Where do I even begin…?
The X-Men franchise has had it’s share of ups and downs, when it’s good, it’s fantastic. when it’s bad, it’s frustrating. There has been one consistent bright spot and that’s Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine.
Logan is the end of Jackman’s 17-year stint (that’s something no one else in Hollywood, with the exception of Robert Downey Jr, can claim.) as the titular character and to sweeten the pot, it’s rated R! (More on that later). The film takes place many, many years in a mutant-less future where a much older, world-weary Logan is a shell of what he used to be. His healing powers aren’t as potent, even popping his trademark claws hurts him, he’s making ends meet as a chauffeur while taking care of former Professor Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart, who also returns for his final outing) who’s once great mind is barely hanging together. During one fare, Logan meets a mother who’s daughter Laura (Dafne Keen) needs to go to a safe haven called Eden where other mutants are located. Logan, Laura and Charles go on a road trip to find it with a clandestine organization hot on their tail.
Logan, from the first frame, comes out of the gate with a berserker rage. Right away, this is a Wolverine film that truly lives up to it’s name and then some. The opening sequence is grounded, intimate and unpretentiously brutal. Faces get stabbed, legs get lopped off and exit wounds are on full grisly display. The gore in the action sequences, at some points, makes Deadpool look like a maiden. It’s an act of genius to give the film an R-rating. I’m sorry, kids, you’ve had your fun.
Speaking of kids, while it’s great to see Wolverine finally let off the leash. Laura is even scarier. Dafne Keen, does stuff that a girl her age that’s unfathomable, she’s quiet most of the time she’s onscreen but she’s downright nasty during the action, she threatens to steal the show from the lead and she succeeds time and time again.
The gory, relentless action is balanced with a strong story, nuanced, emotional acting and a sun-bleached, Western-like setting. The world that James Mangold created is a world that’s not too far from where we are now. The best way to describe the tone is that it’s a Western with few superheroes in it. It’s not completely dour, there’s plenty of humor especially where Charles is concerned. Patrick Stewart clearly looks like he’s having fun, seeing him cuss out Logan is hilarious.
Hugh Jackman, while he’s always delivered, hits a grand slam. Logan is as badass as ever but there’s a world-weariness to him that made sense. He may be older, but that animalistic fury hasn’t wavered. He put his heart and soul into this film and this is something he can be proud of. There were times that I nearly teared up. Also, Stephen Merchant also turns in a nice performance as Caliban, a mutant tracker and Boyd Holbrook delivers a slimy villain as Donald Pierce.
Logan is many things: It’s vicious, unrelenting, funny, heartbreaking. It’s the perfect swan song for a legendary run. Those words won’t do this justice but I’m pretty sure that this sentence will do the job:
It’s the best Wolverine film ever made.
For old times…