“Logan” is directed by James Mangold and stars Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, and Dafne Keen. The film is about an older, more beaten down Wolverine who is caring for a sick Professor Xavier, and must now help a young mutant who is being hunted down for her abilities.
I was incredibly excited to see this film, as the trailers appeared to make this feel like a very non-traditional superhero movie with a much grittier take. Also, the R rating automatically peaks my interest, as does the fact that this is Hugh Jackman’s last take on X-Men’s most popular character, so I was hoping that he would be able to go out with a bang.
Hugh Jackman absolutely shines in his final Wolverine performance, giving quite honestly one of his best performances of his career. Jackman is able to bring his usual angry, grumpy characteristics into the much older version, while also adding a bit of witty comedy and some true emotion between him and both Patrick Stewart and Dafne Keen. His chemistry with these two, along with how he absolutely sinks into this character yet again made Jackman a treat to watch.
Both Stewart and Keen are exceptional in their supporting performances in very different ways. Stewart as the older, sicker Xavier brings some unexpected comedy to the role and nails the usual characteristics from his previous films. The bond he shares to his fellow mutants is obvious, and it is shown beautifully through Stewart’s performance. Keen as the young mutant, Laura, handled some very difficult action scenes and made them look normal, and that is an impressive feat on its own. Even more, though, was how surprisingly great Keen was with the deeper scenes, as she brought some truly powerful themes to the table and nailed them every time.
The R rating was an absolute necessity, as this is a bloody, vulgar mess in all of the right ways. Just as “Deadpool” needed the rating for its crude humor jokes, “Logan” lives on the brutality of its protagonists and the world they live in, and it makes for some of the best action scenes to come from a superhero movie in recent memory. This is a film that really holds nothing back, and I respect the hell out of director James Mangold for going all out with the action sequences, as they are a work of art.
What I loved most about “Logan” was just how much it dared to be different than any superhero film before it. The R rating was a start, but even from there, the mood and feel of this movie as a whole just seems like a whole new animal as opposed to, say, the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The focus on emotion and characters isn’t unheard of, but the way that “Logan” keys in on its characters to make sharp themes first, and then focus on the action next is something I really appreciated and locked on to from start to finish.
This has been confirmed to be Jackman’s last round as Wolverine, so there was certainly pressure on Mangold to conclude this film the right way, and I think that he did an exceptional job with the concluding moments. The end sequences are visceral, intense, and filled with emotions of all sorts, and it is great for Jackman and company that they were able to end on such a high note.
The film takes a very unique approach that has never really been seen in the superhero genre before, but because of that, the pace is also much slower at times. The opening half is much more into building the world and its characters than just filling its runtime with action, which is great, but it did leave me a bit bored until the pace picked up and I got completely on board with what Mangold was doing.
There are a few moments within the plot that didn’t go as smoothly as I would have liked, as they felt a bit confusing or a little convenient. I was able to forgive the movie for most of these instances, but I did notice the occasional on the nose dialogue or the scenes done strictly for exposition.
The villain in this movie is something I have seen a million times before, as it is a business who is trying to use superpowers for their own benefit. While this movie isn’t really about that, I still wish that the antagonist felt as out of the box as the rest of the film around it did.
“Logan” is a brilliantly original superhero film that dares to break the traditional tropes of the genre at nearly every turn. This movie goes for the dark, gritty, and emotional side of the concept and makes it a delight to watch, and that is thanks largely to the spectacular performances by both Jackman and Stewart, as well as from the relatively new Dafne Keen. “Logan” ends the iconic Jackman portrayal with a bang, and left me more than elated with how his Wolverine was sent off.
What did you think of “Logan”? Comment below with your thoughts.