The characteristics of Logan make up the perfect amalgamation of what should have been every solo Wolverine movie. Yes, even the travesty of X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Similar to what Deadpool did with Deadpool, Logan is the most accurate depiction of the famed foul-mouthed comic book character. Its faithfulness to the mythology of the source material is unprecedented and it truly is Hugh Jackman’s swansong as the titular character. The story, the emotion and the characters pay off not just for the long-time fans but for the general viewer as well and it will feel even better if you follow the comics.
The year is 2029 and there hasn’t been a new mutant born in the last two decades. The X-Men have long disbanded and Logan (Hugh Jackman), whose powers aren’t what they once were, now cares for an ailing Professor X (Patrick Stewart) together with Caliban (Stephen Merchant). When Logan goes out to work as a chauffeur one day, he is approached by a mysterious woman, Gabriela (Elizabeth Rodriguez) for help with Laura/X-23 (Dafne Keen) who is being pursued by sinister forces. Despite his faltering abilities and sense of hopelessness, Logan reluctantly agrees to help.
Wolverine in the comics is a natural when it comes to doing rated R shenanigans so you could imagine the delight on everyone’s faces when it was announced that Logan would indeed be rated R. You can expect a totally hardcore and hardened version of Wolverine in Logan. It just feels so right to finally see heads rolling in the dust and Wolverine’s ‘Berserker Rage’ come to life on the silver screen. In its full perfect form of being rated R, it is nothing short of an adrenaline pumping, barbaric gore-fest.
Almost every scene in Logan is significant enough to escalate the story to greater heights. Even in the slow ‘family time’ moments, the movie builds up the tenderness of characters with really subtle signs, like Laura/X-23 taking a peek at Logan painstakingly tending to the frail Professor X with medicine or putting him into bed. It’s these little things which make us care more about the characters and their ultimate destination. For Laura, she is given a dose of warmth in her heart and infused with a sense of humanity, which makes more than just an emotionless killing machine.
Dafne Keen is a relatively unknown actress in Hollywood but she was perfect as X-23. She doesn’t talk much because she lets her face do all the talking. Being the perfect killing machine, her menacing ferocity is personified in every inch of her facial expressions and it is so satisfying to see her growl and pounce on her enemies to rip their faces off with her claws.
Was Marvel in charge of writing the villain in Logan? Donald Pierce (Boyd Holbrook) is Transigen’s head of security and leader of the Reavers. He is the embodiment of the problem Marvel has with its villains till today – they are weak. If there was one thing I could get rid of in the movie, it would be him. Holbrook has the charisma to be an outstanding villain but the film doesn’t push his motivations of hunting X-23 well enough. What makes it even more frustrating is that he isn’t involved in any fight scenes at all; not if you define fight scenes as grabbing a big gun, getting your head bashed in almost immediately and proceeding to pass out. He doesn’t pose any existential threat to our heroes. He is just good at marching out orders to his troops, his sentences crisp like soldiers on a parade ground. But so what? We would have to know a lot more about him than that for him to be a memorable villain.
There is a huge spoiler which I want to discuss but for obvious reasons I won’t. I will say this though – Logan channels what the Terminator franchise did with Arnold Schwarzenegger in Terminator Genisys and it is really just there for nothing other than the end of an era type of vibe it exudes. Do correct me if I’m wrong with this.
Logan, which is based loosely on the ‘Old Man Logan’ storyline from the comics was always going to be a serious and personal tearjerker. But to know that this is Jackman’s last outing as the iconic mutant makes it an even more sombre affair. I attended the premiere and the entire cinema I was in clapped when the lights came on. I myself was left with quivering lips and a shed of tear while waving my flail arms together to give a final round of applause to Hugh Jackman. Logan is what he would have wanted as his last portrayal, it was what the fans would have wanted as his last portrayal and I couldn’t have thought of any better way to send him off. Thank you Hugh, for the last 17 years.
Should you spend money on it? Yes, watch it twice.
Directed by: James Mangold
Screenplay by: Scott Frank, James Mangold, Michael Green
Based on: Wolverine by Len Wein, Roy Thomas, John Romita,Sr. Old Man Logan by Mark Millar, Steve McNiven
Starring: Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, Dafne Keen, Boyd Holbrook, Stephen Merchant, Richard E. Grant
Running time: 137 minutes
Genre: Science fiction/Drama