North Dakota and the Geography of “Logan”
In case you haven't heard by now, North Dakota plays a key role in the new movie "Logan," which opened this weekend. Here's what was right and wrong with the geography throughout the movie.
First off, "Logan" is a great story and does justice for Wolverine and what is the final send off for Hugh Jackman playing the iconic role. It was very well done and I'll do my best to make this a spoiler-less article, as I walked out of the theater no more than 30 minutes before writing this.
If you know nothing else about the movie prior to seeing it, you may have heard that there's a big plot point that surrounds the setting of North Dakota as a backdrop. You may have also by now gone on Twitter and seen this mentioned, or looked at the article posted yesterday, "Twitter Reacts to Portrayals of North Dakota in New Movie 'Logan'." Twitter was not wrong. There are definitely many inconsistencies with what the backdrop of North Dakota looked like in the movie, and how it looks in reality.
Let's just say this, the movie shows it as having many more mountains, cliffs, and very tall trees that you more than likely wouldn't find anywhere in North Dakota. In fact, according to IMDB, no filming took place anywhere near our state.
The specific location that was mentioned within the state is Eden, which was said to be just miles from the Canadian border. If you look up Eden, ND, you'll find that there is an Eden Township in Walsh County. The location is northwest of Grand Forks, however, it is not nearly 'just miles' from the border.
Other settings throughout the movie take place in parts of Mexico, Texas, and Oklahoma. While I can't speak for the location in Mexico, I have lived in both Texas and southern Oklahoma before. These locations were well portrayed, despite not having filmed at them. The duration of the time when they're said to be in Oklahoma looks pretty much spot on. The highways, roads, and small towns, as well as the Oklahoma City backdrop are all consistent with how that state looks.
However, there was one inconsistency, but it's in the timeline of the movie. This is as close of a spoiler alert as you'll get right now. You've been warned.
As the movie progresses, all characters, for the sake of the plot, are traveling north. After a spectacular key action sequence happens in Oklahoma City, we later see a road sign that indicates Ada, OK is 15 miles away, while Oklahoma City is 90 miles away. Having lived in southern Oklahoma, I've seen this particular road sign several times, but you would have to be south of Oklahoma City to travel past it, as Ada is southeast of Oklahoma City. This would mean the characters would've backtracked from where they were going for no reason whatsoever.
Yes, I know, that's nitpicking, but continuity is important throughout any story. That being said, I would recommend the movie "Logan" to anyone (given they're permitted to watch 'R' rated movies). It was fantastic and let's be honest, it's not often that North Dakota gets to play a huge role in a movie, or a movie with such an iconic character for that matter.