I remember when the first trailer for this was released, I usually don’t get hung up on trailers as they can colour your view of a movie, and don’t usually tell you much about the film, so when I saw the trailer and it instantly made me 100x more interested in the movie you know how different and impressive the trailer was.
Ever since The Dark Knight was released, it rocketed to near the top of my all time films and sitting proudly as my all time favourite comic book movies, and Logan is the first film since to come anywhere near challenging it, not quite surpassing it you understand, as I haven’t re-watched it nearly as much as I have The Dark Knight but after a few re-watches it just might threaten The Dark Knight’s long held place at the top of my list.
In the year 2027, mutants have all but died out, Logan is surviving just over the border in Mexico, caring for an elderly Professor X, who is suffering from dementia, which has catastrophic effects due to his telekinesis.
Logan is getting by driving a limo and drinking, his regeneration ability also seems to be diminishing, he is approached by a former nurse at an illegal facility that appears to be growing mutants, she asks him to take a young girl with very similar abilities to Logan, he refuses, however after encouragement from Charles, Logan takes the girl on the run from the company that grew her, in an attempt to take her to a safe ‘Eden’ near the Canadian border.
Logan instantly catches the eye by having a strikingly different visual style to almost any comic book movie, especially those in the X-Men universe, having the feel of a classic Western in terms of style. This stylistic changes suits the darker tone the movie is aiming for, this being an R-Rated effort, the language and violence is ramped up to new levels, although it is worth noting that the focus is more on the characters themselves as opposed to balls-out action, as a result most of the action feels sluggish as a result of Logan’s diminished abilities, he no longer regenerates as fast, and the simple act of drawing his claws causes him extreme pain.
Hugh Jackman truly has Logan down to a fine art at this point, after 17 years with the claws his last effort stands as a testament to his acting ability as Old Logan struggles across America, exhaustedly fighting off pursuers at every turn, it almost feels as though it’s a parallel to Jackman’s own ageing, being quoted before that he was getting too old for the part, it feels like he’s added that to his performance.
His supporting cast is stellar too, with the typically great performance from Sir Patrick Stewart, as well as a surprisingly grounded performance from Stephen Merchant as Logan’s albino assistant helping him with Xavier’s care, Caliban. On the villainous side, Boyd Holbrook plays Donald Pierce the head of security for the company responsible for X-23’s creation (we’ll get to her) a ruthless character who will stop at nothing to catch up to Logan and X-23, as with the rest of the cast, it’s a grounded and exceptional performance, creating a truly unlikeable character.
So onto X-23 (Laura) she is portrayed by the young actress Dafne Keene who really must be commended for bringing this pivotal character to life so brilliantly despite her relative inexperience, she truly stands out during the more action packed sequences, with the film not containing as much action as previous movies they had to stand out as different, and whereas Logan’s fighting style had become slower and encumbered, Laura isn’t in that situation, she brings the Wolverine fire to fights, and hopefully it leads to more for this talented young woman.
Of course all this in insubstantial if the story doesn’t hold up and luckily it does, a much smaller scale more personal story surrounding the future of mutant-kind and morality, and rest assured there are a few gut-punches of emotion in this movie, none of which will be spoiled here, the effect of such brings emotion to a genre that rarely strays into tear-jerking territory, but there are several moments in this directly aimed at the heart-strings.
It is truly hard to find something that jumps out as a fault, because of the movie’s overall quality, however the movie did seems to contrive a solve-all MacGuffin towards the plots end, which while being needed for the film to reach a conclusion, did feel a tad contrived. All that aside, spare a few hours in your life to watch Logan, long time X-Men fans will love it for the sense of closure to the story, while it doesn’t quite exist in the same timeline as the other movies, it’s still worth seeing for the closure to a story and it’s accessible for new viewers who are put off by the usual comic book movie tropes. I cannot recommend this movie enough for those who enjoy a compelling narrative, as Logan will take you on a ride that will stay for you for years to come.