Logan is the third spin-off film following the popular X-men character Wolverine, as portrayed by Hugh Jackman, in what is supposedly his last time playing this character. Set in the near future, Wolverine, who is an old and beaten version of the hero he once was, is caring for an ailing Charles Xavier in a secret hideout on the Mexican Border. However, Wolverine’s attempts to hide himself and his history from the world are forced into turmoil when he meets a new young mutant, who is being chased by dangerous forces. This film follows Deadpool in being an adult rated X-men film. However, this film, unlike Deadpool, is very mature, dark, and a much more serious and dramatic portrayal of a super hero story. It is more on The Dark Knight end of the superhero film spectrum than the Iron man end, there are hardly any jokes or quips, and the action is probably the most brutal and violent action I’ve seen in a mainstream superhero film, even more so than Deadpool as Deadpool’s violence was cosmetically over the top. This film is actually more of a character study of these characters that we have known for years, and is definitely one of my favourite X-men films. It’s intense, engaging, emotional, visceral and ever so exciting. The film stars Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, and Dafne Keen, and is directed by James Mangold.
It is incredibly satisfying to see Wolverine actually stab and slice with those claws in a brutal and violent fashion. From the very first seen they show you that this film is not appropriate for children. It managed to have extreme violence without it feeling over the top or gratuitous, as it perfectly fits the brutal world that is portrayed and the bleak tone of the film. It isn’t over abundant, which makes the action even better when it does happen. Wolverine is reluctant to kill and tries not to bring out his claws, but when people push him too far into his rage he pulls them out and attacks with such fury that it sells the brutality of his actions, as the world and people around him are so disgustingly evil that you want to see their heads come off. It isn’t CGI fighting with crazy choreography, it’s gritty and grounded and feels real and impactful. While the violent action is probably what most people want to see, it actually is a brilliant piece in an exceptionally deep and thought provoking film, and while the action scenes were some of the best in the X-men series and so awesome they made me cheer, they were like the icing on the cake, as the characters and their interactions is so perfectly written and performed that it can bring tears to your eyes. You see these two characters, Wolverine and Xavier, who in previous films have been portrayed as powerful heroes, brought down to old and beaten husks of their former selves. Wolverine is sagging and old, he doesn’t heal as well and so carries scars from the past, he slouches and just seems tired of life. Hugh Jackman is truly incredible in this film, he is the same Wolverine that we know and love but pushed past the limit, beaten and destroyed by the world. His life as the ultimate weapon has turned him into a pessimist, void of hope or compassion for anyone except the man that tried to help him, Xavier. There is so much emotion and passion in Jackman’s performance, which actually makes me believe that this is his last performance as Wolverine as it feels like a part of his life is drawing to a close. Patrick Stewart is also outstanding. He shows a man whose whole purpose in life, to care for mutants and bring humans and mutants together, has come crashing down around him. He still holds on to some kind of hope and happiness, but it is miniscule, as there is an overriding sense of guilt from him, along with a very deep sadness at what the world and his life have come too. He also realistically portrays a mental illness, along the lines of Alzheimer’s disease, so realistically that it is heart breaking, as this great role model from previous films is now is this terribly tragic state. In my opinion, both of these performances are Oscar worthy. They are in the same quality of performance in a comic book film as Heath Ledgers portrayal as the Joker. Dafne Keen is also brilliant as the young mutant who they are trying to protect. She was raised in such an isolated fashion that she doesn’t understand how the world works, and she was made to be a weapon and so she doesn’t understand the consequence of killing. Her and Jackmans relationship, which grows throughout the film, is so touching, and carries the emotional weight of the film. The film has a great story and is brilliantly written. The first and final acts of the film are amazingly paced and have amazing action and emotional weight. The middle of the film slowed down quite a bit, but was still really engaging so I didn’t mind the slower pace. James Mangold directed this film brilliantly, the action looks great and the way he depicts the world around them makes it seem to be both busy and large but also very lonely. I absolutely love that the film isn’t about Wolverine trying to save the world from a death beam or something like that, it is just a personal story with stakes that were actually believable and engaging. The film isn’t afraid to be quite disturbing with its subject matter and its depiction of that subject matter, there was this one moment in particular that felt almost like a horror film. The film also shows a great near future dystopia. It is mostly the same as today but with a few aesthetic and technological changes that felt realistic.
Logan is an incredible film. I was truly blown away by how emotional and impactful the film was. I may have made the impression that this is a depressing film, and while it is serious and can be emotional, it is incredibly enjoyable overall, I just wanted to be clear that it isn’t like the Marvel films or even the other X-men films. The performances were some of the best I’ve seen in a comic book film and the action is satisfyingly awesome. This is the perfect final film for Hugh Jackman as the Wolverine.
P.S. I was very surprised to see Stephen Merchant in this film, it’s definitely not his usual type of film but he is really good and provides an appropriate amount of comedic relief. There are some jokes in the film but I wanted it to be clear that it isn’t a humorous tone.