It has only been a year since Deadpool; however, it feels like we have waited for ages for a Wolverine movie that goes for the jugular. Logan is certainly that, capturing beautifully the rage and raw forlornness of Wolvie’s existence with little compromise. Though it doesn’t exactly break the mold of the superhero genre as some have claimed.
Yet, there is more than enough to be in awe over.
Logan is adapted from the Old Man Logan series of comics penned by the likes of Jeff Lemire and Mark Millar and picks up with a ravaged, jadedly miserable Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) at the end of the next decade. Past his prime, his powers aren’t what they once were and he has taken to self-medication while running an Uber-type limo service along the Mexican border.
Mutants are virtually extinct and Logan, along with the solar disinclined Caliban (Stephen Merchant), is the only one left to look after an aged Professor X (Patrick Stewart, in an enjoyable yet bleak final turn as the character) suffering dementia and having lost his sanity on top of control of his abilities.
Complicating matters once she turns up is a feral young girl named Laura (newcomer Dafne Keen) with claws, reflexes, and berserker rages like a certain unkillable “animal”. Knowing he will regret it, Logan is persuaded to transport her to a place called Eden, where she might be safe from mercenaries hunting her.
Long and bloody, the movie is a hodgepodge of sundry tropes: the road movie, Westerns, the suicide mission, the man pulled back into his old life and the not-to-mention superhero genre. Recalling Deadpool, it ups the gore with CGI splatter and claws, claws, claws — hacking off limbs and impaling body parts at every turn.
Whereas Ryan Reynolds and Tim Miller relished levity, Mangold focuses on the emotional hook, a father-daughter story. Occasions for humor arise sometimes but most are incidental. Audiences will get a laugh out of Jackman — at the end of his rope — beating up a truck, though it’s not a scene there solely to be funny.
If anything is wrong with the movie, it’s a deficient central villain. Pierce, the leader of the bionic Reavers (Boyd Holbrook) tracking Laura, attempts to make his presence felt from the beginning. He is actually the reason Wolverine is pulled into the action at first — as things drag on he plays second too often to others.
The audience will still get what they came for. Between this and Deadpool, the studio is consistent in hitting a home run meta in form without undoing the foundation already laid.
Jackman and Stewart are adamant this will be their last hurrah in the X-franchise. You might think there is a chance but, no, this is it. The movie goes to painstaking lengths to be firm in that regard. Walking back that effort would only ruin everything.
It’s the high note all involved were looking for, go out on it. Don’t be Warner Bros. and DC Comics. Fox has enough problems.