It has been seventeen years since X-Men came out. It introduced a massive group of mutants including the Wolverine, aka Logan. An immortal mutant whose system is made out of adamantium. And his claws come out between his knuckles before heading into action. Wolverine is the heart and soul of the franchise, thanks to the perfect casting of Australia native Hugh Jackman.
Appearing in nine films—ranging from good to bad, the audience has learned about his backstory. In X-Men Origins: Wolverine, we see him go from fighting in the Civil War, World War I, World War II, and the Vietnam War, to becoming immortal. It quickly turns into a massive misfire resulting in a lousy introduction to Ryan Reynolds’ Deadpool (thank God for his standalone feat from last year) and a big CGI-fueled fight between two brothers. And we also see Logan go to Japan (2013’s The Wolverine) and go back in time (X-Men: Days of Future Past).
In Logan, Jackman’s final outing as the titular superhero, James Mangold returns to direct an emotional rollercoaster ride for the superhero. The audience gets to see the vulnerable side of the Wolverine.
The year is 2029. The mutants are becoming extinct. Logan is working as a limousine chauffer on the Mexican border. His healing powers are beginning to disintegrate. He and Charles Xavier (the always superb Patrick Stewart) are the only X-Men remaining. Suffering from telepathic seizures, X has been getting help from Logan to stay stable. One day, a group of special agents—led by Donald Pierce (Boyd Holbrook)—are on the lookout for a girl named Laura (Dafne Keen), who has the same powers as Logan. She escapes with Logan and X to North Dakota.
Logan is exactly what everyone has been waiting for! A brutal character study about loss, regret, and the importance of family. Jackman gives the best portrayal of the superhero. He feels more like a real person than in the other films; not only is he broken physically but also emotionally. He has lost everything in his long life, and he tries to cope with his selfishness despite drinking a lot. X, who is suffering just as much as Logan, is starting to forget about everything around him.
Mangold, who directed 3:10 to Yuma (one of the best Westerns of the century), makes this character study feel like an old-fashioned Western. Not to mention the classic Shane being referenced in one scene. The movie is not without its sliced-and-diced action sequences. Since Logan is rated R, we finally get to see blood on Logan’s claws. And expect to see some of the most graphic action in the franchise (particularly the scene in the forest). By the end, I damn near choked up. This is perhaps the best superhero film to date!
F.Y.I. At the screening I went to, a young couple brought their infant child along with them. It has been said many times, Logan is NOT FOR KIDS!