Drink & Watch: Logan
One of my favorite movies of the last decade was Rambo (actually directed by Sly himself), not because it was a particularly lasting piece of cinema, but rather because Stallone went back to the dark roots of John Rambo as as troubled veteran, not the steroid-induced, cartoon version of an American killing machine that we typically associate him with in parts two and three. If you've never seen the original First Blood, it's a damn good movie and it has little to do with the cold war propaganda that followed it during the Reagan years. In Hugh Jackman's finale as X-Man Wolverine, he's taken the exact same track with Logan, a film by James Mangold that removes any of the comic book wizardry of the previous X-Men films and presents us with a similar template: a stark and depressing look at where guys like Logan (and Rambo) actually end up, rather than the romantic fairy tale we've come to expect.
I have to admit: I'm not a comic book fan, nor do really I enjoy comic book movies. I've watched the entire X-Men series, however, because in high school I would watch the X-Men cartoon with my best friend at the time on Saturday mornings when he slept over. He was a big fan, thus I paid attention and learned the ropes at Professor Xavier's school for the gifted. I didn't rush out out to see Logan upon its initial release and I didn't read anything about it. I figured I'd watch it once it hit HBO, which it finally did this month. It's for that reason that I was completely caught off guard last night, sitting on my couch, eating take-out alone, drinking beer and whiskey while my wife was out, watching this bleak and gut-wrenchingly bitter drama unfold before me. If you haven't seen Logan yet, don't read anything more about it. And do NOT bring your kids to see it. It is not for kids. It is not a summer blockbuster with a happy ending. It is one of the most brutally violent, depressing, and F-bomb-laden films of the year. While I enjoyed the hell out of it (for that reason), it was not at all what I expected and I found myself cracking beer after beer just trying to cope with it all. I did not sleep well and I'm still thinking about the repercussions this morning.
I won't say any more. But know that if you watch Logan you'll need something stronger than beer to get you through it. Despite all that, I can't recommend it highly enough. I might watch it again tonight, to be honest. It's the John Rambo of comic book movies.