This time around, Logan is a dark and violent Western noir action thriller
Logan marks as Hugh Jackman’s ninth time playing the iconic role of Wolverine. He first stepped into the claws in 2000 for Bryan Singer’s adaptation of X-Men. Since then, he has returned in every sequel, and has had two other films in his very own Wolverine franchise. While the directors have changed, the tone and beat have stayed pretty much the same: fun, colorful, PG-13 comic book action movies. This time around, Logan is set in the future in a sandy Desert Western-ish world, with an older Logan living in his very own dark, torturous R-rated hell.
Logan begins with a silver haired man sporting a ruffled tuxedo waking up in the back of a stretch limousine. He coughs as he makes it out of the back seat only to find a gang of men stealing stuff from the trunk. They notice him and pull their guns out, and we see who the man is: Logan aka Wolverine. The men don’t think twice to shoot him dead, causing him to fall on the ground, but little do they know who they are dealing with. He gets right back up again and this time the claws come out. He takes them out one by one, with sharp claws going through cheeks, skulls, chests, and necks. This opening scene shows us where Logan separates itself from the other X-Men films, this one is incredibly dark and crazy violent.
It’s 2029 in rural Texas. Cut to scenes of Logan driving around town in his limousine picking up clients, whether it’s business people making meetings or drunk girls attending a bachelorette party. He makes for the moodiest and booziest limo driver as he slowly drives around town on cruise control with a lifeless smirk on his face. He also likes to say “fuck” every other word in this chapter of his life. Needless to say, Logan isn’t a very happy man.Out of nowhere, a woman named Gabriela (Elizabeth Rodriguez) tracks him down and asks him to help her and a little girl named Laura (Daphne Keen), to which he tells her “No”, or “Fuck no,” or “Fuck off” (dude has zero filter). Then out of nowhere, a strange man named Pierce (Boyd Holbrook) appears to him telling him he wants the woman and the girl. Logan is thrown into a mess he didn’t ask for, with Gabriela trying to track him down, and Pierce trying to track him down to track down Gabriel and Laura. Meanwhile, Professor X has seen better days. Looking old and sickly, Logan is his caretaker and has to give him daily injections. Needless to say, the Professor is not doing well. Logan takes him to Dr. Rice (Stephen Merchant) who looks like he stepped off the set of Mad Max to play a sweet albino doctor with a skin condition that doesn’t allow him to be in the sun, no matter how strong the SPF. When Professor X meets Laura he is beyond thrilled, telling Logan that “She is the one!” (whatever that means). Once Logan, Laura, and Professor X are in the same room together, the baddies led by Pierce arrive, and the films first true action sequence occurs. And it’s crazy as all Texas hell! From here on out, the film becomes a cat-and-mouse chase to the Mexican border with Logan taking care of Professor X and Laura while fighting off countless bad guys including a genetically engineered version of his younger self (A CGI Jackman with no grey hairs, less lines on his face, and bigger biceps).
Logan is a stand alone masterpiece in the long series of X-Men and Wolverine films. It has it’s own unique style and tone, and also produces the best performances from both Hugh Jackman and Patrick Stewart. Instead of being a standard comic book film, the movie becomes a stylish noir Western. There is a scene in the film where Laura and Professor X watch “Shane” in the hotel room. Logan is obviously paying homage to the classic Western about a man who becomes a surrogate father to a little boy. In fact, Laura even repeats one of the film’s famous lines later in the movie.Logan is so good it makes you forget that this is the last time you will see Jackman as Wolverine. While it’s nearly impossible to imagine anyone else playing the character, Daphne Keen’s Laura is a marvel in the Marvel series. She might be a little innocent looking girl, but her claws are just as impressive as Logan’s, and her scowl just as strong. Patrick Stewart gives a soft and heartbreaking performance as Professor X this time around whether it’s on his near death bed, or watching classic movies with little Laura. James Mangold does his greatest work with Logan, paying homage to classic John Wayne films and painting a dark, gritty futuristic world of isolation and turmoil.
And then there’s the hilarious Deadpool 2 trailer before the film, which is worth the price of admission alone. While Deadpool started the R-rated comic book trend, to which Logan certainly followed, the two couldn’t be more different films. Dead pool had gratuitous violence and language, but it was always comical and tongue-in-cheek, whereas Logan is a serious and often melancholy chapter in a long, epic series.
The ending will be much talked about, and this time around there isn’t a final scene after the end credits. Logan might be a product of X-Men, but the film is it’s very own. It doesn’t reference much to the films that come before it, and there won’t be a sequel to come after. Sometimes, they save the very, very best for last.