James Mangold’s Logan is the definitive Wolverine movie. Subdued, mature, contemplative and brutal, Logan arguably could be called the best X-Men movie, period. It’s Hugh Jackman’s tenth on screen portrayal of Wolverine, three in his own personal films. This marks the end of an era; we watch Jackman and Patrick Stewart bow out, as their time as X-Men comes to close. What could have been another throw away comic book movie ends up having more in common with a John Wayne western than a mutant laced action flick. This is by far one of the best comic book movies to date and will go down in history as such.
It can only be described as what it must be like to live in a Johnny Cash song for little over two hours. Logan deliverers on every promise that was made by the filmmakers and the actors. This is the Wolverine movie fans have been waiting years for. It’s dark, mean and R-rated. With a hard R too: the screen runs red with blood and there are so many F-bombs you swear Kevin Smith did a rewrite. This is an almost-perfect movie, and not just a comic book one. Logan is a character that transcends into another echelon completely. Looking at where we started with Jackman way back into with 2000’s first X-Men movie, we have seen him grow into the character and become The Wolverine with each performance.
The year is 2029. The majority of mutant-kind has been eradicated. Survivor Logan makes ends meet by working as a chauffeur; his superhero days are in the past. Logan’s saving up to buy a boat, which he plans to use to transport Professor X (Patrick Stewart), off the main land and into the middle of the ocean where he won’t be in danger of harming anyone again. You see, Xavier’s powers, much like Wolverine’s powers, are failing with old age, to a point where they’re not working anymore, and both walk closer to death with each day.
Enter Laura (Dafne Keen), a fantastic addition to Wolverine’s on-screen mythos that comes from the pages of Marvel’s comics. Keen gives an amazing performance. She stands tall and goes toe to toe with Jackman and Stewart. Fans will know her as X-23: a clone of Wolverine. She has heard the stories of the mighty X-Men, seeking them out after escaping her version of the Weapon X program. On the run, she leads a team of nasty cybernetic punks called The Reavers, being lead by Donald Pierce (Boyd Holbrook), a long time C-list X-Men villain, who got a rewrite and is now is a force to be reckoned with.
Logan doesn’t follow any normal blueprint for a comic book movie As stated above, it really does have more in common with a John Wayne flick that anything else. Shot beautifully by Cinematographer John Mathieson, the look and feel he created brings a tear to your eye. The movie itself gives off the same emotion as the characters: bleak, desperate and dejected. These are the most realistic portrayals of these characters yet.
Jackman is brilliant in his last outing as Wolverine, but massive props and all the respect to Patrick Stewart as Charles Xavier. Stewart’s performance in the movie is Shakespearean. Now, granted all of his performances are, but there is something special about this one. Words can’t explain how good he is in this. This is an Oscar-worthy performance by Stewart. Xavier is over 90, his health is weak as is his brilliant mind. He can no longer control his mental abilities, and he has been deemed a “Weapon of Mass Destruction” by the government. So just as Logan is dealing with his own drama, Xavier is as well. Two sides of the same coin: Charles can see light at the end of the tunnel with his ever-existing positivity and Logan continues his ever negative ways. Their relationship on screen is one of the best and that’s due to the astonishing talents of both actors who know these characters inside and out.
Logan is brilliant, sad, dark and vicious. This is one of the best comic films to date, I know I said it already, but it bears repeating. Logan is a fully satisfying ending to Wolverine’s on-screen journey that we have been a part of. When it comes to Hugh Jackman’s unprecedented run as Wolverine, they saved the best for last.