X Things Parents Should Know About ‘Logan’

What is it about?

It’s been nearly 50 years since the events that took place in X-Men: Apocalypse. Between that time and the present, mutant births have drastically decreased, the X-Men as an organization no longer exists, and Logan is taking care of an ailing Professor Xavier. A young mutant shows up one day, on the run and with powers eerily similar to Logan’s.

Will I like it?

I just returned from the theater five minutes ago, wrote this question, and then stood staring at my screen for another five minutes. I think people are going to love it, hate it, or do both at the same time. Wolverine is my favorite comic book movie character full stop, so I went into this film with extremely high expectations. I wanted two full hours of the raw pain conveyed by the Johnny Cash–backed trailer. I also wanted two full hours of comic book Wolverine slashing, impaling, and decapitating his way across the continent. Finally, I wanted two full hours of “The Xavier and Logan Show,” full of sarcastic banter peppered with emotional growth and personal discovery while caring for Laura. Since the run time of Logan is just over two hours, I obviously didn’t get my wish. What I did get was a beautiful swan song for two amazing characters, a pretty good X-Men movie, and an introduction to a young actress born to play X-23.

Will my kids like it?

Do you allow your children to see rated R movies? If so, see above. If you’re letting your children watch a movie like Logan, hopefully they’re mature enough to come to the same conclusions an adult would. While younger viewers will likely associate more with Laura, and parents will empathize with Logan, there’s plenty of story here for everyone.

Does it deserve its R rating?

I’m never sure the best way to answer this question when it comes up. I could rail against the MPAA. I could tell you to go watch the documentary This Film Is Not Yet Rated. I could even have a good old-fashioned debate about exposing kids to violence/language/nudity and American Puritanism. That said, if you are going to have a rating system, Logan definitely falls at the opposite end of wherever Trolls resides. Unlike Deadpool, which is what everyone is going to compare it to, there is only one brief scene of nudity and zero sexual content. In truth, it’s more comparable to a much earlier rated R Marvel comic book movie that everyone seems to forget about: Blade.

Do I need to watch any or all of the eight other Wolverine / X-Men movies to understand Logan?

You don’t need to. While there are a few moments that are explanations of previous events, I would imagine the story flows just fine without understanding what they’re talking about. Bad people want to do bad things, and angry misanthrope discovers softer side. I’m not saying you’ll understand everything that happens without the background of the other movies, rather that even having the background will not necessarily make everything clear. In fact, even for this family of die-hard X-Men fans, on the ride home from the theater there was more than one utterance of, “Was I supposed to understand why X was happening? Did they cover that in one of the other movies?” Whether Fox leaves these plot points to wither on the vine like they have in the past, or uses them as jumping off points for future X-Men movies remains to be seen*.

When is the best time for a bathroom break?

You are never again going to see Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine or Patrick Stewart’s Professor Xavier on the big screen. Just go in your pants.

IMAX? 3D?

In a surprising move, Fox gave the big double-middle claw to 3D for the release of Logan. This means that you can actually enjoy watching it in gorgeous IMAX without the annoying glasses, headaches, lousy projector calibration, and all the other crap we’ve had to go through in the past to enjoy our favorite movies in IMAX because studios seemed to think nobody would pay for it if it were not also in 3D. I watched it in IMAX, but my guess is standard would be just fine as well.

Where does Logan fit in the insane, continuity-error-laden X-Men timeline?

I’m an enormous X-Men movie franchise fan, and as such, I’ve defended a lot of really, really bad decisions by Fox along the way (2009’s Deadpool, lightning toad, the entirety of Apocalypse, Brett Ratner). One of the biggest legitimate complaints is with continuity (Xavier’s death, Wolverine’s declawing, the ages of various characters, Brett Ratner’s career)**.

Do I need to sit through the end credits?

Not unless you just want to see who made the movie. No after-credit special features.

Will I want to watch it again?

Probably, but you can wait until Blu-Ray / DVD / Digital. Logan was more depth and substance than eye candy, so another theater viewing is not necessary.

Randy Slavey

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