Way Down We Go
From the opening scene of Logan, viewers are immediately thrust into the thick of it. Set in a near-future 2029. Logan/Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) works as a limo driver making what money he can so both he and Professor X (Patrick Stewart) can figuratively-and literally-sail off into the sunset. The problem with this plan is the state at which they are living. Settling down in an old smelting factory by the border. Logan is near-suicidal and prone to infections, living off whiskey and whatever is needed to ease his physical and emotional pains.
Charles Xavier on the other hand, is suffering from a disease which is causing him to have seizures and lose control of his telepathy. Leaving both Logan and Caliban (Stephen Merchant)-an albino mutant with tracking capabilities-to care for him. Both Jackman and Stewart give it their all; delivering emotionally nuanced performances rarely seen in superhero movies. With most of the screen time dedicated to Logan, Jackman gives arguably the best performance of his career.
This level of performance is elevated with the arrival of Laura a.k.a. X-23-newcomer Dafne Keen. For a newcomer, Keen emits a mature performance at such a young age. Considering most of the film relies on her conveying emotion without speaking. The heart and soul lies in the father/daughter bond both her and Logan share. Logan aside, Laura is the main force that kicks off the movie, as her escape from Transigen-a facility specializing in “creating” new mutants-leaves her hunted by the Reavers and Dr. Rice.
Richard E. Grant and Boyd Holbrook play Zander Rice and Donald Pierce respectively. While Pierce and his Reavers are the muscle of the operation, Rice is the one pulling the strings. Leading to a cat and mouse game between our protagonists and the looming threat. With this ever-present threat you can expect to see violence by any means necessary from both sides.
Gone are the days of PG-13 Wolverine. With the R-rating Logan becomes unleashed. There are various sequences throughout the film in which both parties show their violent potential. In some ways these scenes teeter on being almost disturbing in the way they’re filmed. Logan’s beautiful ballet of grounded emotional depth and bloody violence work hand-in-hand with each other. When the action scenes do hit, they feel justified, and make you want to scream “Hell Yeah!”
Logan is a movie that will linger with you long after its over. In a way its a fitting conclusion for the Wolverine character. Despite Logan being the central focus of the film, the main heart lies with the characters. Trying to live a life of normalcy with the father/son relationship between Charles and Logan as well as the father/daughter relationship between Laura and Logan. Throughout the course of the over two-hour run-time Logan felt familiar yet completely new, thanks to director James Mangold and the cast-which acted as if it was the last movie they were ever going to do.
Emotionally driven, and filled with nuanced performances. Logan isn’t just the best Wolverine movie to-date, it’s one of the greatest comic book movies of all-time. If this is indeed Hugh Jackman’s final outing as Wolverine, then it’s one hell of a swan song.