Editorial note: This review contains mild spoilers.
Hugh Jackman returns to his most famous role of Wolverine, slashing his way through the silver screen. Loosely adapted from Marvel’s famous graphic novel, Old Man Logan, the movie Logan is rumored to be Hugh Jackman’s final film as Wolverine. We certainly hope that this is simply a promotional stunt. Logan also stars Patrick Stewart as Charles Xavier, Boyd Holbrook as Donald Pierce, Stephen Merchant as Caliban, and Dafne Keen as Laura / X23.
Logan takes place in an alternate X-Men timeline, during the year 2029, so there is little to no connection with the previous X-Men films. Logan is an old man, his healing factor has deteriorated, and is working as a limousine driver to earn his living. Charles Xavier now suffers from epileptic seizures; whenever he misses his medication, he generates a wide range burst of psychic attack while having a seizure. Both men are now under the care of Caliban; they are the only mutants left; all other mutants are dead.
One day Logan was hired for a driving service, to deliver a mysterious young girl to North Dakota. But Logan discovers the girl is being chased by Donald Pierce, who works for a company called Transigen, which is very interested in the girl for particular reasons. When Logan learns that it’s Transigen who are hunting the girl, he wants no part of it; he only wishes to be left alone. But as he arrives back to his place to take care of Charles Xavier, he finds a stowaway in the trunk of his car. Charles Xavier tells Logan that he has been expecting the girl for a long time, and properly introduces Logan to Laura.
Suddenly, Donald tracks down Logan and demands to have Laura; however, Logan refuses to give Laura up, and attacks. Slowly losing the fight, due to his old age, Logan is suddenly assisted by Laura. She demonstrates that she has both healing factor and retractable claws, just like Logan. Once the battle is over, Logan learns that Laura is an experimental subject created from his own genetic DNA, dubbed X23. Charles then explains how important it is for Logan to deliver Laura to North Dakota, to a sanctuary place called Eden, where she and all newborn mutants will be safe. Logan must now do his best to get her there… but will he succeed?
As always, Hugh Jackman delivers an amazing performance as Wolverine/Logan; it would be hard to imagine anyone else playing the role at this point. Hugh Jackman’s commitment to this role is evident, from the tone of his dialogue and his amazing fight scenes throughout the film. While in this movie, Patrick Stewart’s role of Charles Xavier is more of a support character, his presence in the film is significant. He provides a means for the audience to understand what happened prior to the events of the movie.
The breakout character in this movie is clearly X23/Laura, played by Dafne Keen. Despite her young age and nascent acting career, she portrays the character effectively. Her portrayal of X23 matches up well with Jackman’s Wolverine. She portrays X23’s behavior in a fashion similar to the comic. Viewers are sure to fall in love with Keen’s performance as X23. I could even see her becoming a new fan favorite for the franchise. Perhaps we may see more cosplayers as X23 this year!.
Although this movie is technically part of the X-Men franchise, its tone and timeline set it apart from the previous films. Logan is more grounded than the other movies, using only a few elements of the supernatural during the battle scenes. It is also worth noting this movie lives up to is its R-rating. The movie’s violence is over the top, yet satisfying, and adult language is used often; even Charles Xavier speaks like a sailor!
Due to the graphic violence portrayed on screen, as well as the adult language used, this movie may not be appropriate for children, despite its young star. However, the film can be appreciated by older audiences. Logan will attract those who are fans of the Old Man Logan graphic novel, one of the most requested stories for adaptation. Overall, the movie may be hard to sell to general audiences, as it is a quite long, and it can be difficult to wait for the payoff at the end. In the end, it’s a film for those who are willing to embrace the story, despite its slow pace.
Special note – make sure you stay through the credits.
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