Battle of the beasts — ‘Logan’ and ‘Kong’

By on March 15, 2017

“Logan” is a horrible movie. Now, know that this initial response comes from the kid inside me who in his pre-teen years had a life-sized cardboard standee of the adamantium-clawed X-Man in his bedroom. The reason why it’s so horrible …is the not-so-well hidden spoiler of the film.

Hugh Jackman is back as Wolverine in what he described as his last portrayal of the whiskey swilling, cigar chomping, Canadian, bad guy-slicer who is truly unique to the team of mutants known as the X-Men. In “Logan,” our hero is battle tired and beaten down; he’s now a limo driver.

The year is 2029 and the days of the mutants are seemingly behind the world. Wolverine, joined by Caliban (Stephen Merchant, “I Give It a Year”), are in hiding with a deteriorating Professor Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart). The crew winds up being the custodians of Laura, who is a genetically engineered little girl otherwise known as X-23. Like Wolverine, she is gifted with healing attributes and protracting blades of adamantium. She and a group of other kids have escaped the clutches of some poorly written bad guys in order to make it to a safe place in Canada. Caliban, Wolverine, and Professor X all die trying to get these new mutants to safety.

Like “Deadpool,” viewers do not need to be comic geeks to follow the story. Of course, a bit of knowledge of the mutant universe would be helpful, but it is not necessary at all. This tidbit makes “Logan” a masterful film, one that can stand alone from the Marvel franchise and engage anyone in front of the screen.

Director James Mangold (“Walk the Line” and “Girl, Interrupted”) must have felt the weight of a billion Wolvie fans breathing down his neck with anticipation and rose to the occasion. He’s done justice to the character who could always heal and killed off the hero in a respectful way; in the end, Laura lays down the cross marking his grave to form an X; it is heart wrenching, absolutely just, and almost unbearable.

Although this is the end of Wolverine, is it just a setup for a new round of Marvel superheroes? A New Mutants and a possible X-23 spin-off are circulating the rumor mills (but as of yet there is no registered work for the young Keen). Keen, whose only other work was a character on “The Refugees,” a one-season, Spanish, post-apocalyptic TV series, is amazing and gives all of us Wolverine fanatics hope for a snarky, no-BS future.

Skull Island, home of King Kong, is host to many largely-mutated creatures. The CGI effects seem to be well worth the price of admission.

Skull Island, home of King Kong, is host to many largely-mutated creatures. The CGI effects seem to be well worth the price of admission.

‘Kong: Skull Island’

I have to rely on the opinions of my youngest children for a review of “Kong: Skull Island.” The preliminary reports (and box office totals) are favorable.

Via Warner Bros. and Legendary Entertainment, the King Kong saga continues in 2017, and beyond, maybe. Our favorite giant primate is back as leader and protector of other giant animals and the native peoples living on the remote, uncharted land. Outside humans intervene (Samuel L. Jackson, et. al) and meet a grizzly fate.

“I really liked the huge ram things that live in the water,” said Halli U. of New Holland.

“My favorite part was when Kong fights a big monster thingy at the end,” said Teagan U. of New Holland.

Both kids recommend the movie.

“You should see it, but it is very scary,” said Teagan U. (age 7), who claims there is going to be a sequel featuring Godzilla.

Well, that would be awesome!

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