Hugh Jackman has been playing the character of Wolverine for 17 years, appearing in some form in every X-Men movie ever made (sometimes a cameo or even a picture, in the case of Deadpool). This is supposedly Hugh Jackman’s last appearance as this character, so the stakes are high and the hype is even higher.
It’s the year 2029, so the not-far future and we follow an older Logan (Hugh Jackman) who is trying to stay off the radar. There are references that mutants have basically ceased to exist so he keeps his powers hidden, though the slow burn of what happened to them all takes some time. We discover that Logan is taking care of an elderly Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart) alongside another mutant named Caliban (Stephen Merchant), who appeared briefly in X-Men: Apocalypse.
Things start to go sideways when a mysterious girl arrives on the scene (Dafne Keen) that seems to be a new mutant, so Xavier, Caliban, and Logan must protect her on a voyage to supposed safety. Following them is the nefarious mercenary Pierce (Boyd Holbrook) and his band of armed killers.
The movie is rated R for intense violence and profanity and is directed by James Mangold, who also directed The Wolverine.
Logan is likely one of the best X-Men movies we’ve seen. While some movies veer towards the comic book nature of these movies, this one steers away, giving us a brutal and realistic look at what this world would be like. From the opening moments, it’s a violent movie, showing us a savage Wolverine that we’ve never really seen.
This is Hugh Jackman’s best performance, probably ever. After 17 years, he has perfected this character and is able to convey so much without saying it. A lot of mysteries aren’t answered here, especially in regards to the larger X-Men continuity, but you don’t need those answers. This is a Logan-centric movie and he gets the film that he deserves.
His supporting cast is also fantastic, highlighted by newcomer Dafne Keen as the young mutant Laura. She says very little but her eyes say everything. Or her claws do. Her juxtaposition to Wolverine is incredible, two people connected on very different ends of their lives. I’m glad this cast is small, able to give these characters plenty of quiet moments just to themselves.
In terms of action, this movie has plenty, though there’s only so many ways Wolverine can kill someone. The ebb and flow of the movie is perfect, slowing down just enough to let you breathe before diving into more urgency.
I didn’t expect this movie to have as much heart as it did. There are some huge moments, which is where Jackman and Keen shine. This is an emotional movie and a fitting conclusion to Wolverine’s story. It’s much much more than a superhero movie but overall a fantastic film.
What didn’t work?
I have very few problems with this movie. Its structure becomes a little predictable and repetitive, though always enjoyable. The color palette is also relatively muted, meaning there’s hardly ever color or anything vivid to look at. It’s all pretty much browns and blacks. I get it though, it’s intentional.
This is a fantastic movie and is a fitting conclusion to Jackman’s time as Wolverine. It is incredibly graphic and dark but if you want to see what the years have done to our hero, this movie does exactly that. Jackman delivers the best performance of his career, complemented by exceptional performances by Patrick Stewart and newcomer Dafne Keen. This movie smartly zooms in from the other X-Men movies and focuses on one character instead of a team, allowing us the time to get some incredible character moments. Logan is superb and special and not one to be missed, even if you’re not typically a fan. This movie will make you one.
If you’ve already seen Logan, check out my discussion including spoilers!