Director James Mangold cooks up something special for Hugh Jackman’s final performance as the unbowed and grizzled Wolverine. His bloodied and sensational Western-esque send-off, Logan, is not only the greatest X-Men film ever made, but it just might be one of the greatest superhero films ever made.
From the opening moments of Logan, it becomes very apparent that Jackman’s final walk will be a something remarkably special – a different breed of superhero movie. For starters, it’s visceral, bloody and unapologetically R-rated. Wolverine cusses. A lot. And he’s not afraid to rip off the limbs of those who stand in his way. However, while the violence is a cool touch for most comic book enthusiasts, it’s the film’s sombre tone that immediately captures your attention. Logan is dark and gritty, not unlike Mad Max or even Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy. Like those films, it’s a lot more grounded and could even be compared to a modern western/road movie, filled with cracked and dusty spaces. Jackman channels his best Eastwood as the surly, depressed Wolverine who guzzles alcohol and has lost his will to live.
The story takes place in a bleak future (2029) where mutantkind has almost been erased. The only ones who remain live in the shadows while their stories are retold in comic books. Logan/Wolverine (Hugh Jackman), looking worse for wear, spends his day as a limousine driver in order to buy medication for an ailing Professor Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart). The two live on a deserted farm in a remote location (near the Mexican border) away from mankind. They both dream of buying a boat and setting out to sea to live the remaining days of their lives. However, their plans are halted when they cross paths with a young mutant named Laura (Dafne Keen). Also known as X-23, she has very similar abilities to Wolverine: adamantium-coated claws and the healing factor. A reluctant Wolvie takes in the girl and desperately tries to protect her from a small army led by a cyborg Donald Pierce.
After 17 years of playing one of the most popular characters in the X-Men franchise, Hugh Jackman truly comes into his own. After watching this performance, it’s hard to imagine any other actor playing the iconic character. Jackman is just perfect as Old Man Logan. He deftly presents a man nearing the end of his life, looking back his choices with remorse and sorrow with vein-popping intensity. If the film’s emotional moments don’t bring you to tears, knowing that this is Jackman’s final outing as the character will.
His performance is only matched by Patrick Stewart, who plays a Professor X who has more than withered away. It’s heartbreaking to see Charles suffer from dementia, however, it’s the moments where he is advising Wolverine that have the most emotional impact. The father and son bond between the two plays out really well on screen.
Logan feels like a completely new direction for FOX. It genuinely feels like a real movie with a sense of purpose rather than a blockbuster filling a gap in a cinematic universe. It’s deeply satisfying and earns its praise with every single frame. If you’re looking for a sci-fi action film, you might walk away slightly disappointed. Logan is far more than that. It’s a character study.