Superhero films are as popular as ever, bringing people of all ages to the cinema. There have been so many that it could be argued a familiar pattern has emerged. There’s action, banter, big CGI battles and plenty of fun. And then there’s a movie that comes along and transcends the genre completely. Logan is that movie. Here is my spoiler free review that looks at Hugh Jackman’s final outing as Wolverine.
Logan lives up to its R rating from the beginning, with a brutal fight that sees Wolverine popping his claws and slicing up a few thugs who tried to boost the wheels off the car he was sleeping in. But it isn’t the Wolverine we’re used to. He’s old, his healing factor isn’t working like it used to and he’s being poisoned by the Adamantium in his body. It was heartbreaking to see him in such a state, and Jackman plays it to full effect.
It’s 2029, mutants are nearly extinct and Logan is working as a limo driver so he can pay for Professor Xavier’s medication. Patrick Stewart plays a dementia-riddled Charles, who’s lost control of his powers and is a danger to everyone around him when he’s not pilled up. Stewart is a master at capturing the pain and regret of the broken down X-Men leader. Wolverine and Xavier’s father figure and son relationship comes full circle from the first X-Men film.
Logan’s plans to buy a boat so he and Charles can live on the ocean are interrupted when a nurse called Gabriella comes into life with a mysterious girl named Laura. What follows is a violent road trip that takes Wolverine out into the desert as he tries to keep his makeshift family together. Dafne Keen is a true highlight, flitting between vulnerability and brutality. She’s the perfect counter point to Jackman’s gruffness and cynicism.
Logan is unlike any other superhero film because it incorporates western and neo-noir elements. Wolverine is depicted as the old gun slinger who is counting down his final days. This is made clear by the desert landscapes and rugged wilderness our heroes are forced to travel into. The world is grounded and gritty, light years away from the fantastical CGI fests of previous X-Men entries.
This minimalist approach works in the film’s favour. It strips Wolverine down to his core as a man who has seen everyone he loves die. The character’s swan song is a visceral experience that will be remembered for a long time.
Even among all the violence, Logan offers a glimpse at family, of the things we do to protect the ones we love. The spark of bittersweetness lives on in Jackman’s performance. To me, it’s the best X-Men film of all time, and stands up to The Dark Knight. Go and see this film.