Director: James Mangold
Runtime: 137 minutes
Cast: Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, Dafne Keen, Stephen Merchant, Boyd Holbrook, Elizabeth Rodriguez, Richard E. Grant, et al…
Plot (taken from IMDb): In the near future, a weary Logan cares for an ailing Professor X somewhere on the Mexican border. However, Logan’s attempts to hide from the world and his legacy are upended when a young mutant arrives, pursued by dark forces.
The year is 2029, mutants are all but wiped out, Logan (Hugh Jackman) has moved an ailing, ageing Professor X (Patrick Stewart) into hiding inside a fallen over water tower, looking after him in his dying days alongside Caliban (Stephen Merchant), a sun-fearing tracker mutant who helped to rid the world of what was seen as the mutant menace a while back. Logan is ageing and unwell too. His self-healing powers are failing him, and he has become an alcoholic chauffeur, using his limited money to keep Professor X in good health.
We see Logan deal with a band of criminals in the opening minutes of the movie, and it’s brutal, gruesome stuff. This is not the Wolverine you’re used to. He’s angry still, but this is because he’s trying to lead a normal life. When these thugs are trying to steal things off his limo, he tells them to walk away. Of course they don’t. The ensuing fight is loud. Bones crack, Logan’s claws slice through limbs and go through heads. It’s more intense than the superhero movies you’re used to. For a while, the only words spoken in the film are f-bombs. Logan has grown tired.
We learn that he is earning money to keep himself, Caliban and Professor X (Charles) alive. It’s hard. It’s tiring. He doesn’t want to be bothered. Then Logan is spotted by someone who recognises him as Wolverine, and desperately needs his help. Gabriela (Elizabeth Rodriguez), tells him that he needs to take a little girl to Canada, to Eden – a safe-haven for mutants. Laura (Dafne Keen), as it turns out, is a mutant, one very similar to Wolverine. Donald Pierce (Boyd Holbrook), a shifty man with a robot hand, wants Laura for himself. Long story short, Logan traipses off with Laura and Charles in order to find Eden, or what they think it is.
At its heart, Logan is a film about a middle-age man looking after his dying father-figure, who is suffering from Alzheimer’s. Professor X, with the most powerful, dangerous brain in history suffering from brain issues, seizures and memory loss. Logan is just trying the best he can to look after a dying old man and a little girl in danger. It’s a much more emotionally powerful film than your standard comic-book affair. At times, the melancholy of the simple piano soundtrack and lingering close-ups of the effects of ageing will remind the viewer of The Last of Us. The two feature a middle-age man who has suffered lots, trying his best to look after people he is lumped with. Logan is about as human as a superhero movie will ever be.
Visually, Logan has more in common with the Western genre than the superhero movie. It’s slower, more meaningful. The cinematography allows us to get up close and personal to the pain and tiredness etched onto the character’s faces. What helps here however, are the several excellent performances. Logan contains the finest acting you’ll see in a comic-book movie. Hugh Jackman delivers one of his finest performances in what very well could be the last time we see him on-screen as Wolverine. Except, we don’t see him as Wolverine here. He is very much playing Logan here. We get to understand him on a human level for once.
Dafne Keen, who plays Laura, delivers a fine performance in her debut film, and there could be more to see of her in the future. I do wish, however, that Mr. Mangold didn’t have such a strong scream fetish. Laura screams a lot. Too much, actually. The action scenes are brutal enough as they are, but we didn’t need her to scream extremely loudly every time she was involved in a scrape. This may sound petty, but throughout the almost two-and-a-half-hour long film, we hear her scream a lot.
To be honest though, that’s the worst thing about Logan. This is a superhero movie, but not as you know it. Logan tells an emotional, human story at its core. It’s powerful, and at times, moving. It’s amazingly brutal, with bones cracking, heads and limbs being chopped off, all shown in, at times, horrific detail. James Mangold has not only easily delivered the best Wolverine movie, but he has also treated the world to a superhero movie that’s only bettered by Chris Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy. Logan is the best Marvel movie ever made.
James Mangold’s final Wolverine movie is also Marvel’s finest. It’s emotionally charged, human story is backed up by some incredible, brutal action.