out of five
The final film in the X-Men series for stars Hugh Jackman and Patrick Stewart proves to be a gritty yet deeply moving tale of heroic sacrifice.
In the year 2029, mutants are nearly extinct. Logan/Wolverine (Jackman) is spending his days working as a chauffeur in order to get prescription drugs that keep an ailing Professor Charles Xavier (Stewart) stable. Things are thrown into an upheaval when Logan is told to help escort a young girl named Laura (Dafne Keen) away from Donald Pierce (Boyd Holbrook), a key member of the mysterious organization Transigen. Along the way, Logan discovers that there is more to Laura than meets the eye.
Logan proves to be a very unique superhero film. Like last year’s X-Men spin-off movie, Deadpool, Logan is rated R. Both films take advantage of the freedom to show bloody violence and gore. But whereas Deadpool was a comedy with only a semi-serious romantic subplot, Logan can be described as a neo-Western. Like many of the best Western films of years past, Logan is about an aged, grizzled protagonist with a checkered past and loner attitude given the chance to do some good again. The film wears this influence on its sleeve in a scene where Xavier and Laura watch the 1953 classic Shane on TV.
Logan is notable not only for its serious drama, but also its intimate characterization, due to a small cast. Jackman and Stewart turn in great performances, as expected, but special mention should be given to newcomer Dafne Keen’s performance as Laura. She manages to make the character both innocent and fierce, turning in some impressive action scenes, but also conveys much personality with minimal dialogue. The film’s villains and supporting characters as a whole enhance the performances of the leads.
Logan is a superhero film that takes itself seriously but, thanks to a mature tone, respects its audience and amounts to more than the sum of its parts. Those who have wanted a genuinely mature superhero film will be very pleased. Fans who have watched the X-Men films over the past 17 years will be glad to see two of its stars given a grand sendoff. While the cinematic future of Fox and Marvel’s band of mutants is still in motion, Logan is perhaps the highest point to date, and sets the bar exceptionally high.
Viewers are encouraged to arrive to the film on time to see an amusing teaser for the forthcoming Deadpool sequel.