Comic book movies have defined the modern blockbuster. As the genre gets older, it begins to be more inventive. We saw this with Deadpool a year ago. That was a movie that took a massive risk, and it paid off handsomely for 20th Century Fox. So, when it was announced that Hugh Jackman would return one last time to play Wolverine, it was obvious a R rating was imminent. If you know anything about the character of Wolverine, he’s a foul mouthed anti-hero of sorts. Hugh Jackman returns to the role and his final outing doesn’t hold anything back. Logan is a violent movie, but a fun one. However, it isn’t the deep and thought provoking piece some critics may have you believe. Yet, James Mangold directs this movie with enough skill to make its emotional moments impactful and with enough throat slicing to keep it wholly entertaining.
Logan centers on Logan’s journey to save a new mutant and his old friend, Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart). Both Logan and Charles are dying. Logan in particular is struggling to heal after being attacked with his metal claws poisoning his body. Working as a limo driver, Logan is raising money to get a delusional Charles out of crude home in Mexico. When a girl mysteriously enters both their lives, Logan’s attempt to live out his life and die are upended by a sinister force looking to weaponize new mutants. As much as it is a farewell to the character of Logan, the movie seemingly serves as a set up for the new mutants. Newcomer Dafne Keen plays Laura who Logan and Charles go on the run to protect.
There are some terrific performances in this movie notably Keen as X-23. Stewart and Jackman are also terrific, but heres to hoping fanboys won’t start the petition to get either of them an Oscar nomination. It isn’t that their performances are awful, just not Oscar worthy in this writers opinion. Logan is tortured and living his final days out helping medicate Charles so he doesn’t destroy the world with powerful seizures. Logan also keeps a bullet made of Adamantium as a reminder of a way out. The journey to get to where this film is heading is certainly fun to watch. Yet, there are several reminders along the way that this is not a perfect film.
Boyd Holbrook plays Pierce a snarky villain with a robotic hand. His personal vendetta against mutants is captivating during the early moments of the film. But, Mangold decides to abandon the villain midway through the film as we focus on a less interesting one. We see bits and pieces of Pierce throughout the films final act, but there is never a sense that we should’ve cared about him in the first place.
The violence is thrilling to watch and is always gloriously gratuitous. There is always something entertaining about watching Wolverine slice and dice evil henchmen. The film also features some surprising emotional heft especially in individual moments between the characters. Charles and Logan’s relationship has come full circle and it is a pleasure to watch.
Logan is definitely the best entry in the Wolverine franchise and the best X-Men outing since Bryan Singer’s Days Of Future Past. It’s gritty depiction of the near future and a world without mutants creates a full bodied universe for the X-Men. Though it isn’t a comic book genre masterpiece, Logan is a worthwhile watch and and a fun time at the movies even with forgivable flaws.