It took the hard R-rated Deadpool obliterating all box office expectations for Fox to roll the dice and remove Wolverine’s leash in Logan. Easily the best Wolverine movie put to film yet is the result, though Hugh Jackman’s last turn as the iconic and most recognizable X-Men member cannot escape one unfortunate superhero trope.
Logan is set in the year 2029, well beyond the scope of every X-Men film before it save for portions of X-Men: Days of Future Past that were ultimately erased from the cinematic timeline. The X-Men and almost all mutants are long gone leaving an aging Logan to care for an ailing Professor X, the one man who believed in him when others wouldn’t.
Jackman and Patrick are simply sublime while tackling this riveting role reversal. Always the outspoken loner, Logan is willing to do virtually anything to ensure the safety and comfort of his increasingly stubborn and crabby former leader. Charles, meanwhile, still has enough sense left in his scrambled, dangerously powerful brain to understand when an opportunity arises, you grab it and don’t let go.
Enter Laura (Dafne Keen), a presumably mute and mysterious girl thrust into Logan’s care completely against his will. Keen kills it as a pint-sized version of Logan himself whose eyes tell a complete story without muttering a single word.
Writer/director James Mangold aims for a gritty atmosphere in his anti-superhero flick, devoid of the CGI polish found in just about every other genre film that hits the market. Regular vulgarity and excessive violence brought on by the R-rating aside, Mangold also aspires to unsettle viewers with the types of undeserved deaths that usually only happen in horror films or violent crime thrillers.
By the time Logan rolls around to its finale there’s little left in either Logan’s tank or the story. Faceless foes fill the screen for Wolverine, in his grand finale, to chop up and send to an early grave. This wonderless conclusion is atoned for when the violence stops and wonderful character moments gently guide Jackman to his curtain call.
The Logan 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray release from Fox is befitting its namesake. This monster packs four total discs, each with a different edition of the film on it. There’s the 4K Ultra HD theatrical version, the 4K black-and-white version, the 1080p theatrical version, and the 1080p black-and-white version.
Crack a smile 4K UHD adopters because both the 4K Logan color and Logan Noir black-and-white versions are notably visually more impressive than the Blu-ray versions. Mangold’s pseudo-apocalyptic color palette shines in color and black depth, while detail in the black-and-white edition raises the bar even higher.
Logan strikes a fine balance between action and dialogue, and so does the Dolby Atmos mix on 4K. Jackman’s gruff voice or Stewart’s under spoken concern are never hard to hear, while the action blows upon the sound field while bullet sounds slowly ricochet around.
On paper the Logan bonus features included on the Blu-ray Disc are underwhelming. In practice they’re quite fulfilling including a James Mangold feature-length commentary on all four versions. The deleted scenes aren’t obvious duds, and the hour-plus long documentary satisfies from beginning to end.
- Audio commentary by Director James Mangold
- Deleted scenes with optional audio commentary by James Mangold (Blu-ray only)
- Making Logan – 6-part behind-the-scenes documentary
Hugh Jackman and Patrick Stewart have been the face of the X-Men franchise since day one. For them to come together and subvert everything we think we know about Wolverine and Professor X makes for an endearing sendoff amidst the bloody mayhem.
There’s little-to-know fault in the pristine 4K presentation so unless you’re adverse to violence, blood and copious cursing, Logan is one of the format’s best to date.
The Logan 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray combo pack arrives in stores on May 23rd, 2017.
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