In the months since Travis’ diagnosis, I’ve learned a lot about the human brain and the amazing ways it responds to and copes with trauma. If you’ve been following this blog, you know that after Travis’ surgeries he felt a strong connection to the Wolverine and, for a time, really believed he was the Wolverine. This is a connection that helped him to overcome the trauma he was experiencing, and for that I am exceedingly grateful.
The first trailer for Logan, the third and final movie in the Wolverine trilogy, was released while Travis was in the hospital. With little else to keep him occupied in his ICU bed, Travis watched that preview repeatedly. As he became more lucid, and as his connection with the Wolverine became more about inspiration and less about trauma delusion, his anticipation and desire to see the movie grew. But, as the reality of his cancer diagnosis set in he looked at the opening date of the movie and with bit of a catch in his throat remarked, “I sure hope I make it long enough to see Logan.”
The movie opened at the beginning of this month and we were there for opening night (we’ve also seen it several times since). And, because this film and the Wolverine character have become so incredibly meaningful for us both, I decided to sit down and ask Travis some questions about his take on the movie, what he remembers of his time in the hospital, and how he’s feeling now. Here is his review:
Julie: Have you always been a fan of the Wolverine and X-Men movies?
Travis: It’s strange, but I was always really more of a Batman fan – those were the comic books I read, the movies I anticipated, and the posters I had as a kid (and maybe a little as an adult, too). But, I like superhero and action movies in general so I had seen all of the X-Men movies as they came out.
Julie: Do you remember what it was like in the hospital when you started to talk about the Wolverine?
Travis: Not really, and I’m kind of sad that I don’t get to remember it the way you do. It sounds like it was pretty entertaining. I do remember other things that I’m pretty sure now weren’t real – there was a doctor that I was certain was trying to kill me; I thought I was only allowed to watch animal planet and was very upset about that; and I was certain that someone kept changing the clocks so I wouldn’t know what time it was (I know now that did happen — but it was because it was the end of daylight savings time).
Julie: For months you were anticipating seeing Logan. You watched every trailer and counted down to its opening. Could it ever live up to your expectations?
Travis: You have to realize that I thought that if I could make it to March 3rd, this would be the last movie that I was going to ever get to see.
Julie: That’s a lot of pressure to put on a movie, so did it live up to your expectations?
Travis: I have to see it again so I can say for sure – do we have plans tonight? But yes, in all seriousness, I can confidently say it’s the best of all of the X-Men themed movies that have been made. I really hadn’t realized that Hugh Jackman had been playing the Wolverine for almost 20 years and that’s pretty amazing when you think about it. That’s longer than any of the seven guys who have played James Bond lasted. If this is truly the end of Jackman’s time as the Wolverine, I can’t think of a better way for him to say goodbye to the character. It’s a very satisfying ending for a fan.
Julie: Since your connection to the Wolverine was a new thing, was there something special about this particular character that you connected with at this point in your life?
Travis: I think we all understand that we’re not immortal but when we’re young we see aging and death as far off things. A cancer diagnosis changes that. People start to talk about you in terms of how much time certain treatments can give you. Radiation and chemotherapy treatments take so much out of you that there’s no way you can feel invincible anymore. In the previous movies Logan was invincible but this movie showed that even a superhero can’t take for granted that their powers will always be there.
Julie: I’ve seen a lot of superhero movies since I married a superhero buff, and I’ve seen a lot of westerns because, well, you like those too. This almost felt more like a western than a superhero movie, did you have the same impression?
Travis: There were certainly a lot of western references in the movie and parallels between Logan and the movie Shane. It wasn’t subtle if you look at how it was all staged and assembled – the use of Johnny Cash music was pretty on the nose, there were old western clips used in the movie, and Charles (Professer X) and Logan both have the feel of being old gun fighters. But there are some subtle things in there as well that I think the director intentionally dropped in there to appeal to western movie buffs.
Julie: So here’s the big box office question – Should people go see this movie?
Travis: Is that even a question? Why would you even ask that? Go, see it now! Take me with you!