Logan is brutal, merciless and hellishly entertaining. This is the R-rated Wolverine movie that I have been waiting for! Hardcore fans of the Wolverine character will know that he’s ultra-violent and ruthless, with a killer instinct, which to my mind is something we haven’t seen fully realised in the child-friendly X-men films. Logan digs deeper into the character, exploring in more depth his struggle to contain his savage side.
More like a survivalist thriller than a superhero movie
Going into this film, it’s perfectly fine to have never seen an X-Men or a Wolverine movie in your life. It’s world’s apart from the other films, in terms of tone and style, so Logan works well as a stand-alone feature. It’s grounded and character-driven, making it so much more than just a regular superhero movie.
Set in 2029, Hugh Jackman plays Wolverine for the ninth time, but this isn’t a Wolverine we’ve seen before. Now he’s an aged and haggard hero, making a living as limo-driver and whose regeneration powers are in decline. This is a superhero past his prime. He doesn’t have impeccable stamina and strength like he once did. In this near future, Logan has been keeping a low profile, taking care of a seriously ill Charles Xavier (Stewart).
All Logan wants is a life away from the limelight, but he reluctantly gets involved with an eleven-year-old girl named Laura (Keen), who is being hunted by a militant group. So, now he is forced to keep a young girl and old man safe from people who want them dead. Tough gig for Logan. The film takes you on a long, bloody journey and the trio leaves behind a trail of chaos.
Diverting from genre conventions, every scene in this film feels necessary for the character development. We all know that superhero films and action movies, in general, don’t care too much for narrative and intelligent dialogue, but Logan takes a more natural approach. Yes, there are many bloody scenes with Wolverine tearing people to shreds, but the film puts the story first and takes the time to tell it.
The violence is where the film calls for it, but be warned, it is extreme! I’m talking so much blood and dismemberment that the prophetic team must have made a fortune.
From an acting standpoint, the performances are brilliant all-around. This is Jackman’s best performance as Wolverine by a country mile. For the first time, you don’t just see a beast with claws, but a broken man trying to do what’s right. Dafne Keen as Laura is also impressive and she sort of reminded me of Hit Girl from Kick-Ass.
Despite the ferocious final act, the first half of the film is better than the second. It’s much more evenly paced and I feel as a whole, the film could have been cut down by about twenty-five minutes. The story drags on a bit towards the end. But regardless of this, Logan is hugely enjoyable. It manages to be an action film, a character study and a serious drama all at once.
The best comic-book movie in recent years: ambitious, ballsy, daring and unconventional. This is the perfect end to Hugh Jackman’s run. I can’t see anyone else playing Wolverine, so it feels a bit of a shame he’s calling it a day. Logan is very good, a welcome watch that I highly recommend.
Quoted: “Logan, you still have time.”
Director: James Mangold
Writers: James Mangold, Scott Frank, Michael Green.
Stars: Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, Dafne Keen.
Distributor: 20th Century Fox (Theatrical)
Run Time: 137 min