In the distant future, all traces of the old “X-Men” movies are gone, and Hugh Jackman is somehow still a huge, jacked man.
“Logan” is the third and final film in 20th Century Fox’s series of movies based on the comic book character Wolverine. Eschewing the quip-filled approach of generic superhero films, “Logan” instead focuses on interpersonal drama in a neo-western style.
Set in the year 2029, the movie follows an aged Logan “Wolverine” Howlett, played by Hugh Jackman, as he attempts to escape from hostile pursuers with two travelers in tow. Patrick Stewart returns as the now Alzheimer’s-ridden psychic Professor Xavier, and Dafne Keen makes her debut as Laura, a young mutant with powers similar to Wolverine’s.
From the get-go, “Logan” goes out of its way to show viewers that it will not pull any punches with its content. The language is harsher and more frequent than in any other “X-Men” movie, and the action scenes are unprecedented in their blood and brutality. Expect plenty of severed limbs and impaled villains before the movie comes to a close.
Unlike the bleakness of “Batman v Superman,” the uncompromising grittiness of “Logan” works well with its narrative and serves to draw the audience in further. The unflinching violence and gore compliment the mental state of Wolverine, who is in constant physical pain and left wandering without a purpose in life.
The lulls between action scenes provide excellent moments of character interaction and introspection. Though the movie may seem like a standard superhero romp on the surface, its main emphasis is on reflection and finding one’s way in an unfamiliar world. The themes of family and moving on from tragedies are explored through well-crafted dialogue.
The world-building in “Logan” is handled through subtle comments and details in the cinematography, creating a near-dystopia that feels natural without being forced. From the extinction of tigers to the implementation of self-driving trucks, viewers learn of unsettlingly-modern possibilities by reading between the lines of dialogue, rather than having it ham-handedly shoved in their faces.
Ultimately, “Logan” is not a superhero movie with city-destroying stakes and massive CGI effects. It is a story of what it means to be a family and what it means to be redeemed, albeit with super-powered individuals playing key roles in the plot. Rather than make its characters godlike beings, the movie portrays them as being tragically human with every flaw visible for the world to see.
Was “Logan” one of the best movies I have ever seen? I would hesitate to say something on that scale. I think the title of “best movie ever” sort of diminishes the accomplishments of films, as it weighs them against unrealistic standards.
However, I can easily give it a 10 out of 10, and I can safely say that it was one of my favorite Marvel movies to date. I would highly recommend it to all fans of cinema. Jackman and Stewart have ended their “X-Men” filmographies on high notes.
“Logan” is rated R for strong brutal violence and language throughout, as well as brief nudity. Its runtime is two hours and 21 minutes.