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Logan: breaking down the first trailer

Den of Geek logoDen of Geek 21/10/2016

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Hugh Jackman returns as Wolverine in an older, grizzlier form for Logan. We looked at the trailer in detail.

Having endured what felt like an age of promo pictures and vague teases, it’s a big relief to say we’ve finally got a decent glimpse at Logan, the third solo Wolverine film starring Hugh Jackman.

And, dare we say it, it looks pretty great. 

After directing The Wolverine (which we can all agree is better than Gavin Hood’s X-Men Origins: Wolverine), James Mangold has returned to the fold to helm what everyone is referring to as Mr Jackman’s final appearance as the cigar-chomping, bub-saying and claw-sporting mutant hero Wolverine. 

From the looks of it, Logan will be utterly unique within the X-Men movie universe. And within the landscape of superhero films in general, to be honest.

Here’s our detailed look at the first trailer.

The iconic strums of Johnny Cash’s Hurt begin to play, and we see Logan’s hand lingering by his side. Notably, his claws aren’t out at the moment, which, in of itself, can be read as an allusion to the Old Man Logan comics which have already been cited as an influence on Logan

© Provided by Den of Geek Therein, having witnessed so much suffering and death (a fair bit of which he dished out himself), Wolverine had voluntarily chosen to hang up his colourful super-suit and retire from the hero game.

He quietly put up with a dystopian future run by supervillains, until one last quest came a-calling.

“Logan, what have you done?” asks Patrick Stewart’s Professor X. A sombre Hugh Jackman shoots back, “Charles, the world is not the same as it was. Mutants...they’re gone now.”

Don’t let the very apt Johnny Cash lyrics (“I hurt myself today / to see if I still feel / I focus on the pain / the only thing that’s real”) distract you, though. Those lines were important.

Wolvie’s one tells us that this desolate, western-esque world is pretty much devoid of super-powered individuals at this stage (will we see nods to fallen X-Men who’ve died between Days Of Future Past and this story?

And is Deadpool still knocking around as well?), while Charles Xavier’s question teases that his former pupil has fallen very far off the wagon.

Those who’ve read the Old Man Logan comics will have an idea about what it is that Logan may have done.

But to spell out the predominant theory here may well spoil a major plot point for everyone who wishes to go in cold.

Let’s just say that Logan’s retirement from super-heroics could be down to guilt as well as those ‘what has become of the world?’ woes.

Pick up the comic or have a Google if you'd like to know more.

After some footage of a bearded and scarred Logan moping around (including a sink-side scene that looks much more serious than the one from Origins: Wolverine), Professor X lying in a hospital-esque bed, and a collection of wasteland shots that would make a decent backdrop for Mugatu’s Derelicte campaign, we’re given a handful of images of a young girl.

This is Sienna Novikov’s character, named Laura.

© Provided by Den of Geek “What is she?” Logan asks. Charles responds, “she’s like you, very much like you.”  

Again, this sparse dialogue is more than enough to pull a theory together. In the post-credits scene of X-Men: Apocalypse we saw fluids from the Wolverine lab at Alkali Lake plonked in a briefcase with Mr Sinister’s name on it. Now – many decades later from Wolverine’s point of view – he’s bumping into a little girl who’s apparently very much like him.

And we know that Mr Sinister is one of the villains in Logan.

By putting those three pieces of information together, we’re pretty confident that Novikov is in fact portraying the comic book character X-23, a female clone of Wolverine, with all same powers, who was created from his DNA.

The icing on the cake is that X-23’s human name, in the comics, is Laura Kinney.

A slight hitch in the theory is that Sinister wasn’t involved in X-23’s origins in the comics (it was simply a revival of the Weapon X program), but that’s not a huge change to make for the film.

So, we’re expecting Laura to display a healing factor, super strength and retractable claws (two in each hand and one in each foot, if they want to follow the comics to the letter).

In said comics, she took over the Wolverine mantle after her father (well, the man she was cloned from) died. 

As this is apparently Jackman’s last X-movie, could we see the same thing happen here? It seems possible, but would Fox have the guts to give Wolverine a final definitive end when he’s been so bankable for them over the years? Only time will tell.

One thing we can bet on quite safely, though: Laura’s arrival on the scene will surely be the inciting event that lures Logan out of retirement. Charles’ next line, “she needs our help”, pretty much confirms that.

But entering back into the hero game might not be so easy for Logan. It’s clear from this trailer that – as had already been teased – his powers are finally beginning to wear off.

He’s clearly aged a lot, not just since his young-form cameo in X-Men: Apocalypse, but also since the slight silver fox vibehe was rocking in the future segments of X-Men: Days Of Future Past. 

There’s also a lingering shot of a wound on Logan’s forehead. Has his healing factor gone altogether, or has it just slowed down a bit? Either way, Logan finally becoming an old man capable of getting injured adds all the more importance to X-23.

If Logan isn't up to the task of stepping up and overthrowing the villainous rule of the land, maybe his 'daughter' is.

Or maybe they could do it together, with the help of Professor X. 

© Provided by Den of Geek The trailer doesn’t make it clear exactly what Professor X wants Logan to do with Laura. But, again, the comics could hold clues.

In Mark Millar and Steve McNiven’s original Old Man Logan run, Hawkeye pulled Logan out of retirement to deliver an uber-rare case of super soldier serum to an underground resistance group who wanted to gain extra abilities and form an Avengers-style team to win back Earth from the baddies.

In the film version, perhaps Professor X will pull Logan out of retirement to deliver Laura - an uber-rare and uber-powerful mutant, who may also hold the secret to creating more mutants via cloning and experimentation - to a similar underground resistance group. That’s my best bet, anyways.

Whatever the exact details of Logan and Charles’ mission end up being, it’s clear that plenty of people don’t want it to succeed. We catch a glimpse of a masked man by the roadside wearing a cowboy hat and sunglasses.

Judging by an image shared recently, this is Steven Merchant’s villainous Caliban. (It’s unclear at the moment if this is meant to be an aged-up version of Tómas Lemarquis’ Caliban from X-Men: Apocalypse, but we do know he’s a baddie.)

© Provided by Den of Geek There’s also a fleeting shot of Boyd Holbrook’s Pierce, a mutant-hating cyborg who will lead a group called The Reavers.

We see Logan squaring up to them at another point in the trailer, and even getting his claws out in their presence. We also see a fair few car chase shots and armed assailants on Logan’s tail.

Indeed, it's clear that Logan won't keep his metal appendages to himself, despite his feelings at the start of the film. Learning to embrace the Wolverine persona again will seemingly be Logan’s big arc in the movie.

Other shots in the trailer show him fondling the LOGAN nametag from his military days, dishing out clawed justice and even running around the woods in a vest (who could forget that sequence from X-Men: The Last Stand?).

There’s also a few brief shots of him smiling, teasing that Logan will retreat a few rungs down the ladder of grumpiness as the film’s narrative marches forward.

The Johnny Cash line "I am still right here" sums this up quite nicely around the minute mark of the trailer.

And there’s the inspiration for that poster: Logan, looking slightly less grizzly than before, holding hands with young Laura. It’s a touching image, not least when you look at the deeper connotations.

Logan has lost so much since we last saw him on screen. Perhaps even the Professor is gone by this stage in the film (there's an image of a gun to Charles' head at 1:10, and Logan is holding what could be a shovel in this shot).

But he’s gained something he’s never had before: a daughter, and a chance to have a family of his own that won’t just die on him.

© Provided by Den of Geek Logan, you still have time”, Charles Xavier says at the end of the trailer.

Time to live a normal life, perhaps? Well, as close to normal as an immortal mutant with claws can get, anyway.

And maybe Jackman still has time, too. Time to deliver the best Wolverine film yet, just before retiring from the role.

After a summer of disappointments – especially from the X-Men camp – wouldn’t it be great if Logan could kick off next year with a bang, wowing critics and fans alike?

Perhaps I’m getting ahead of myself there, but this is a very promising trailer. And not just because Hugh Jackman looks bad-ass with a beard.

This is a superhero film that clearly has a meaningful journey (both external and internal) for its lead, a completely different stylistic palette to anything in the genre before, and a young co-lead who could be a major breakout star.

And, perhaps most excitingly of all: with any luck, this will be a superhero film with precisely zero giant objects falling from the sky or colourful beams of light in the third act. Count me in.

Before I go, though, here’s something to ponder: in this shot where Logan raises his claws to block some very similar ones, who is he fighting? Is this a fight scene between father and daughter? And, if so, why?

© Provided by Den of Geek

Oh, and also, unless I missed something, there’s no sign yet of Richard E. Grant’s character.

Rumour has it that he’s playing Mr Sinister, presumed creator of Laura, but it remains to be seen exactly when he will appear in the film.

That’s something else to ponder. 

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