When I saw the original trailer for Logan, I got chills. From the first guitar strum of Johnny Cash‘s “Hurt,” to the powerful images of a frail Wolverine, by the last second, I became emotionally exhausted. Never before had I seen a trailer that moved me so deeply, and it’s about a man with metal claws. With the release of its second trailer, it’s clear director James Mangold‘s Logan will be a stirring final chapter for Hugh Jackman and the bad-ass character he loves to play.
While the first Logan trailer begins with a clenched, shaking fist and a Charles Xavier voice-over, the second leads with a laugh. After reprimanding definitely-not-X23-but-most-likely-is Laura (Dafne Keen) for shoplifting and attacking a convenience store clerk, Logan (Jackman) can’t help but take something for himself too. Then in the next scene, he reads a X-Men comic and laments how people in real life die and stay dead. Even in a post-apocalyptic hell, the film sprinkles in its comedic moments, making Logan feel all the more real.
And that is precisely the point of the film. For the first time in what feels like a long time, a superhero film is actually about its characters. Their powers are not their defining qualities. It’s a far cry from the X-Men films of the past, especially the most recent outing X-Men: Apocalypse. Logan is not trying to be a stepping stone for a franchise. Rather, it’s a portrait of a once very powerful man in his own right, succumbed to time and life. It’s hard to watch a formerly indestructible man get stomped on by average human males. All he have is a gleam of hope in the shape of a ferocious little girl. And he’s too beaten down to initially care.
Besides emphasizing the importance of its characters individually, the newest trailer offers an in-depth look at the relationship between Logan and Laura. Similarly to the original trailer, the opening and closing shots act as perfect bookends. The trailer opens on the convenience store scene, the two at odds, then ends with Logan, bloodied, and she baring bruised knuckles. It’s clear their relationship will be the heart of Logan. He very reluctantly decides to protect her. Even after that, it still seems he’s resistant to being anything for her other than just a bodyguard. Logan has had many adventures in his X-Men films, but none of which have exclusively focused on an emotional journey. Logan would be the first. And last.
Ultimately, while the first trailer delivered an emotional punch to the gut, the second trailer for Logan cements this will not be your typical superhero film. It will be a film about its characters, their emotions, and their quest to survive in their new world order; they just happen to have superpowers. Logan will be the final appearance of Jackman as Wolverine, adding more fuel to an already raging fire. Come March 3rd, 2017, fans and critics will see whether Jackman, and Logan, can retire in peace.
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