Logan ★★★

On one hand, Logan is a an incredible, albeit stark, look at the future of America. A future in which the marginalized flee north, to Canada. A future in which corporations have more say than the common man, and the government brews up secret murder machines to keep the population in check.

On the other, the entire first act is a contrived mess. The entire opening feels unnecessary, and goes on for far too long. Just when it starts getting good, the audience is subjected to a massive exposition dump. The device through which this is delivered, by the way, doesn't make any sense.

In fact, there are quite a few parts of Logan that don't make much sense. The plot is contrived, and there are elements of character development that feel forced. I could say the same about the R-rating, in fact. Sure, the hyper-violence contributes to the portrait of America Logan is painting -

- but it's often also gratuitous, and overly so. Some people will be into that, I'm sure. As for me? I found it cringe-worthy and unnecessary. The same goes for some of the swearing. It's as if the writers saw that they could get an R-rating and went "Ooooh time to throw the word "fuck" in every chance we get!"

All that being said, the performances make the film worth it. Hugh Jackman and Patrick Stewart have never been better. Unlike many other aspects of the film, the excellence of their performances have not been over-exaggerated. Equally phenomenal is Dafne Keen's X-23, a character I'm pleased we finally got on screen, if nothing else.

I do get the sense that a lot of the hype surrounding this film comes from people really only holding onto the back half. And sure, there are some excellent character moments here. The ending is gut-wrenching, though it was nowhere near as impactful as the trio holing up on a farm with a family all too willing to lend a helping hand.

At the end of the day, I don't think Logan is a bad movie, by any means. But it makes too many missteps for me to come away calling it good, or even saying I really liked it. Perhaps a second viewing would do more for me, but I can't say I'm particularly interested in rushing out to see it again.