Deadpool was the biggest grossing X-Men film taking record breaking $754.5 million in its first weekend. Its R-rating didn’t deter audiences as many thought; it didn’t stop Blade back in 1998 either, but everyone forgot the black, R-rated Marvel superhero film and now praise Black Panther instead. Therefore, Fox decided to push through with its third Wolverine-centred film, with a focus on attaining an R-rating. Its first trailer dropped mere days ago, so let’s have a look and see if it deserves a rating that demands parent or guardian supervision.
No, is the short answer. But don’t despair, because what we actually have looks far more interesting than the faux-maturity of Deadpool (where “mature” means penis jokes and an oh-so irreverent approach to film-making). The first time we see Logan (Hugh Jackman) in the trailer, he looks rather worse for wear. His hair is grey, and due to the amount of scars on his body, we see that his healing factor is not what it once was.
This is a refreshing turn of events for Marvel’s films of late. Many believed that Civil War was going to be an important part of Marvel’s “Phase Three”. When Rhodes fell from the sky, or Cap finally smashed Iron Man’s blue circle – the essential piece of kit that keeps his heart going, many people, including I, thought that those characters were going to die. But no, the film ends with everyone alive and we are left with no major changes to the Marvel Universe.
“2016 has been a notorious year for superhero trailers; Doctor Strange and the various Suicide Squad teasers being the ones that come to mind, but here, Logan is limited.”
Logan looks to be addressing the fact that the man who has fought through almost two hundred years of warfare could finally bite the dust. This is highlighted with the excellent inclusion of Johnny Cash’s cover of ‘Hurt’ (from Cash’s last album before his death, which furthers the idea of the end of Jackman’s Wolverine tenure). The song brings a sombre tone to the very action-less trailer, and gives the film a darker edge than the bright and colourful Marvel films.
Thankfully, the film doesn’t give away too much of its plot. 2016 has been a notorious year for superhero trailers; Doctor Strange and the various Suicide Squad teasers being the ones that come to mind, but here, Logan is limited. We get vague ideas of characters; Boyd Holbrook (bearing an uncanny resemblance to Tom Felton) as a metal-armed badass, the eerie return of Patrick Stewart as Professor X (now suffering with Alzheimers), and newcomer Sienna Novikov as a young girl who according to the voiceover is “very much like” Logan. I’ll leave the comic book readers to fill you in on the details of her actual name, but you can probably guess what her powers are going to be. This is what trailers are for, to get us excited for a film while telling us as little as possible.
The R-rating still bothers me though. My fears are based on the blinkered idea that means ‘R-rating – brutal kills full of blood, cool!’ It was always funny to watch the other X-Men films and see Wolverine take out ten to twenty enemies in the film with not one dropping an ounce of the red stuff, but I hope it doesn’t swing the other way. The red band trailer does show Wolverine’s claws being used on an enemy, and all versions end with Logan’s ever-present tank top displaying quite a bit of blood on it. Hopefully, the stains are caused by his own wounds – making blood surpass its use as a cheap gimmick to make comic book films seem more ‘adult’, and to give a sense of pain to make us empathise with the hero.