Sure to be clawing its way up the charts, we are achingly close to the release of #Logan on home-release, meaning that we can cage #HughJackman's final foray as #Wolverine for viewing over and over again.
Ahead of the release, and for the perfect reminder of what gives Logan its 92% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes, director #JamesMangold has released Logan Noir in cinemas and alongside the DVD and Blu-ray version — think of it as bottled essence of Johnny Cash.
Warning: obvious spoilers for Logan ahead
As one of the best #superhero films ever, isn't it a little bit Alanis Morissette that Logan isn't really a supes film at all? Mangold stripped away lycra, flying heroes, and OTT villain lairs for a good old trundle through the desert and a story with heart. That isn't to say there weren't some classic superhero elements in there, which included the tragic theme of sacrifice.
Obviously, the big question to ask is how you come to the bold decision to kill off Jackman's lead after 17 years in the role. The finale of Logan reportedly even caused alumni Patrick Stewart and Jackman to cry, while some call it the perfect ending. However, despite all the praise, it seems that someone rather important isn't 100% sure that the death of Wolverine was always the right road to go down.
Claws For Thought
Speaking after the first screening of Logan Noir, Wolverine himself indulged in a live stream Q&A to discuss that glorious swansong as Jackman said goodbye to his titular character. Controversially, the 48-year-old said that he had personally imagined a very different ending to the film, and one that was more in line with the film's spaghetti Western roots. He directly cited Clint Eastwood's 1992 performance in Unforgiven as his motive:
“['Unforgiven'] is more devastating for me. The fact that he just rides out of town, unforgiven and somehow damned in his heroism.”
Eastwood also directed the '90s romp, which focuses on an aged outlaw who gives up his life of farming for one more job. Also containing a character named Logan, Unforgiven saw our hero (Eastwood's Munny) remain unrewarded for his heroism — similar to our Logan saving the day.
Thankfully, Jackman put his trust in Mangold and we got the tear-inducing finale that we have come to love and #DafneKeen's X-23 turning Logan's cross into an "X" in honor of his #XMen days. There aren't many perfect endings to a film ,but boy is that up there.
Cry Me A River
However, put away your Kleenex, Mangold says there is no need to shed a tear for our fallen comrade. In a polarizing view of what we think we should feel seeing Logan six feet under, the director told CinemaBlend that it is actually a happy ending:
"Something gets born of every tragedy. In many ways, I look at the movie and I realize what a happy ending it is. At least from the perspective of Wolverine's character. I think, unlike anything you have seen in the previous seven or eight movies, he's happy in his final moments on this earth. He's happy."
Our clawed Canadian never seemed overly fond of kids, but the arrival of Keen as his "daughter," Laura Kinney, mirrored his relationship with Anna Paquin's Rogue from way back in 2000's X-Men. Looking at Wolverine's love for Kayla Silverfox and Jean Grey across the eight films, perhaps all he really wanted to do was settle down and start a family. While he may never have gotten that fairytale ending, finding Kinney was a brief glimpse of it before his death.
If you remember back to the farmhouse dinner scene with the Munson family, Xavier, Kinney, and Logan all played happy families in a heartwarming respite from the claws and gores. Speaking of which, Mangold continued:
"He feels somehow satisfied, and I think that's something very few of us might be able to say in our parting glances from this world. That we suddenly taste and know everything and feel like we got to experience everything. And I think in some way, and Hugh's performance is really transcendent there, he communicates that and leaves us more moved than bereft."
As Logan led the ragtag gang of Dr. Xander Rice's experiments to safety and lay his own life on the line, it was a beautiful representation of the reformed outlaw doing "one last job." As both a closure to Jackman's time as Wolverine and to the whole character arc in general. You would be hard pushed to not have felt some sort of emotion as Logan wound up its runtime.
Whether we see more of Kinney, a recasting of James Howlett, or let sleeping dogs lie, at least we can look back at Mangold's film as a brilliant piece of cinema.
Check out the atmospheric Logan Noir trailer and don't forget our poll below!