Credit director James Mangold and three screenwriters for trying something new with the superhero genre. Instead of a global threat that threatens the globe, the beclawed Logan must solve a Big Sleep-style mystery set in Japan. There's even a cleverish play on the world-weary detective: our nearly immortal hero is so world-weary that he flirts with death (embodied by his dead lover Jean Grey). There's even some talk of what makes life meaningful! But remember how The Big Sleep was ridiculously overstuffed, needlessly complicated, and redundantly repetitive to the point of near-silliness? Yeah, here too. And star Hugh Jackman, while he does get many chances to display his remarkable physique, doesn't get much to compare with Bogey's dialogue. Also disappointing: Japan seems valued more for its scenery and costumes than anything having to do with its character. Oh, well - we'll always have action scenes. With Tao Okomoto, Rila Fukushima. (2013) — Matthew Lickona
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