Logan is the latest film in 20th Century Fox’s longstanding X-Men franchise. It follows Logan (Hugh Jackman) as he comes to terms with the status of the world and his place in it. Set in 2029 Logan follows our titular hero as he takes care of his old friend Prof. X (Sir Patrick Stewart) and tries to live a life without incident. Unfortunately, the arrival of a mysterious child (Dafne Keen) threatens to bring complete upheaval into this aged heroes twilight years.
17 years, it has been 17 years since Hugh Jackman became the Wolverine and what an incredible journey it has been. There have been ups and downs but consistently he’s been there, the constant hero we’ve needed throughout the X-Men franchise. What Logan has done has given Wolverine/Hugh Jackman the full, uncensored opportunity to be the very best at what he does and what he does isn’t very nice.
First the positives, Hugh Jackman has never been better as the world-weary Canadian mutant. His body now shows the sorrow of his life, and it paints a tragic picture that Jackman sells as the one-time hero. With him on this journey is another tragic figure, Prof. X (Stewart) who has now been designated a weapon of mass destruction due to the deterioration of his brain which was already a deadly weapon now there’s just someone with an itchy trigger figure. Seeing these two together, seemingly the last of the X-Men tugs at the heart-strings and adds one of the most human connections I’ve seen in recent years. Along for the ride is newcomer Laura (Dafne Keen) who is impressive as the silent but frighteningly deadly mutant that Logan and Charles have to try and get to North Dakota. Keen is a scene stealer with only her gestures and presence she is a force to be reckoned with, and if there are further adventures with Laura, I look forward to how Keen evolves as an actress.
The world Logan lives in is a brutal one and that’s where the film earns its 18’s rating. Swearing, severing of limbs, decapitations and much, much more give this film the authenticity that allows Logan to unleash the beast truly. It’s gleefully barbaric at times and when you couple that with the quieter, more humane moments you have everything you want in the possible final chapter of Wolverine. The performances are elevated by a fantastically emotive score and some top-notch cinematography; the fight scenes are easily the best they’ve been in the whole franchise.
Now onto the problems with Logan, the story though touching is quite familiar especially for fans of old school westerns and not only that Logan falls into the same pitfall that all films have been falling into of late. The villains are forgettable and underdeveloped. Richard E. Grant and Boyd Holbrook play Zander Rice and Donald Pierce respectively, two baddies looking to get Laura back and kill her. Holbrook’s Donald Pierce seemed to have potential at the beginning of the film, but as the film goes on, he becomes an afterthought even though Holbrooks brings the right level of dread and humour to the role. Grant, on the other hand, is thoroughly unimpressive playing the usual evil scientist using mutants for his nefarious means, same s**t different day. There’s another villainous element but I won’t go into that due to spoilers, I will say however that it was an interesting novelty, but it wore off quickly and could have been something far more impactful in my eyes.
When all is said and done no one walks away from Logan unscathed, not the character or the audiences. You’ll likely have tears in your eyes as the credits roll. If this is the swansong to the legend of the Wolverine and Hugh Jackman’s final time as him it was a worthy end.