Logan 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Review
Watching LOGAN feels like watching a ballerina fall; the strongest hero that dominated your childhood comic books and even early comic book movies is reduced to limping, coughing and staggering his way through a two hour film. On one hand, it’s almost hard to watch because Wolverine is such a beloved character, but on the other hand, it’s very refreshing to see such an original take on the superhero genre. The film is not without its problems, but for the most part, it offers a unique and original take on a genre that has become so stale.
Hugh Jackman returns as Logan/Wolverine, but set in the year 2029. It seems something has killed off all the mutants and Logan lives a quiet life south of the border, secluded from the rest of the world while he takes care of an ageing Professor X (Stewart) and Caliban (Stephen Merchant). While trying to save up to buy a boat, he’s confronted by a frantic woman seeking help for a little girl named Laura (Keen) that has special abilities. Reluctant at first, Logan agrees to take her to North Dakota, where she believes she’ll be safe. Unfortunately, Pierce (Boyd Holbrook) and his army are eager to capture Laura and stop them from getting to their destination.
Easily, the highlight of the film is Daphne Keen as X-23/Laura. It’s really, really hard for kids to come off as believably tough, but Keen instantly convinces the audience that she could easily slice your head off without blinking. Part of that is the R-rating and excess blood, but a lot of it is the performance of Keen. Watching her and Logan team up to take on the bad guys with unapologetic, violent energy was a blast. I’m not convinced a movie focused on her character would work, but Fox would be wise to find a way to include her in future films.
If there’s a problem with LOGAN, it’s that the character evolution of Logan sort of mimics the character’s evolution throughout the entire X-Men and Wolverine series of films. He starts out grumpy and unwilling to help, then develops an emotional connection, but then has to go crazy to protect them. So as a standalone film, it kind of works to depict that development, but as a film within the series, it feels like a retread, at least in terms of character development. For a film that actually gives us something new, it’s disappointing that they fall back on old clichés for the Logan/Wolverine character.
There’s also the issue of how we got here. This is another question of “is this a standalone film or is this part of the greater Fox/Marvel Universe?” So if this is truly a standalone film and all other films before this should be ignored, then it’s fine to gloss over the death of all of our favorite mutants because the focus is on Logan and Laura. But if we’re supposed to add this into the other films, then there’s a glaring issue that every mutant we’ve ever met has died. We deserved to know a little more or at least get a sad monologue from Logan or Professor X telling the story.
Hugh Jackman has professed that LOGAN is his swan song and that he’ll never put on the claws again, but I don’t believe it for a second. He’ll be back, whether it’s in another X-Men cameo or teaming up with Deadpool. But if LOGAN does go down as his final performance as Wolverine, then he should be happy that a treasured comic book storyline was given justice on the big screen. LOGAN is not a perfect film, but it’s a shot in the arm the comic book genre needed and perhaps a blueprint for a way for other A-list actors to leave their superhero characters behind.
LOGAN Noir: The black and white version of the film is included in both 4K and Blu-ray in this set, which is awesome for anyone interested in the noir version. Personally, black and white versions of films are not my thing. I couldn’t get into it with MAD MAX: FURY ROAD and I can’t get into it here.
4K ULTRA HD BLU-RAY REVIEW
Video: LOGAN looks pretty great on 4K, so say what you will about how well Fox handles their Marvel properties; they do a great job with their new Marvel 4K titles. LOGAN has some of the best cinematography I’ve seen in a superhero movie and the 4K transfer does it justice with the added detail and color definition giving the entire film a “pop” that’s missed on the Blu-ray. The entire final battle had almost a 3D like effect thanks to the added detail in the forest setting. Logan looked old in every closeup on the Blu-ray, but on the 4K, he looks even older and it may sound silly, but the added detail in his makeup made him seem even more sad and depressing.
Audio: The Dolby Atmos track was a nice treat and a noticeable upgrade over the Blu-ray’s DTS track. Between the great transfer and this great audio track, this LOGAN 4K disc is very impressive.
This title was reviewed using a Samsung UBD-K8500 with a Sony XBR75X850C TV.
The 4K UHD does not contain any exclusive features, but it does come with the Blu-ray, which includes the following special features:
Commentary with James Mangold: Mangold gives a great commentary and it’s clear he’s passionate about the film and the character. He focuses a lot on why he wanted to tell the Old Man Logan story and how that influenced the film. I would have liked to hear Hugh Jackman talk about the film, but Mangold gives a fine commentary.
Deleted Scenes (7:44): You can watch these with or without commentary from James Mangold. It feels like these were cut for pacing issues and there’s nothing new in this batch.
Making Logan (1:16:05): This is a really nice collection of featurettes that cover everything you wanted to know about the film, from concept, to comics, to casting to marketing.