What's On? 09/03/17
Should I go and watch Logan? There are no easy answers, despite the strong reviews. The X-Men did nothing for me, though I do have a soft spot for the third in the series, when they're fighting on Alcatraz Island; Vinnie Jones being tricked by Ellen Page into running into a wall. But the others? The characters are too two-dimensional, neither the plot nor the villains engaging enough to compensate. And as I mentioned in my review of Dr Strange, the villain is crucial to superhero films.
Yet, if I have to watch a trashy action film this weekend, and I feel that I must, then Logan seems one level above Kong: Skull Island and The Great Wall. If I was on a 6-hour flight to somewhere, I would try to watch all three, probably in that order. If you're going to miss the end of a film as the airport comes into view, I think The Great Wall is a good one to do it with.
So we need to talk about Logan. I'm not a Hugh Jackman fan, hairy masculinity belongs in American wrestling. I saw the first Logan spin-off in a make-shift cinema in Senegal; they'd obviously downloaded a weird version where the SFX hadn't been laid down properly but I don't think it made much difference, it wasn't good, though the cinema itself was fun. The second Logan, I caught on TV and stopped watching after a while. And the X-Men franchise itself? It's got steadily worse is my impression from a distance, upended by the Avengers franchise and their sparkier characters (Downey Jr's Iron Man, Ruffalo's Hulk, Johansson's Black Widow = no contest). Perhaps X-Men lacks the lightness and the zesty dialogue you can build around the Avengers characters. The X-Men are just too earnest and melodramatic, a serious soap opera in lycra, the mutant issue giving each film a political tone simultaneously serious and silly.
But this third iteration of Logan is supposed to be different. Gritty, brutal, capturing the spirit of a graphic novel. This, in itself, seals the deal. And of Kong and The Great Wall? My air-travel days aren't over . . .