If Jackman really means it and this is THE last time he will ever
portray Wolverine, he has picked a perfect way to go out on top.
Set in the near future (2029 to be exact), our beloved X-Men hero,
Logan (Hugh Jackman), is one of the last remaining mutants on the
planet. They have been hunted down and poisoned into extinction, and
Logan is growing weary of a life full of violence and loss, especially
as his powers weaken.
He’s hiding out in El Paso, drinking too much and doing what he
can to take care of an aging and ailing Professor Xavier (Patrick
Stewart). However, Logan might have one last chance at redemption.
Gabriela (Elizabeth Rodriguez) is desperate to find Logan and convince
him to take a young girl, Laura (Dafne Keen), to Canada for her own
safety. While he doesn’t want to get involved, our reluctant hero
doesn’t have much of an alternative when the bounty hunters show
up at his door looking for her, and Professor X tries to remind Logan
of his good side.
Can they make it to Canada?
Is this Logan’s last ride?
Logan is not a superhero movie. It’s a
neo-western with a tragic, reluctant anti-hero feeling guilty for using
his unique ability to cause mayhem and destruction to help others avoid
the violence and pain all too familiar in his own life.
After playing Wolverine so many times on screen, you think Jackman
would have nowhere else to go with his portrayal, but writer/director
James Mangold puts the character into a perfect new scenario allowing
our star to show a new vulnerability and humanity. The conflict
Wolverine has felt and the pain and loss he constantly experiences is
nothing new, but Logan
gives the audience a chance to see him fading away, faltering under the
weight of it all, and becoming a shell of the indestructible superhero
we have seen before.
This gives Jackman the opportunity to go beyond growling and showing
his bulging biceps. He wears Logan’s physical and emotional pain
like an ill-fitting suit to let us know this is a man who isn’t
used to these feelings being expressed (we usually find them hidden
beneath rage), no matter how much he may be succumbing to reality as
his spirit fades.
Stewart gets much the same opportunity here as we see a Professor
Xavier in his twilight, his brilliant powerful mind betraying him even
as he takes his last grasp at making the world a better place for those
who are different. Mangold and the writing team beautifully show us how
Professor Xavier, even in a feeble condition, won’t stop trying
to help the lost and confused, whether that be Dafne or Logan.
Stewart is amazing as we see Xavier fading in and out of awareness and
the dangerous peril his condition presents to all around him. Why
shouldn’t he get an Oscar nomination next year?
Then, Mangold presents Logan as a raw, visceral, gritty, bleak
film as we watch the characters make their way through dusty trails,
backroads and some of the most gruesome violence you have ever seen in
a movie. The fight scenes are explosive, but graphic as the audience
gets to see the carnage Wolverine has lived with for so long. It makes
it less thrilling and more substantive.
Logan is a fantastic movie made even better by a bit of surprise the audience gets to enjoy before the film starts.
Logan is rated R for strong brutal
violence and language throughout, and for brief nudity.