Logan is the latest film in the X-Men franchise, and with stars Hugh Jackman and Sir Patrick Stewart announcing this will be their final film in the roles of Logan and Professor X respectively, it signifies the end of an era for a lot of comic book movie fans.
For the last 17 years Hugh Jackman has played the role of Wolverine in the X-men movies with great distinction. Logan serves as a perfect vehicle for him to deliver his best performance as the title character, and arguably the best performance of his illustrious career. Jackman has never been bad in the role of wolverine, but in this film he take things to another level we have not yet seen in a superhero movie.
That is in part due to the fact that Logan isn’t your normal superhero movie. Logan is a slower more intimate story with more time spent delving into the depths of the characters problems as there is watching people get brutally sliced apart. The introduction of Laura, the child in the trailers played by young Dafne Keen, brings with it a new set of problems for our heroes. We have seen superheroes fight for the safety of cities and indeed the world in previous films, so the much more personal stakes in Logan are a real change to the usual trend we see in these films. The fight isn’t to save the world, or even to save a town, it is all about Logan and his relationship with Charles and Laura that takes centre stage for this and I personally loved it.
That being said, that is not to say there isn’t any fighting in this film. The mature rating means we can finally see Wolverine be the animal we have heard about in previous films, and caught glimpses of in certain scenes, mainly in X-men 2 (The mansion scene, if you know, then you know). Those of you who just know Wolverine from the films, you have never seen him like this. The action is visceral, aggressive and is not for those with a weak stomach. The feral wolverine from the comics comes to life in the action scenes and Jackman revels in it. Hacking and slashing his way through enemies, you almost feel like this is finally the wolverine movie he always wanted to be able to do.
Surprisingly, he wasn’t the standout action wise. As excellent as Logan’s fight scenes are, some of the best moments for me were when we get to see X-23/Laura unleash her similar skill set on her enemies. There is something slightly strange at times about seeing a 12-year-old girl dismember full-grown soldiers, but it’s highly entertaining and the stunt work and special effect are flawless.
Boyd Holbrook (Narcos) plays the most intriguing of the films villains, and whilst I wont go into spoilers on who the other bad guys are, he was the only one who i felt really worked in any way. He is charismatic and menacing at the same time, but fades to the background in the second half of the film. It was a disappointing choice, as i felt he was a good foil for the ageing Logan. The film is really not about the bad guys though, so the lack of development here doesn’t detract quite as much as usual. The film’s focus is on Logan, and the villain is largely used to put faceless mercenary after faceless mercenary in our heroes way to be cut down to size.
Both director James Mangold and the Studio 20th Century Fox deserve a lot of credit for sticking to their guns and making this movie. It follows Deadpool in that it defies the conventions of the genre and shows again that superhero movies are here to stay. Logan does nothing you would expect from a superhero movie, and the story, along with the performances throughout really do lift the genre to heights we haven’t seen since The Dark Knight.
Despite its place in a superhero franchise, if you haven’t seen the rest of the X-movies, you can still watch this film and enjoy it. For fans of the franchise, this film has almost everything you could have wanted from a final goodbye to Jackman and Stewart’s run as these characters. Brutally violent and genuinely heartwarming at the same time, Logan is genuinely fantastic film regardless of genre.
9.5/10 – Jackman bows out in style.