The dismantling of the super hero construct began much much earlier with Arthur Conan Doyle shredding the shroud of mystery around his famous creation, Sherlock Holmes, making him just as vulnerable as the rest mere motals in the face of unrelenting pressure. The dimming of the halo around the mythos of the bygone era, particularly the Westerns, happened during the 50s itself helped by the same duo - John Ford and John Wayne - responsible for creating it in the first place. A few decades later, in the 90s, it was the turn of another icon of the (spaghetti) Westerns, Clint Eastwood, to demystify the nobility and invincibility of the brooding and renegade Cowboy in the genre-skewing 'The Unforgiven'. While the Dark Knight character in the comic books took this turn for the worse much earlier, Christopher Nolan, who had the chance of traversing the road less traveled with 'The Dark Knight Rises', instead chose to tread a safer middle ground opting for a crowd pleasing ending for his battered hero than let him go out in a blaze of glory. With the glut of super heroes of all stripes invading the popular culture from every known direction, each equipped with his/her own super serum of infallibility, it is pleasing, sometimes, (and healthy too, for the genre rejuvenation) to watch a star crash and burn, implode under the crushing weight of its own gravity, that it has been defying thus long. Last year, another character, 'Deadpool', entered the fray and practically took the mickey out of these grim super stars who hid their humanities behind cowls and scowls, escaping the consequences of their actions by flashing their 'Super' passes. Not anymore, not any longer, and certainly not after 'Logan', when the calls of nature can longer be ignored.
'Logan' is every bit an existential exercise in the super hero genre, where the toll of the super human strengths come knocking at the door at the most inopportune moment, when the body is broken and the soul, weary. Nothing about 'Logan' screams super hero, except in those moments when the claws come out and rip open the adversaries, even that is not without losing his pound of flesh and spirit in the process. This is an end of the road movie for the character, where he comes to the conclusion that all his strength, his rage, hadn't amounted to a hill of beans eventually. And it is this dawning of the realization that his existence is just as inconsequential and pointless in the longer run as the rest without the 'super' tag, that files 'Logan' into the human interest sub genre than treating it as a straight up super hero story. Age catches up to him, health belies him, resolve long since abandoned him, the injustices that he was up in arms against ealier appear only natural now, his default mode of confrontation becomes side stepping than standing up, all in all, he is merely biding his time hoping for the long sleep to visit upon him sooner than he can wait. Classic sunset story. In this age when super heroes are retooled and rebooted faster than anyone can remember (Spider-Man is already in his fourth iteration in less than a dozen years), retiring one appears a far braver business decision. And retiring one without the obligatory 21-gun salute (which Snyder's 'Dawn of Justice' actually gave for one of its fallen heroes), without any canonization is a creative tip of the hat to a character that has lost all the empathy and has nothing but emptiness inside. 'Logan' is that rare super hero movie that does not mind taking a sledge hammer to its own carefully built up myth, and it does it with such a disdain and contempt to the tag, 'super', that it only feels natural coming from a raging machine that has all but exhausted its combustibility.
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