Whenever an actor portrays a classic superhero on the big screen, the move can either make or break their career. At the time that the first “X-Men” movie came out in 2000, nobody really knew who Hugh Jackman was. And he was going to be playing the best character in the franchise? Pass.
But 17 years later, everybody has loved (and still loves) Jackman in every single movie in the “X-Men” franchise. But it seems like “Logan” might be his last outing as one of the greatest heroes shown on screen.
In the near future of 2029, nearly all of the X-Men are gone. Logan (Jackman) is now old and weary, taking care of a sick Charles Xavier, (a.k.a. Professor X) in a hide out on the Mexican border. But all of that might be changed when a young mutant, Laura (Dafne Keen), arrives, pursued by dark forces attempting to capture her.
As this is the third standalone Wolverine film, I expected this one to be the best. “X-Men Origins: Wolverine” was a gigantic mess that everyone wants to forget. But 2013’s “The Wolverine” was surprisingly good, until the third act. But “Logan” was one of my most anticipated movies of 2017 because Wolverine is one of my favorite superheroes, and I could tell this was going to be a somber ending for the mutant. James Mangold, who directed “The Wolverine”, comes back to give us a fine farewell in this film, loosely based off the “Old Man Logan” comic by Mark Miller and Steve McNiven. And I can honestly say, “Logan” succeeded in what it set out to do.
To start things off, this absolutely deserved its R-rating. This is the Wolverine movie we as fans always wanted: almost every action scene is brutal. That’s the best word to describe this: brutal. Just from the first few minutes, you know this is going to get bloody. Almost every time something outrageous happens, you’re just shocked and actually happy it’s being shown. And yes. It’s great. There’s also the occasional uses of the f-word being thrown in there. It may be over-the-top for some people, but it didn’t bother me.
The man of the hour, Hugh Jackman, hasn’t let his fans down. After playing this character for almost two decades, he’s still got it. This is a saddened, darker and tired Logan as we never seen him before. Through his eyes, you can tell that he’s done with life and everything else after all he’s been through. He has been an immortal being for decades, and his age is catching up to him.
Patrick Stewart can’t do any wrong when he’s playing Professor X. He’s always been Wolverine’s mentor/friend in almost all of the movies they’ve been in together, and that shows their bond is the strongest. Both Jackman and Stewart’s performances are the best of their work.
Keen as Laura was also so good in this. She doesn’t say a lot, which makes her character more mysterious. But when she throws down, she is, without a doubt, savage, slicing and dicing people left and right.
At times, “Logan” didn’t feel like a comic book movie. Nothing was particularly big. Almost everything felt condensed, and that’s what I love about it. It had a kind of western vibe, which makes this a different from a typical comic book movie. The tone that Mangold and his co-writers threw in this was well realized; this is a much darker movie than expected, and the first trailer gave it that feeling (best trailer of the year). It gave us a sense that the themes would be dealing with sorrow, depression and even family. Each of these will come into play throughout the film.
The problems: the pace, mostly during the first half, was a bit slow, but it picked up right as the second act started. I also would’ve liked to see a bit more action in the middle. But I think it was just for character development.
The way it concluded, without spoiling, was handled very well, in a bittersweet way. There are scenes where a tear will be shed. Will there be a chance that Wolverine might appear in “Deadpool 2”? My odds are on both ends. But overall, “Logan” is a satisfying standalone comic book movie that feels completely different from all the other “X-Men” films, and that makes this an unforgettable one at best. Mangold did a phenomenal job directing an exciting and touching end to an awesome hero. We’re not worthy of Jackman playing this role for 17 years, and it’s sad to see him go.
“Logan” is brutal, powerful and edgy, and is a fitting end to Hugh Jackman’s most iconic and memorable role as Wolverine.
The “X-Men” series ranked, best to worst:
- X-Men: Days of Future Past
- X2: X-Men United
- X-Men: First Class
- The Wolverine
- X-Men: Apocalypse
- X-Men: The Last Stand
- X-Men Origins: Wolverine