Director: James Mangold
Starring: Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart and Boyd Holbrook
Studio: 20th Century Fox
Since the first trailer for Logan was released last year it was clear we were getting a different kind of Wolverine film, but more importantly, it showed hints that we wouldn’t be getting the typical superhero film either.
When sitting down to watch Logan, if you’re expecting to see big scale battles between costumed heroes, fighting for the Earths survival then you need to find a different film. Logan is far removed from the superhero genre and is a better film for it.
Influenced by the Old Man Logan storyline featured in the comic books and set in 2029, Logan sees an aged Wolverine struggling to care for a mentally ill Professor Xavier (Patrick Stewart). His mutant ability that once made him a lethal killing machine has taken its toll. The wounds he now incurs take hours, sometime even days to heal instead of minutes. Movement is restricted because of a limp he has developed and the scars over his body shows the audience that it isn’t just Logan that has slowed in his old age, so too has his healing factor. When Laura (Dafne Keen), a young girl seeking help from Logan and Xavier enters the picture, all their lives are thrown into further turmoil. As the film progresses Xavier and Laura form a bond which Logan is reluctant to be a part of. However, circumstances outside the trios control forces them to rely upon each other as they run from the big bad of the movie, The Reavers, a militia group of mechanically enhanced soldiers led by Donald Pearce (Boyd Holbrook). The question of who is protecting who is constantly called into question.
Hugh Jackman’s latest portrayal as Wolverine/Logan has long been established as his last and if this is the case then he couldn’t bow out on a higher note. The same can also be said for Patrick Stewart. Since his first appearance as Wolverine in 2000’s X-men, Jackman has been loved by comic book fans for his screen adaptation of the most famous mutant and his faithfulness to the character. For Logan the claws are truly out this time. Within minutes of the opening credits, James Mangold, who wrote and directed the film allows Jackman to unleash the rage and brutality that Logan is known for. Heads are pierced and limbs detached, you are in no doubt people are dead after Logan has dealt with them. This level of violence continues throughout the film. The brutal scenes may at times seem excessive for those that have never read a Wolverine comic book, but for those that have 17 years of watching X-men films will be worth the wait.
The introduction of Laura, the young girl that Logan and Xavier charge themselves with protecting, will have fans salivating as again James Mangold keeps the character very true to her comic book origin. However good the fight scenes involving her and Logan are, they are nothing compared to the quiet moments and silence the two share on screen. I’m not ashamed to admit I had a tear in my eye a few times during the course of the film.
Logan isn’t just a great superhero film, it’s a great film regardless of the genre and proves that spandex, a superhero name and world changing events are not essential or needed. It’s a very emotionally driven film and relies on the dialogue and moments shared between characters to understand the real story that is being told. Thank you Hugh Jackman and Patrick Stewart for your dedication as actors and embracing these characters, and thank you James Mangold for finally giving us the Wolverine film the character deserved.