Monday 6 March 2017

Why Logan works and Batman v. Superman didn't

(NO SPOILERS HERE. I'll probably put up a review at the end of the week but this is just a short, general terms discussion of things that are absolutely clear from the trailers and advertising).
Logan is a good film. Actually, its a bloody excellent film but the problem is that what makes it work is basically impossible to copy. Its not the 18 rating (in the US, over here it passed as a 15), though it certainly helps that Wolverine can finally use his claws on people as well as props.

No, what makes this film work is that Hugh Jackman and Patrick Stewart have been playing these characters for nearly twenty years. Watching these two living in a Mexican shack as broken old men has an emotional resonance that just telling Ben Affleck not to shave and trying to pass him off as an older Batman couldn't hope to.

This is actually a pretty big problem for DC: they keep trying to deconstruct things they never properly constructed in the first place. They tried to do the big blow out fight between Batman and Superman with a Batman we've never met before and a Superman we barely know; they've commissioned a Nightwing movie without doing any work on the idea of what Robin is so we can't appreciate what it is in this world for Dick to have moved on from the role; we were expected to care about Wonder Woman over a year before we got her origin story.
Not that I think DC are the only ones scheming away trying to work out how to make their own Logan. You can bet your arse that some misguided soul at Sony is trying to wrestle Spider-Man: Reign into a pitch document, an idea that might just have worked if Tobey Maguire was still in the role but there's not enough make-up on Earth to turn Tom Holland into Old Man Peter Parker so we'd end up with yet another live action Spider-Man.

So let's... not, okay? Let's allow a unique film based on unique circumstances no one could have planned to remain the singular little gem it is and move on to good ideas.


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