As touching as it is brutal, Logan is the Wolverine film that fans have been waiting for.
The release of Logan marks the end of an era as Hugh Jackman appears as the Wolverine for the last time after seventeen years in the role. Director James Mangold and crew successfully produce what is an excellent, character driven story that serves as a fitting end to the Wolverine series.
The film takes place in the near future of 2029 and follows a much older Logan (Hugh Jackman) working as a chauffeur whilst trying to take care of the now senile and frail Professor Charles Xavier (Sir Patrick Stewart) in an abandoned Mexican farmhouse. After an encounter with a desperate nurse, Logan becomes responsible for the mysterious young mutant, Laura (Dafne Keen). He is then tasked with bringing the girl to the mutant safe haven of “Eden” in North Dakota. Accompanied by the professor, Logan and Laura attempt to reach their destination whilst avoiding a group named the Reavers who seek to capture Laura and use her for their own purposes.
First and foremost, the performances for the film’s three main characters, Logan, Charles and Laura are fantastic. Hugh Jackman’s final portrayal of Wolverine is arguably his best as he fully commits to the role, showing both the relentlessly violent as well as troubled and caring sides of Logan’s personality. The film also marks the final appearance of Sir Patrick Stewart in the X-Men franchise, and his comedic yet touching performance is a worthy send off for the veteran actor.
Unlike the previous X-men films, Logan delves much deeper into its main character’s identity. Along with the usual rage we’ve come to expect with Wolverine, which is still very much present here, we also touch on Logan’s inner conflict of feeling responsible for the wellbeing of this girl but at the same time wanting to stay isolated for fear of the safety of those around him. We see more character development in this one film than we have over the eight previous appearances of the character, so great credit is due to James Mangold for the writing.
With a certificate of 15, Logan is truly brutal, being the first film in which we see a far fouler mouthed Wolverine really let loose. This is a welcome addition as it allows for far more violent action sequences that are more in line with the film’s gritty feel. Despite its brutal nature though, the film is full of humour, with some of the funniest moments coming from Keen and Stewart as they continuously test the patience of the short-tempered Logan.
The film does unfortunately suffer from a set of weak antagonists. The main villain comes in the form of Boyd Holbrook’s Donald Pierce, who, as leader of the Reavers, acts as Logan’s main pursuer throughout the movie. However, the introduction of further antagonistic figures later in the film is a distraction from the story of Logan’s overall journey, which is far more interesting to watch. The lack of a strong villain is inconsequential for the most part, but does hurt the film in its finale, which feels slightly underwhelming.
Despite this detail, Jackman’s final outing as Wolverine is a near perfect swansong for the character. Fantastic performances, excellent character development and a moving story result it what will surely be one of the best superhero movies of 2017. Logan succeeds on almost every level at giving the iconic character the ending he deserves.
Logan (2017), directed by James Mangold, is distributed in the UK by 20th Century Fox, Certificate 15