This movie has already garnered a lot of attention and has been called many things, including, aptly, ‘No Country for Old X Men’. And this is indeed a movie about old X men, in particular Charles Xavier the leader of the band of X men, and Wolverine, known as Logan in this film. It is unlike any other Marvel movie ever in many ways. It is a serious drama, and Stephen Colbert says its the only Marvel flick that ever made him cry. It’s also an R rated film due to the violence and rightly so. This is no film for children, nor is it a popcorn entertainment summer movie kind of film. The script for this film written by the director, James Mangold and others, is very timely, if one substitutes the hunting down of immigrants for the hunting down of mutants seeking to cross the Canadian border in this film.
This dystopian film comes across a bit like the Book of Eli, the last Mad Max movie, and a bit like an old Western. Indeed, it includes an important clip from Shane in the middle, which is a key to unlocking some of the meaning of the tale. The acting is superb, both Patrick Stewart and Hugh Jackman are excellent, and both have publicly said they will not be playing these characters again. It’s too bad as they play them well. The movie is a bit too long and definitely too violent if it was meant to be family entertainment. It drags in the last third of the 2 hours and fifteen minutes. But its strengths outweigh it’s weaknesses. The movie is important because sadly life is now imitating art in regard to the hunting down of people in our country.
Without spoiling the plot or its conclusion a few themes are worth noting: 1) the mad scientist in this film learns that when human beings are created, they are not soulless. They cannot simply be programmed into being killing machines; 2) as Logan’s own tale makes clear, there is a severe, severe cost to one’s own psyche for doing violence against others; 3) children deserves to be protected from the mayhem of this world, not used as weapons of war. And there is much more. This movie shows Marvel films branching out into serious drama, and if this keeps up, there may be some surprising Oscar nominations down the road for Marvel films.