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03.03.2017by: Alex Maidy
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Top 10 Movies To Watch Before Seeing Logan

LOGAN opens today and heralds Hugh Jackman's last appearance as the iconic Wolverine. Critics are already hailing LOGAN as one of the best comic book films of all time which comes partially from the fact it is unlike your traditional superhero film. With that in mind, here is a listing of ten films that inspired LOGAN or which share thematic similarities to help get you into the mindset for this final adventure for Weapon X. If you think we missed a film or have a recommendation that should have made the list, let us know in the talk backs below.

DEADPOOL

While we have been told time and again that there is no connective cameo between Ryan Reynolds' smash superhero film and LOGAN, the success of DEADPOOL paved the way for Hugh Jackman's farewell performance as Wolverine. Showing that a comic book film could carry an R-rating and still make bank at the box office is single-handedly why LOGAN is the movie that it is.

BLIND FURY

Maybe you have written off the films of Rutger Hauer as 1980s pulp trash, but this action film is a hidden gem. Based on the Japanese ZATOICHI franchise, BLIND FURY follows Hauer as a Vietnam veteran and student of samurai swordplay who returns to the United States to find his friend missing. Taking his friend's son under his wing, Hauer travels to rescue his friend from the clutches of a crime syndicate. The parallels with LOGAN are readily apparent, especially if you take into consideration the connections Wolverine has to Japan.

THE ROAD

While LOGAN may look post-apocalyptic, it actually takes place in a very near future. The bleak, washed out appearance you see in the trailers may be comparable to films like MAD MAX FURY ROAD, but it is more of a deserted landscape typical of westerns. But, the haunting film THE ROAD also shares a parental dynamic that we have seen played out strongly in the trailers for LOGAN. The drive to protect our young is an inherent and animalistic trait and we all know that at his core, Logan is an animal.

UNFORGIVEN

Clint Eastwood's western is a lauded work of revenge. What makes it different than the countless other westerns Eastwood himself has appeared in is the grizzled and aged protagonist. Usually, westerns feature a young, virile hero. UNFORGIVEN instead opts for an older, broken down former cowboy who is drawn back into his former trade by friends and foes alike. Heroes who used to seem unstoppable look much more beatable in old age, but never count them down. That goes double for Wolverine.

NEVER SAY NEVER AGAIN

After abdicating his role as James Bond to Roger Moore, Sean Connery reportedly said he would never play 007 again. Well, as the title of this film alludes, that was a promise that was short-lived. Another story of a hero who comes out of retirement for one last adventure (much like Connery would do years later in THE ROCK), NEVER SAY NEVER AGAIN gave us an old James Bond which went against the crux of who the secret agent was. Still, Connery imbued him with enough masculinity that the bad guys quickly saw they were no match. Here's hoping Hugh Jackman's last ride as Logan may not be his absolute last turn as the X-man.

BLOOD FATHER

A surprise for movie fans in 2016 was the return of Mel Gibson both in front of and behind the camera. While HACKSAW RIDGE was the critical darling, his starring turn in the revenge thriller BLOOD FATHER showed that Mel still has more than enough in the tank to play hero. Like LOGAN, BLOOD FATHER followed a broken down man who used his dangerous set of skills to try and do something good with the time he had left. Definitely worth watching prior to seeing LOGAN as you probably will be in the perfect mindset for seeing Wolverine in a very different way than ever before.

3:10 TO YUMA

James Mangold has some experience with the Western genre which helped inform the structure and tone of LOGAN. Look no further than his 2007 remake of 3:10 TO YUMA which is easily one of the best Westerns of the 21st century. Bright and wide in visual scope, YUMA does a good job of balancing a serious and violent story without overloading on the blood. While LOGAN doesn't have to shy away from gore, this film proved that Mangold could suggest it without having to show every bullet wound.

THE WOLVERINE

After the crapfest that was X-MEN ORIGINS: WOLVERINE, it was a risky decision to give the director of WALK THE LINE and GIRL, INTERRUPTED the opportunity to direct THE WOLVERINE, but Mangold did a damn good job with the iconic Japanese era of Logan's adventures. While LOGAN does look very different from that film, based on the trailers, the dynamic that Mangold shares with Hugh Jackman (they worked together on the romantic film KATE & LEOPOLD) was a match made in comic book heaven. I sincerely doubt that LOGAN will be their last collaboration.

LEON: THE PROFESSIONAL

Luc Besson's 1994 film was the first thing I thought of when I saw the trailers for LOGAN. Wolverine and Laura Kinney (X-23) share a father-daughter dynamic that is very unique. In LEON, Natalie Portman showed a depth well beyond her age that made her a balanced foil for Jean Reno's titular hitman. There was a warmth and love between them that feels like it could have been a definite inspiration for Hugh Jackman and Dafne Keen as they tried to find their own relationship in LOGAN.

SHANE

Cited by James Mangold himself as the primary inspiration for LOGAN, SHANE is often considered not just one of the best Westerns of all time but one of the greatest American movies ever made. The story of a mysterious gunfighter who comes to the aid of a family and town beset by a villainous cattle baron, it is notable for the relationship that the title character forges with a young boy. The ending of SHANE is one of the most memorable in movie history and, without getting into spoilers, could have inspired the direction of LOGAN in multiple ways. Known for it's cinematography, SHANE is by far the one film on this list you must see to truly appreciate LOGAN.

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+0
6:47AM on 03/05/2017

A well-put list

Like others, I also like to see lists like this in the future!
However, you called X-MEN ORIGINS: WOLVERINE a crapfest, like many-many others. Yet, I enjoyed it better than THE WOLVERINE. Neither of them is really good, but both are entertaining.
Like others, I also like to see lists like this in the future!
However, you called X-MEN ORIGINS: WOLVERINE a crapfest, like many-many others. Yet, I enjoyed it better than THE WOLVERINE. Neither of them is really good, but both are entertaining.
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+0
3:24PM on 03/03/2017

Great list

I'd like more articles like this (Top 10 to see, Top 5 that inspired, etc.)
I'd like more articles like this (Top 10 to see, Top 5 that inspired, etc.)
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11:05AM on 03/03/2017

Great list!

I really hope people check out SHANE.
I really hope people check out SHANE.
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+0
11:02AM on 03/03/2017
I liked x-men origins. wasn't a fan of how they handled gambit and deadpool. but for some reason, i liked it.
I liked x-men origins. wasn't a fan of how they handled gambit and deadpool. but for some reason, i liked it.
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6:49AM on 03/05/2017
zohan, I agree!
I consider Weapon XI to be a different character than Deadpool.
zohan, I agree!
I consider Weapon XI to be a different character than Deadpool.
5:15PM on 03/04/2017
Well, it's your right to love bad movies...
I love a lots of bad movies myself (from Howard The Duck to Cutthroat Island), so I really can't criticize other people's taste in films...
Well, it's your right to love bad movies...
I love a lots of bad movies myself (from Howard The Duck to Cutthroat Island), so I really can't criticize other people's taste in films...

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