Less of a comic-book movie, more of a gritty and violent neo-western, Logan envisions a future so dark that it almost feels completely detached from the X-Men universe. Infact, if there was ever a film that broke that comic-book genre mold and transcended it, this is it.
It’s 2029, and the mutants have nearly perished, while those who are alive live in hiding at the risk of being killed. Logan (Hugh Jackman) is one of the few ones left alive and haven grown increasingly weary he spends his days in hiding, living at a remote outpost on the Mexican border, working basically as an Uber limo driver and caring for an ailing Professor X (Patrick Stewart). His plan to hide from the outside world however, gets upended when he meets a young mutant (Dafne Keen) who is very much like him and he is forced to protect the girl against the people after her.
Ultimately, what makes this film works so well is the keen understanding that James Mangold has of his aesthetic and the character of Logan/ Wolverine. He’s much more interested in exploring the humanity of his character and understands that the gritty, pessimistic, western backdrop suits both the nature of the character and the character arc he is trying to explore.
He also doesn’t dial down when it comes to the violence either, which feels problematic at times because it doesn’t always have a lot of stakes. But at the same time it also feels very cool and I have to say I never got tired of the countless shots of adamantium claws going through skulls.
In his final performance as Wolverine, Hugh Jackman truly gives it his all. Giving a performance that mirrors that of Clint Eastwood’s in Unforgiven. It’s a performance that brings some definitive depth and humanity to a character he’s been playing for 17 years and seeing him balance the savagery of Logan with some genuine heart makes his swansong as perfect as it could possibly have been.
The film also features a truly broken Professor X, played excellently by Patrick Stewart, who now suffers from dementia and doesn’t mind dropping the odd f-bomb either. His performance is in many ways, just as emotional as that of Jackman and there’s also a great performance on-offer by newcomer Dafne Keen, especially in-regards to the physicality she bring to the role.
But for all the blood that spills and all the flesh that gets ripped through, there is something deeply melancholic about Logan. It has an astonishing amount of depth and maturity with the way it handles the characters and the story. And that for me, really elevates it and turns it into something truly special.
Cue Johnny Cash’s ‘Hurt’.