For being one of the coolest comic book characters of the last few decades, Wolverine has has a very spotty track record on the big screen. However, in a world where we’re on our 3rd cinematic Spider-Man, 5th Batman and 3rd Hulk, it’s refreshing to see Hugh Jackman continue with the character for 17 years. Both he and Patrick Stewart have claimed that Logan will be their final times portraying the roles they helped make famous.
In X-Men Origins: Wolverine, we see the nearly immortal character suffer the loss of a loved one and give himself up to a mysterious government experiment. Oh, we also see the character of Deadpool get completely ruined (for a time). In the sequel, The Wolverine, the character travels to Japan to protect a princess and fight a giant samurai robot.
Now, we have the completion of the his story in Logan. It has been around 20 years since Logan’s time with the X-Men. The world has moved on from the time of mutants and superheroes. Logan is trying to move on with his life as well. He spends his days working as a limo driver, while his off-hours are spent tending to a quickly ailing Charles Xavier. Though, as his life can never be without danger, he soon winds up protecting a young girl who has very similar powers to him. This newfound responsibility leaves him constantly fleeing from a shadowy organization complete with tech-enhanced goons.
Logan is not quite the immortal man he once was. His body still has the ability to heal itself, but it’s clear that it too, wants to give up the fight. In some of the movie’s best moments, we get plenty of time to see the agony of a slowly dying immortal man with a adamantium skeleton that doesn’t quite want to work like it used to.
Age and frailty are the themes of this movie. Hugh Jackman looks more like Mel Gibson in a role that could almost be played by Clint Eastwood, given the gruffness of the character and how slow he seems to be moving. Professor Xavier is considered a weapon of mass destruction, given that he suffers with dementia diseasing his incredible brain power that could affect anyone in his vicinity.
On the other side, we are introduced to X-23 (Dafne Keen), who must rely on Logan to find survival, even though she has the ability to defend herself. The other theme, Family, also gives a sense of beauty to the events. While it seems hardly any of these characters are willing to admit it, they are stuck with each other and we get to see that acceptance. It also doesn’t hurt that we, as the audience, have nearly 20 years of investment into their history.
Logan is incredibly refreshing. The world isn’t about to end. The villains aren’t grand-standing wisecrackers. This is Logan’s story at its seeming end. The story is very personal and takes its time in between action scenes to present fully-developed characters (The only exception being a poorly explained minor villain).
By the way, the action is shot through longer takes and is extremely fun to watch. It borders on John Wick levels, if John Wick had claw hands. This movie does separate itself from the previous Wolverine movies as it is rated R. It earns it through the violence and language. Do not bring kids (or typical Marvel fans) to see this movie. Beyond the rating, they’d be bored as it’s closer in pace to a western, than a big-budget action spectacle.
Logan is by no means a comic book masterpiece. It’s not even the best X-Men movie (though it is tier 1). Yet, if finally gives justice to a character that has deserved greatness for so long. A-