Making up for the lack of a choice for Top Movie of 2013, I have two picks for 2017! That is because I simply could not choose between the two of them, no matter how hard I tried to make up my mind.
Both movies are Marvel comic book movies, and both are two of the best they have produced thus far.
The first is the gritty, hard-R rated action/drama “Logan.” Hugh Jackman once again reprises his famous role as the iconic “Wolverine” (real name James “Logan” Howlett) and flat out knocked it out of the park. “Logan” takes place in the future, long after the events of the previous X-Men/Wolverine movies. Logan/Wolverine is now living in hiding, doing odd side jobs to stay afloat while being a caretaker for an aging Professor X/Dr. Xavier (Patrick Stewart). Mutants have now become few and far between, and Logan’s quiet life is disrupted by the arrival of a new young mutant girl who is being hunted down by mercenaries, and seeks protection only someone like Logan can provide. The three of them go on the run in an attempt to deliver her to safety and freedom.
“Logan” was everything a comic-book movie should be. It was rough, violent, and felt like what one would read as they flipped through the pages of a Wolverine graphic novel. The watered-down PG-13 version audiences had previously been given never truly felt like Wolverine, and all of that was fixed here with the truest-to-the-source comic-book movie there has been yet (in my opinion). Logan/Wolverine is an angry, violent, character, struggling to deal with his powers and his mortality, and every bit of that showed through in this movie. The pairing of him with the on-his-last-leg Professor X was great. Jackman and Stewart have a wonderful chemistry together, as could be seen in the previous X-Men movies. Lastly, from an artistic standpoint, I highly recommend borrowing the Blu-Ray and watching the exclusive-to-Blu-Ray black and white version. It is beautifully done and adds even further grit to an already great and gritty film.
“Logan” is rated R for language and graphic violence, with a runtime of two hours and seventeen minutes. It is available to borrow at PPL on both DVD and Blu-Ray.
My second choice for 2017 is the Marvel Cinematic Universe entry/sequel, “Thor: Ragnarok.” Following the events of “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” Thor (Chris Hemsworth) – the God of Thunder – returns to his home planet of Asgard, only to find that his father Odin (Anthony Hopkins) is missing. He and his brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston) – the God of Mischief – find Odin hiding on Earth, seconds before he passes away. Upon his passing, their previously-unknown sister Hela (Cate Blanchett) – the Goddess of Death – appears and the two flee Earth, ending up on the mysterious planet Sakaar. Thor is imprisoned and fighting in a gladiatorial tournament to entertain the twisted Grandmaster (Jeff Goldblum). Thor’s first opponent in the tournament is The Incredible Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) who hasn’t been seen on Earth in multiple years. Hulk has become the Champion of Sakaar, thanks to his success in the gladiatorial tournament, and Thor teams up with him so that they can escape the planet and stop Hela from bringing “Ragnarok” – the end of the world – to Thor’s home planet.
Similar to “Logan,” this was everything a comic-book movie should be. It treated the main characters as they should have always been treated, and gives us – the audience – not just the best version of Thor to appear on screen thus far, but Hulk as well. The Incredible Hulk is not only my favorite comic book character, but a true obsession of mine in life, and he has never been showcased better than he is here. Hulk and Thor are paired perfectly together, and the secondary cast of characters is very enjoyable as well. The events of the film lead straight into the opening moments of “Avengers: Infinity War,” a film that was super serious, and the fun aspect of this movie was very much appreciated given what soon followed in that movie.
As with most movies that are in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, “Thor: Ragnarok” can be watched multiple ways. You can watch the previous two Thor movies and follow them with this, or you can watch the previous two Avengers movies and follow them with this as well. Or, if you are like me, you can watch it over and over on its own because it is just that good and fun.
“Thor: Ragnarok” is rated PG-13 for language and comic-book violence, with a runtime of two hours and ten minutes. It is available to borrow from PPL on both DVD and Blu-Ray.