Image: Twentieth Century Fox
Movie studios don’t usually learn the right lessons from their competitors’ successes.
When last year’s brutally violent and brutally funny Deadpool went on to be the 2nd-highest grossing R-rated movie of all time, 20th Century Fox wasted no time announcing that Logan, the final Wolverine movie, would be rated R.
Gloriously, director James Mangold (who also directed 2013’s underappreciated The Wolverine) makes all the right uses of the freedom an R-rating grants, finally depicting the true violence and profane rage of someone who’s lived as painful and tragic a life as the iconic Canadian mutant.
Photo: Twentieth Century Fox
In the wake of The Avengers, movie franchises have aimed for larger scales and the combining of movie casts. The Fast & Furious franchise folded in Jason Statham’s Transporter character with the closing scene of Fast & Furious 6. Man of Steel is begetting Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, which is ultimately begetting a Justice League movie.
Not to miss the boat, the X-Men franchise delivers their attempt at a combined hero action movie, X-Men: Days of Future Past, which unites the cast of the 2000-2005 X-Men trilogy and the cast of the 2011 prequel-boot X-Men: First Class. Gloriously, X-Men: Days of Future Past is many things at once — a combined hero action movie being just one of them — and succeeds on all fronts.