Do you know the thing about making a review about a film (in this case, films) after watching it in a while? You forget a lot of details and you still need a refresh and watch it again before actually facing the glaring cursor. For these two though, even in the midst of two or three weeks in between of me writing this review, with work, life, and graduating stuff to deal with… I can still replay my favorite scenes in these films. They’re just that good! And I thought great films don’t come until the second quarter! It’s actually a nice coincidence; having to watch two of my favorite kind of flicks a week apart.
After winning a competition, I decided to watch John Wick: Chapter 2 and the film proved to be bloodier and bolder than the previous one. And the following week, Logan came out and I knew I just had to watch it… because… it’s Van Helsing! Haha. Truth be told, I went in on John Wick: Chapter 2 expecting a lot because the first movie of the series had me wanting more and they certainly did not disappoint! I walked out of JW dizzy and amazed at the bloodshed and the grace in the film. On the other hand, I walked in on Logan with just the implications of the poster, the thrill of seeing Hugh Jackman again, and the trailer! Seriously?! Who was not moved by John Cash’s Hurt? Logan, in a lot of ways, exceeded my expectations. But… that’s primarily because I do not read the comics and my expectations are virtually nonexistent to begin with.
So, first up. John Wick: Chapter 2. The film takes place immediately after the ending of the first. John is still struggling with “retiring’ and the very first few minutes get your heart racing the very minute it starts. John had already avenged his dog and is now set on getting his stolen car back. The action sequence that followed had a very Mad Max feel to it: long takes and a really heart-racing fight. Abram Tarasov; sitting in his chair, and listening at the sound of his henchmen being killed one by one. The chill of knowing the Boogeyman is minutes away from reaching your door. I remember thinking how messy and close to reality the choreography looked at the beginning of the movie. The thought soon changed, as the movie progressed. For me, the entire appeal of the film was centered on its beautifully choreographed action scenes. After all, it’s Keanu Reeves.
The opening was great, and the next scenes that followed proved to be a very great explanation for the viewers; taking us all in deeper into the world of assassins – the world Wick wants so desperately to be no longer a part of. But seeing as he is bad at “retiring”, he is once again confronted with another dilemma. Having to adhere to a blood oath which then led to him having to deal with two more threats; a mute enforcer and the bodyguard of the person he was assigned to kill.
I especially loved the metaphor surrounding the film. The great assassin wears an all black suit, clearly stating his preference for the well-refined accessories. When he visits The Sommelier for his weapons, I just… I couldn’t help but smile at the metaphor surrounding the scene. The joy of even thinking of knives as dessert and guns as the main courses is just too cool and fancy for a fan of the genre. Imagine a man, dressed in an all-black expensive suit and killing people in the same grace and refinement like a cook cutting, chopping ingredients – cooking in the kitchen. Graceful, huh?
The film was well lit, too! Is Keanu a vampire or something? He seems to never age! Or is that a trick of the colours? The dry wit and humour at unexpected times gives the film some kind of fun in it too. Ruby Rose (the mute enforcer) was really fun to watch despite not saying a single word the entire film and Common (bodyguard, Cassian) surprisingly had very good fight scenes with Keanu. Ruby’s calm and yet taunting demeanour was very much different to Common’s openly glaring and brutal way of hunting. The homage they paid tribute to (the pencil trick) was even better! The gore, the action, the drama, Keanu, The Matrix stars once again on the same screen, graceful finesse and artful fight scenes; the film was a paradise for those up for the challenge of having their heartbeats rise for two whole hours! A film for an actor is what it is. But the fans enjoyed it, nonetheless.
Logan. Another X film. Marvel movie. Superhero film. Hugh Jackman. But, hey! It’s Wolverine! So… I watched. I never did enjoy their timeline of X-Men after that much after Days of Future Past. I watched them because they seemed interesting after X-Men 2 and I am all for wolves, really. LoL. That makes for little bearing so let’s continue. The film did not shy away from the fact that:
- This is going to be a gritty film (See trailer as explained).
- It is not a film for kids. R-17 and they let you know immediately.
- The characters in the film you want to be on the frontlines? They’re old! Dying!
- That… is how you end a film! BAM!
There may be a lot more to add to the table but those three appear in the first half so that’s all you’re going to get if by some weird and funny mishap you haven’t seen the film. Logan, or Wolverine as we have all come to know him, is now old and still alive in the year 2029 in a very post-mutant generation and time. Kinda sad and disheartening to see the well-loved superhero being a limo driver and basically done with life. The scenes focusing on loneliness and giving up on life is lot harder to take in because I’m sure fans have invested a lot in the character of Wolverine.
There is no denying that Wolverine, despite being the rowdiest and the most hot-headed member of Charles Xavier’s children, he sure does love his mentor. Personally, seeing both of them is enough – even if only for the old and dying superheroes that they are; delivering stellar performances and Patrick Stewart just being his funny being that he is. The film was gritty. For some, maybe not gritty enough but it was … gritty. The refreshing feeling of seeing a superhero film with no “superhero” in it is a really great one. There was one scene where Logan voiced out my point exactly! A film for almost every genre – action, sci-fi, drama, comedy; this was one for the feels I tell you. I honestly cursed in the middle of the film when “spoiler alert!” Charles died … again! And dude… no, I did not curse because he died a painful death and at such a predictable manner at that. (Seriously, you expect me to not know the outcome of a shadow lingering and no face is seen?! I knew that was a clone immediately!) No. I cursed at what happened after. When Logan cried out to Charles and went into the room … seeing him dying.
It wasn’t me… It wasn’t me… It wasn’t me…
Dude! I flatout cursed like a sailor then! I am a drama queen but I rarely voice it out when in the cinema, I content myself with clutching the seat and/or the cup of juice I might have with me. But that scene hit the nail on the head! That was it for me – the very chilly moment. Up until Logan buried him and he found out there really were young mutants and that his child can talk and when he finally realized he had to save the youngsters some way that he can. The film was not an action film – not entirely, that is. But X-23, Laura, delivered greatly. She reminded me of Scarlett’s Black Widow (and a teeny tiny bit of a certain move in John Wick) the way she locks her legs on an opponent. The film was brutal, gritty, hits you right on the feels for the most part and it does not need a lot explaining. Trust me… the last Marvel movie I watched was Dr. Strange and if you’ve seen the film, it is ¾ parts explaining… ¼ parts the awesomeness of the cloak! Anyway, the film, Logan, as I will later come to find out, other than being based on the comics of course (duh!) has some basis as to why the fans, especially the hard core fans wanted a lot more drama. Based on the comics, Old Man Logan, it centers on the man that is – Logan. We do not see Wolverine’s struggles but the struggles of the man behind the claws. The ending was a lot different too. As explained to me by a newfound friend, ‘oneofakind’. He told me that, apparently, he did not find the film as gritty as he’d expected because Logan’s death was even grittier in the comics. He died and became an adamantium statue. Now, isn’t that interesting? So… I searched it myself. The circumstances were different too. He died while looking at the sunset smiling as he slowly turned into the poisonous metal inside his body (my kind of drama indeed) but meh. I can’t complain. The eulogy that Laura delivered after burying his father had me crying! Literally! Like… uh… two tears. LoL. The eulogy she delivered was so fitting and I just had to do a slow clap to Mangold and his team up until the moment Laura finished her speech. Cowboys, huh. Who knew? After all, they started the film with Texas after all. Nice way to bring it all back. (Now this is just a literal point of view, okay?! Hahah.) The last shot was even better. All in all, this film had me reeling. It was such a euphoric feeling, having to actually see a very good film about a superhero after The Dark Knight. Maybe Chris Nolan isn’t the only director better suited for superhero film making after all. I really adored the film. The casting, the lines, the feels, and the way they brought it full circle for a certain character in a certain universe. After Deadpool paved the way to a new way of making superhero R-rated films, I liked Logan better just because of the way they presented it. Not too many explanations. Everything else is given. You know what will happen. And yet you cry and laugh all the same. In a similar sense of how John Wick: Chapter 2 was an actor’s film, Logan is too. Fans love them anyway, so… who cares?
Logan and John Wick: Chapter 2 sure had a lot in common. Both the main character having lost everyone in their lives; also lost the will to live. Wick struggling at retiring, and Logan, finally fed up with having to see the ones he love die (at least once) in front of his eyes. The film centers on loneliness and the feeling of losing the will to live. Both of them, action-wise, are such great and exciting films, Keanu, always a stellar action star and graceful (and vampiric, dude!) as ever; Hugh, the same old wolf who hits your feels. A refreshing way to spend the weekend don’t you think? The cinema may be my new found friend. The bookstores around here are no longer that customer-friendly… so I’m sticking to book sales and a trusted friend if ever I need more books (you can never have too many books).
Here’s to more chocolates to share!