. But can we talk about for one second that a YOUNG FEMALE LATINO ACTRESS was able to hold her own opposite two huge stars who have been playing these characters for almost two decades AND that a major studio film had a YOUNG FEMALE LATINO ACTRESS play the lead in a superhero film!!!!!! Hallelujah!
I could continue to rave about this film forever but I don’t want to give away any spoilers for people who haven’t seen it yet! I will just say that 2017 has started out very strong from both independent and major studio films. The fact that Logan and Get Out are the top two films at the box office currently is a very good sign for Hollywood. Original and creative storytelling pays off! If this is a sign for how the rest of the year is gonna be, I freaking cannot wait!
Awards Potential: (It’s early and these are longshots but…) Best Actor, Best Sound Mixing/ Editing, Best Cinematography