Just because the MPAA has finally given a stand-alone X-Men movie an R-rating doesn’t mean it can’t be great. The financial and critical success of last year’s ‘Deadpool’ was enough to give Fox and Hugh Jackman the courage to finally get an R-rated Wolverine made. The sad truth however, is that this is the Aussie actor’s last time bearing the Adamantium claws he is most famous for. Jackman has played the character of Logan/Wolverine for 17 years, and he feels this is the best way to say goodbye to our favorite mutant.
The story of old man Logan is a perfect, if not, bittersweet sendoff to the mullet-sporting, cigar-chomping, foul-mouthed superhero we have come to love for years. James Mangold (‘The Wolverine’) has given us a dark, gritty, beautiful, well-directed and acted film in the X-Men franchise. Note that I have yet to actually watch an X-Men film in its entirety, so I was skeptical. I can tell you this! I am well aware of the character of Wolverine and know a little of the X-Men storyline to know what is going on. Never have I been so captivated from start to finish.
‘Logan’ is set in the year 2029. It is a time when it seems that all mutants have long but passed. Logan (Jackman) lives in a deserted plant where he is taking care of an ailing Professor Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart in what could be the last time taking on his role as well) with the help of an albino mutant named Caliban (Stephen Merchant). His job consists of being a cab driver (and he has the absolute worst, drunk, and rowdy customers to ever pay fare.). He has also succumbed to alcoholism, and his healing factor is slowly depleting. Logan wants nothing to do except to get him and Xavier out of the plant.
Soon plot devices come in the form of a mechanical-armed villain (Boyd Holbrook), and a little girl named Laura (Dafne Keen), who may, in a way, be like Wolverine. From then on, ‘Logan’ turns from a post-mutant future film into a family drama, a road movie, and an action-thriller all rolled into one.
I was not planning on seeing ‘Logan’, but a couple of friends wanted to go, so I ended up joining. I have to say that ‘Logan’ is one of the best experiences I have ever been a part of. What Mangold does with each scene is nothing short of beautiful and expertly filmed. The cinematography by John Mathieson is beautiful and well-shot. While Jackman and Stewart give off their best performances ever put to film. Keen plays Laura with intensity and proves herself to be a bad-ass when scenes call for it. She doesn’t speak for the majority of this film, but as everyone says “Actions speak louder than words”. I was worried that ‘Logan’ would slow down and become a drag. While it does slow down in a couple of scenes, the action doesn’t stop and is filmed well with enough blood and graphic violence to satisfy any action fan.
Whether you’re a first time viewer of any film in the X-Men franchise, or you’re a long time fan just here to say goodbye to Jackman’s clawed hero, ‘Logan’ works as both a stand-alone film and a farewell. It is also one of the best films of the year by far.