Director: James Mangold
Starring: Hugh Jackman, Dafne Keen and Patrick Stewart
After starring in six films over 17 years, Hugh Jackman has become inseparable from Wolverine. If Logan is Jackman's last outing Weapon X, as he has stated, Logan is a fitting send-off for one of the greatest pairings between superhero and actor.
Logan is set in a slightly dystopian not-so-distant future. Logan (Jackman) is a much older and worn-down Wolverine than we are used to. His hair is greying, his body is scarred and his powers aren’t working as they used to. Logan is also taking care of a senile Professor X (Stewart) in a small Mexico border town. Their quiet existence is interrupted by the appearance of a mysterious young girl, named Laura (Keen), who shares a lot in common with Logan. Now Logan has to protect the girl from the forces trying to capture her.
The tone of Logan is pitch perfect. Everything about it feels gritty and tired, bringing a nice parallel to the current state emotional and physical state of our clawed hero. The tone is aided a lot by the R rating. After Deadpool, there was fear that studios would green light movies with R ratings just for the sake of having an R rating but that isn’t the case here. The f-bombs and gruesome kills, save for maybe a few, never feel like they were just tacked on for audience bloodlust. They perfectly fit into how Logan and the other characters would act in the situations that unfold.
The R rating permitted the creation of some of the most brutal superhero action ever seen on film. Logan de-limbs and decapitates left, right and centre. You finally get to see the Wolverine let loose in all his ferocity. There is one particular fight scene in a forest where audiences get the full scope of his ferocity. Laura also has some spectacularly choreographed action scenes. All of these factors come together to create memorable action that stands out from the rest of the X-men movies.
The performances across the board in Logan are what give it an extra dimension usually lacking in blockbuster movies. Keen does a lot with not many words, putting in a great ‘quiet badass’ performance. Stewart is superb, showing us a new frail and damaged side to Charles Xavier. But the emotional weight rests on the shoulders of Jackman in the titular role and it probably wouldn’t work as well without 17 years' worth of seeing him as Wolverine. While the X-Men franchise has had its ups, downs and continuity changes, Jackman’s performance has been the one constant through it all. Jackman cashes in all of this investment to provide some emotional moments that resonate especially strong for fans of the franchise.
Logan fires on all cylinders with the profanity, blood and action but is still able to provide a somber piece that delivers an emotional send-off to an amazing actor/character combination.