Why Logan Worked So Much Better Than The Wolverine, According To The Writer

The Wolverine < Hugh Jackman Logan in feudal Japan

Arriving this weekend to a round of applause, cheers, and maybe a few tears is Logan, the third and final solo film starring Hugh Jackman as the title character. Logan has been cleaning up every which way, and Jackman, director James Mangold, and screenwriter Scott Frank have delivered quite possibly the best film in the X-Men franchise. With all the critical aplomb the movie is getting, why did its predecessor The Wolverine fail to make an impact with the exact same creative team? Frank wrote both Wolverine-centric movies, and he believes Logan is doing so much better because they didn't have to take time away from the character to set up some future film.

We didn't have to connect it to any larger 'universe.' Or as Jim keeps saying, 'we didn't have to sell Happy Meals.' And so that was great. Whereas, the last one, my favorite part is where he's in the middle of rural Japan and with this woman and being a human being and feeling what it's like to be a human being. But we're not there very long before we're back to giant robots and stuff. And then it becomes just another superhero movie with a lot of CG stuff. And we were trying to avoid that this time around and the studio had changed studio heads and they were very much into the idea of trying something new, because otherwise what's the point? The only way these movies have value is if they become about something else. They can't all be about saving the world.

Sing it, brother.

Scott Frank sat down with THR's Heat Vision for a very spoiler-filled discussion on Logan. Frank also write the script for 2013's The Wolverine, which, before Logan, was considered the best Wolverine movie (not that it had much competition). The film saw a distraught and aimless Logan journeying to Japan and losing his healing factor while trying to protect a Japanese heiress. The film plays a bit like Logan-Lite until Act III, and the movie completely gives in to an out of place comic book action sequence, complete with a giant robot. Frank is totally on the money when he says it was those inclusions that held the movie down, which until that point was really quite good.

As most people may know by now, Logan didn't have to worry too much about serving a larger universe, and was simply able to tell a mostly stand alone story. The movie is all the better for it, and while Logan is still undoubtedly a comic book movie to me, it doesn't give into genre tropes as easily. And when it does, it happens on a much smaller scale that doesn't ruin the movie in the least. It's a great breath of fresh air for anyone who is feeling superhero fatigue, and it's definitely a smart play for studios to try and make more standalone movies like this.

Logan is out in theaters right now, so what are you waiting for? Head down to the movie theater and see it already!

Matt Wood

Matt has lived in New Jersey his entire life, but commutes every day to New York City. He graduated from Rowan University and loves Marvel, Nintendo, and going on long hikes and then greatly wishing he was back indoors. Matt has been covering the entertainment industry for over two years and will fight to his dying breath that Hulk and Black Widow make a good couple.