The big question that comes up with James Mangold‘s upcoming Logan is the one that comes up about every superhero movie that boasts a grimmer perspective: Is this the one that’s going to be great? To me, there may be only three truly great movies to come out of the main Marvel/DC slate – Batman (1989), Batman Returns, and Iron Man 3 – all of which have a consistent sense of perceptible personality outside of their admirably character-driven scripts. As much as I am a fan of the source material, the X-Men series has produced two entertaining but familiarly thin movies (Bryan Singer‘s first two films), one solid spin-off (The Wolverine), a trio of mediocrities (First Class, Days of Future Past, and Apocalypse), and two catastrophes (X-Men: The Last Stand & X-Men Origins: Wolverine).
Still, I was one of those people who felt the hairs on the back of my neck stand right up while watching the trailer for Logan, though I suspect the use of Johnny Cash‘s immortal cover of “Hurt” has a lot to do with that. The film’s director, James Mangold, has made plenty of enjoyable movies but has rarely stepped into the realm of the R rating as he is with Logan. It might bring out a more visceral stylist in him, even if the main reason seems to be to get some blood and stakes in a superhero movie. Indeed, as much as I am excited for Logan, part of me worries that simply because the film is darker than most superhero films, it will be praised simply for that. A similar issue plagued the reception to Rogue One.
And yet, we don’t really know what Logan, which looks to be very, very loosely adapted from the Old Man Logan series, is about quite yet, beyond the character list and the trailer. Today, Wolverine himself Hugh Jackman also tweeted out an image with the film’s official synopsis, which you can take a look at below, that doesn’t really seem to give us much more direction as to what to expect from Mangold’s film. As so many people have pointed out, there’s a bit of a plague in Hollywood that requires trailers to explain out a film’s entire three-act structure. The most egregious example would be Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, but it’s even true of Logan, to an extent. Nevertheless, there’s still an essential air of mystery to Logan that comes from the R rating: Just how much violence are we going to be getting out of this one exactly? Is berserker mode a possibility? The movie hits theaters on March 3rd and I hope I don’t know the answers to those questions beforehand.
Here’s the tweet from Jackman:
— Hugh Jackman (@RealHughJackman) January 13, 2017