James Mangold directs Hugh Jackmans last foray as Logan aka Wolverine in this sort of addition to the X-Men franchise, the film stars Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, Stephen Merchant, Dafne Keen, Boyd Holbrook
There’s much to be said about Wolverine, his enduring popularity and importance in helping to kick off the modern super hero phenomenon with the X-Men franchise but all things must come to an end and end they certainly do, in a decidedly violent and sombre tone, more akin to Deadpool but without its comedic nature, though that being said, there are a fair amount of humorous moments.
Said moments make for some good, needed light relief in what is a pretty dark and heavy film, which is intriguing in a number of ways, to see a debilitated and jaded Charles Xavier and to see an even more jaded and defeated Logan, who needs to be practically begged to go out of his way to help others, which may come as a surprise to long term fans of the X-Men films, as will seeing him in general as ‘Old man Logan’. What’s great about Logan is that it shows characters we’ve known and loved for years in a different light, giving more shades and dimensions to them, Logan’s always been a fairly complex, disturbed character as we know but seeing him at the end of his tether so to speak, is quite striking and an almost a logical path for him to follow, especially in the context of the world that the film takes in. Logan wants to just drink and be at peace, (so not much has changed huh) but he’s clearly different now, damaged and unwilling to help though he knows deep down that he probably should, we see a sort of extreme version of Xavier and Logans relationship from the mainline X-Men stories though one thing remains, Logans fierce will to protect Charles, the last connection he has to his days in the X-Men.
The tone is dark of course, in a world almost devoid of mutants, Logan cares for Charles as they survive day to day and mentally comparing them now to their heyday in the X-Men films is quite something, though some things never really change with the X-Men and fitting with the gritty tone is quite a lot of violence and action, though it’s not hugely focused on to the point of being gratuitous in my opinion, it’s used as a way to emphasise Wolverines sheer power and fury, when he does ostensibly ‘hulk out’ for one reason or another and it is brutal.
I’d be remiss to not mention X-23 though, a pivotal and huge piece of the story, great comic relief and a reminder to Logan of his humanity and of himself, played really well by Dafne Keen, embodying the rage, impatience of a younger, inexperienced Logan. And it’s great to see him scolding her and telling her to take it easy, something you’d probably never expect to see from Logan, acting like a father figure and reluctant mentor, X-23 and Logans’ relationship is great to watch, a mismatched pairing to the point of it feeling almost too real, with a reluctant and neglectful father and his child who almost has to parent and look after him. And without going into spoilery territory, it’s a deep story that you have to really see for yourself but to see a beloved character like Logan and Xavier the way they are in the plot is pretty devastating in my opinion and there it is, the film got an emotional reaction from me and deservedly so. And with great drama, high stakes and loss, this is the Wolverine film we probably all wanted (or not as it’s Hughs’ last one) but it’s a damn good one all things considered, a good send off from an iconic character in film and comic book history.
. Great performances from Jackman, Stewart and most of the cast with palpable chemistry
. Has some strong, hard hitting emotional moments
. Engaging plot, has some slow points but moves along at a generally good pace
. The villains are a bit generic (though Logan is the real focus)