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Wednesday, May 17, 2017
Visual Parallels: Logan + Mad Max: Fury Road
It's almost too perfect. Mad Max: Fury Road is my favorite movie from 2015 while Logan is my favorite in 2017. I do realize it's May but in my experience we only get one masterpiece per year. And Logan is that masterpiece. It's not just well done and beautifully acted film with wonderfully crafted story at the center of it, but it also truly stays with you. Just like Fury Road did.
I remember seeing Fury Road in cinema and knowing by the time Furiosa drove into the sandstorm that I was watching something truly special. And this year I saw Logan and I had the same feeling, but as early as the film began. Incidentally, both movies got black and white releases ("Chrome" for Fury Road and "Noir" for Logan).
While watching Logan I was actually reminded of Fury Road only once - during the first escape scene when Logan drives into the fence. There was such sense of intensity and desperation in this chase scene that really reminded me of Fury Road. Also, just like with Fury Road, while watching the movie I was really rooting for the characters to succeed and escape. And much like with Fury Road at the heart of Logan there are such noble themes - heroism, freedom and acceptance.
Both films focus on a group of people escaping to the place where they finally can be safe in futuristic, dystopian world. Curiously during Fury Road we have no reason to doubt the existence of Green Place (which turns out to be destroyed) while in Logan we have no reason to believe Eden is real (when it is). The themes of outsiders joining forces to escape the evil and oppression are all here. Even when there is little or no hope, they keep going, There is nothing else they can do and they refuse to give up.
And the main two characters are equals - Logan simply must help Laura because of who he is but let's face it other than two times in the movie where Laura is overpowered it's only her size that limits her and makes Logan a key to her survival. Also there are moments when it's Laura who helps Logan - when she gets him to the doctor or takes over the wheel. Max and Furiosa work together and they both recognize each other's strengths and weaknesses. The big similarity between two pairs is also that they hardly speak to each other - they understand each other without words because they are both so similar and they both endured unimaginable amount of pain and suffering.
Just like Max leaves near the end, so does Logan but they both know they have to come back. And while in Fury Road we get happy ending and Furiosa and the girls all reach place they can call home while Max, out of his volition, leaves because he is not ready, Logan's ending is clouded with such sadness, our only consolation being that Logan was a hero till the end and Laura is safe now. And in the end, that is all he wanted.
Now you run on home to your mother... you tell her everything's alright.
There are no more guns in the valley.
Here we go (click to enlarge image):