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Logan

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***½

As I live and breathe, “the Wolverine”.

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Finding a quotation without lots of profanity was difficult. I am not sure why it is so pervasive here, but it certainly is. Maybe just to show this was not the same world, not at all the same world as the other X films. At least it is not thematically the same world. Instead of being meta and satisfying, as many reviewers have proposed, I just found it a bit confusing. It is still a good movie and a fitting swan song for Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine.

The only other thought I have is that this was not an adaptation of “Old Man Logan” as you may have read. The upcoming Thor movie with Thor facing the Hulk seems to have as much in common with that story as this did—at least that has villain Hulk fighting. Tying things up with the Hulk was a fitting idea since Wolverine’s first appearance was in Incredible Hulk #181. Last thought, it is funny to go online and read crybaby rightwingers who think this movie filmed before the 2016 election was an indictment of Trump and Republicans because future US is a corporate garbage state where people have fewer rights than corporations.

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X-Men: Days of Future Past

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****½

My Mom knew a man who could bend metal.

Evan Peters as Quicksilver, moving at speeds too quick to be seen by those poor guards. © Fox 2014, X-Men: Days of Future Past.

Evan Peters as Quicksilver, moving at speeds too quick to be seen by those poor guards. © Fox 2014, X-Men: Days of Future Past.

The story “Days of Future Past” comes from Uncanny X-Men 141 & 142. I knew that off the top of my head, although I could not find my trade paperback copy of those issues. When I bought that, during the second half of the 90’s, I could not have afforded classics like those. They would have been about 15 years old as these books were published in 1981. I bring up the year of publication because this is a time travel movie that combines two casts. The first cast comes from X-Men, and since it has been 14 years since that film, its Professor Charles Xavier, Magneto,Wolverine, Storm and Iceman—Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellan, Hugh Jackman, Halle Berry, Shawn Ashmore. But they are not the only X-Men who make it to this terrible future. From X2 Colossus—Daniel Cudmore—makes it. Kitty Pryde, aka Shadowcat—Ellen Page—makes it and plays an important role and she first appeared in X-Men: The Last Stand. She is the one who can help Wolverine project his consciousness back in time. Time travel may not be possible, but going back to your previous self with knowledge of the future can help you avoid it. With only a handful of X-Men alive (besides those 5, there is also Warpath, Bishop*, Blink**, and Sunspot) there is no overcoming the Sentinels with such a paltry force.

No that's not the Human Torch, that's Sunspot! He is trying to melt a Sentinel that can turn itself to ice or diamond quicker than Sunspot can burn through it. Adan Canto as Sunspot in X-Men Days of Future Past, © Fox 2014.

No that’s not the Human Torch, that’s Sunspot! He is trying to melt a Sentinel that can turn itself to ice or diamond quicker than Sunspot can burn through it. Adan Canto as Sunspot in X-Men Days of Future Past, © Fox 2014.

What are Sentinels? Oh, just giant mutant hunting robots engineered to defend the human race. Robots who, at least in this world, are created by Bolivar Trask—Peter Dinklage, whose attaché is none other than William Stryker—played by Josh Helman, this time. It turns out that Mystique has taken it upon herself to assassinate Trask, but that this leads to her capture and her DNA fueling the Sentinel program in a way that leads to adaptability that makes Sentinels almost impossible to kill. That cannot happen. It must not happen. So Professor X, Magneto, Wolverine and Beast must team up to stop/save her. Except for the wonderful Hugh Jackman, these four younger versions are once again portrayed by their X-Men: First Class actors—Jennifer Lawrence, James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender and Nicholas Hoult.

Wolverine, Beast and Magneto in a Paris hotel—Jackman, Hoult, Fassbender. © Fox & Marvel.

Wolverine, Beast and Magneto in a Paris hotel—Jackman, Hoult, Fassbender. © Fox & Marvel.

The highlights include, once again, any time that Magneto & Professor X talk to each other—for both sets of actors; Wolverine’s dry humor; Mystique choosing her own path despite the powerful personalities of Magneto and Professor X; Quicksilver—Evan Peters—breaking Magneto out of jail; and the question, can Wolverine be killed? Below is the Day’s of Future Past answer to that query.

Click the link below to see what happens next. Art by  John Byrne. © Marvel 1981.

Click the link below to see what happens next. Art by John Byrne. © Marvel 1981.

In addition to my review, here is a nice synopsis with a few pictures. And do not believe anyone who tells you that this movie is too complicated. I have only seen all six prior movies and read a couple hundred X-Books and I found it to be very straightforward.

*At first I felt it was wrong for Bishop, a character who first appeared almost 12 years later to exist in this movie, but when he does appear he tells the X-Men that he is from the same future as the Days of Future Past. So that makes sense.

** Blink, on the other hand, first appears in the Age of Apocalypse, so her appearance herein is less appropriate. Seeing at the next movie will be X-Men: Apocalypse, we might get to see her again.

The Wolverine

2 Comments

***½

Eternity can be a curse. The losses you have had to suffer… a man can run out of things to care for, lose his purpose.

Hugh Jackman, The Wolverine © 2013 20th Century Fox.

Hugh Jackman, The Wolverine © 2013 20th Century Fox.

This is a wonderful redemption from X-Men Origins: Wolverine. While the cast was decidedly non-American, it delivered in a way that Liev Schrieber did not. While the cast was short on familiar faces, the story has many familiar names.
1. Logan/Wolverine — Yay, he is back! But for some reason he cannot speak Japanese. I suppose that having him only speak English made it easier for the audience, and for Hugh Jackman, but I was a bit sad that he lacked that skill
2. Mariko — (one of) the love(s) of Logan’s life! It was good to see her show up, but they lacked the chemistry I expected from the comics. On the other hand, she is prim and Japanese.
3. Yukio — she is an adopted girl of Shingen Yashida in the movie, but formerly just worked for him as a ronin, kind of. I thought she was Logan’s adopted daughter, or actually his daughter but that she did not know he was her father. THERE ARE A LOT OF COMIC BOOK CHARACTERS AND I AM JUST ONE MAN! I did not even do that well on this Sporcle quiz. It turns out that Amiko is the character whom I mixed together with Yukio. Also, Yukio is not supposed to be a mutant.
4. Shingen Yashida — Mariko’s lame father. He does not try to kill Logan as quickly in the movie as he does in the comics. He is about equally deceptive though.
5. Silver Samurai — NOT THE SAME GUY. I do not know if the phrase Silver Samurai ever appears in the film, and if it did, it was during a funeral and not regarding a super suit of armor.
6. Harada — He plays Mariko’s childhood sweetheart, instead of her half-brother and mutant whose name appears above.
7. Jean Grey — No she is not back alive, but she is still wonderful. And played by the non-American Famke Janssen. She is Dutch.
8. Viper — Apparently she and Silver Samurai teamed up to try to kill Wolverine back in the same adventure that introduced the Yashidas to us. I thought of her as an Avengers villain, but that might be based on video games more than comic books. When she uses a claw I briefly thought she was a re-envisioned Lady Deathstrike.

Svetlana Khodchenkova as Viper, © 2012 Marvel Entertainment.

Svetlana Khodchenkova as Viper, © 2012 Marvel Entertainment.