And yes, that’s obviously a good thing.
At this point in time, I am firmly off of the main X-Men series train. In my opinion said train derailed big time after X-Men: Apocalypse, and it will take one hell of a repair to get me back on board. That said, not all is lost when it comes to the franchise overall — Deadpool was pretty great, and a sequel for that is currently in development. And the main stalwart of the franchise, Wolverine himself, is surprisingly on the upswing.
Despite kicking off with perhaps the worst superhero film ever made (never forget X-Men: Origins Wolverine), the standalone Wolverine franchise had a legitimately great film with The Wolverine, released back in 2013. That was a surprise success that no one really thought would be as good as it was, and it speaks to the talent of director James Mangold as a blockbuster helmer more than anything else. Said director is once again teaming up with Hugh Jackman to finish off the trilogy (and Jackman’s run of the Wolverine character overall) with Logan, and if the first trailer is any indication, this finale is going to be a pretty wild one.
Like I said, I actually really like James Mangold as a director, and it seems like Fox is giving him a lot of free reign when it comes to Logan. That method probably makes a lot of sense post-Deadpool, and from the likes of this trailer, this film is going to be just as oft-kilter for the genre as that one was — if not more so.
Because if you showed me this trailer in a vacuum with no previous knowledge of the franchise, I would have never guessed this was a comic book superhero movie. It definitely looks like a different beast altogether, a weird mix of sci-fi post-apocalypse and Western genre storytelling. Set PERFECTLY to Johnny Cash’s cover of “Hurt,” the trailer instantly sets itself up as something fascinating, even before Logan whips out his signature claws to stab dudes in the head.
And when he does, it’s pretty telling how restrained the trailer still feels. There’s no montage of badass action scenes here, no really cool clip in which Wolverine gets his very own superhero moment. I’m sure there will be at least a few of them in the film itself, but that’s far from the focus of the trailer. And for a series that gave us this piece of cheese, what an evolution.
And that evolution is the most impressive part of the trailer: because we’ve spent nearly two decades watching the adventures of Wolverine and Professor X, to see them in this state is truly quite disheartening. Logan does not seem like it will mess around in giving us a “dark” superhero story, and though that can be overused to an extreme nowadays (here’s looking at you, DC Cinematic Universe), it looks to be the right tempo for this film. And as I said earlier on Twitter, it basically seems to be doing a sorta take on The Last of Us, with Jackman’s grizzled Wolverine tasked with caring for one of the few remaining mutants (and his potential clone) X-23. That’s a well worn idea, but throwing Wolverine on top of it makes it super fascinating. And with this once again being Jackman’s last stab at the role (HA!), probably something oozing with tragic potential.
I knew from the moment Mangold started talking about the story and confirmed the film’s R-rating, we would be in store for a different type of X-Men movie. But even I couldn’t predict that Fox would let them pull off something like what’s illustrated in this trailer. I can only hope that the tone is indicative of the film itself, and isn’t just smoke and mirrors. Because if Logan is as strange and unique as this trailer indicates, we might be in for something special come March 3, 2017.