Logan: The True Value of Living
Published on October 22, 2017 by Paul Ciano
Wolverine’s core power is really his ability to endure pain, which is just as often emotional as physical.
To touch Wolverine’s soul is to understand bottomless sorrow, but time and time again, it’s that capacity for pain that gives us a second chance.
‐ Matthew Belinkie, Overthinking It Podcast
Doesn’t it wake you in the middle of the night, the feeling that some day they will pass that foolish law, or one just like it, and come for you, and your children?
It does, indeed.
What do you do, when you wake up to that?
I feel a great swell of pity for the poor soul who comes to that school, looking for trouble.
When they come out…does it hurt?
The X-Men movies always dabbled in the language and aesthetics of homophobia and racism, but rarely did they confront the roots of prejudice. The mutants died out because of the people who hated them, and now these same people – after poisoning their water, their drinks, the very food they consume – contort and twist the last of mutant blood to re-create them as they see fit: Passive. Controllable. A model minority.
Logan is not the dour film this setup would indicate. It is undoubtedly a film about lonely and morose people, and a violent one to boot, but it’s about the good these people do in their final days. More importantly, it’s about how they’re pushed to do it. How they find the things and people that make life worth living again, no matter how briefly, and it’s about reaching into the darkness of their pasts and finding a light worth sharing. It’s about the things that birthed us and made us who we are – the pain, the trauma, the unforgiving ugliness that we inflict on each other and on ourselves – but it’s also about where we go from there.
It’s about not becoming what they made you.
‐ Siddhant Adlakha, Birth. Movies. Death.
When are you gonna figure it out? We’re not like them.
I’m nothing like you.
Sure you are. You just don’t know it yet.
Perhaps an underlying reason why Wolverine is so angered by the X-Men comics in Logan is because it’s a painful reminder of how things used to be. Seeing himself and the X-Men in happier times, although their lives and adventures are embellished into “fiction,” is yet another scar that doesn’t heal for Logan. Because, even more than most, Wolverine is a man who needs family. His life is terrible without it, and without the X-Men.
‐ John Orquiola, Screen Rant
You are just a failed experiment. If you really knew about your past, what kind of person you were, the work we did together… People don’t change, Wolverine. You were an animal then. You’re an animal now. I just gave you claws.
Eternity can be a curse. It hasn’t been easy for you, living without time. The losses you have had to suffer. A man can run out of things to live for. Lose his purpose. Become a rōnin, a samurai without a master.
In Logan, it’s not the West that’s over — it’s America. The grimness of the film’s near future isn’t the self-parodic gritty variety of comic book adaptations stretching for heft. It’s resonant, all too reasonable, and earned. Its characters, the majority of whom are people of color, deal with a slow slide into apocalypse that has nothing to do with supervillains and their pillars of light and everything to do with the world getting systematically worse.
In Logan, nothing will set the universe aright, not all the fighting in the world. Its violence smarts not just because of how graphic and ugly it is, but because it feels like something inextricable from daily existence — something that can’t be left behind, no matter how much its characters would like to. Logan succeeds in something the genre it’s a part of has had little interest in — in making a capacity for violence feel like a loss its characters suffer. In doing so, it gives Wolverine something it seemed like he’d never get — a fitting ending.
‐ Alison Willmore, BuzzFeed
That story you told me, about the man who gets flowers for the moon…I had it backwards. I thought you were the moon and I was your wolverine. But you’re the trickster, aren’t you? I’m just the fool who got played. The worst part of it is, I should have known. But I ignored my instincts. I ignored what I really am. Well that will never happen again.
You poor, poor man. I don’t want your suffering. I don’t want your future!
You are a soldier, and you seek what all soldiers do.
And what’s that?
An honorable death. An end to your pain.
He has never told me of his childhood. To my knowledge, he has never told anyone. But it’s obvious there is great tragedy there. He is, in general, a very sad and tragic man. Yet one who loves life.
A man who is used to taking life and to having it taken from him knows better than anyone the true value of living.