I have to start this review by saying that Wolverine is without a doubt my favorite superhero/action hero. From the beginning of my experience with superheroes, I was drawn to the self healing, clawed, and cranky character. Watching Hugh Jackman approach this character over the years has been such a journey. Admittedly, it wasn’t always pleasant (looking at you X-Men: The Last Stand and X:Men Origins: Wolverine.) And I haven’t even seen all the X-Men films (missed out on The Wolverine and X-Men: Apocalypse) but he’s still my favorite. When Logan was announced, I was nervous but willing to see Jackman take on the aging Wolverine. Let’s check out the trailer.
So what we see is that Logan/Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) is taking care of senile and dementia suffering Charles Xavier/Professor X (Patrick Stewart), who is clearly struggling. Dealing with seizures, Xavier is a mutant who can and did cause serious damage to others. Logan is trying to keep him as isolated as possible, with the help of albino mutant Caliban (Stephen Merchant.) Working towards buying a boat to isolate themselves even further, Logan is doing all he can to take care of Xavier and it just doesn’t seem to be enough. When he is approached by a mysterious woman, you can’t help but agree with his disdain for being wrapped up in any more drama. He’s had a long and rough life and taking care of a man whose brain could kill you isn’t easy. Logan is tired and fighting himself too. As it turns out his own Adamantium skeleton is killing him. Bad news all around. Turns out the mysterious woman is trying to save a young mutant girl, created from Wolverine’s own genetic material. In a sense, Wolverine has a daughter: Laura (Dafne Keen.) So now a sick and aging Wolverine has to care for a man who can kill him accidentally with his mind and a young girl who has mutant powers but doesn’t know how to function in society and also doesn’t speak English. Good freaking grief.
The best way to sum up my feelings on this movie is to state that this is how you make an R-rated superhero movie without camp. Deadpool revolutionized superhero movies, taking the violence to a whole new level. Logan does the same, but without the constant humor. Don’t get me wrong, there is still plenty of humorous moments in the film. Laura riding a mechanical pony. Sarcastic old man Professor X. Most of the dynamic between Laura and Logan. There are some legit funny moments. But this isn’t a funny story. It’s the story of a tired man struggling to take care of those he cares about. This is Wolverine after all those years. After every battle, every loss. This is a man who just wants to retire and live peacefully. But he can’t, because even though he will be the first to say he isn’t a good person, he does have a heart and will always choose to do the right thing. And in the end, he gives it all.
One complaint about this film is that you do need to know a bit of X-Men backstory to completely understand the film. Unlike X-Men: First Class, which to me is the only X-Men film I have seen and felt it stands to be enjoyed without backstory knowledge, if you don’t understand Logan and X-Men lore this film can fall a little flat. But having seen most of the X-Men films and being knowledgeable about Wolverine as a character, this movie was everything Wolverine and Hugh Jackman as an actor deserved to be part of. It balances story and action beautifully where you get a thrill and then some drama, and then more thrill, and then more drama. This film is never boring, but instead brings you along for the ride.
The acting caliber of the film is top notch. Hugh Jackman and Patrick Stewart are legends in their own right and continue with an amazing dynamic between them. Being old friends and working together for so long just adds to their camaraderie and banter. Dafne Keen as Laura, holy moly. We will see this girl more, I guarantee it. I was stunned to find this was her first film and cannot wait to see more from her, hopefully as X-23 but also in any other films. She has a bright future ahead, I truly believe that. Also, I need more Stephen Merchant in my life. I don’t know if it is his voice or delivery of lines or just his British dry wit, but I like it. Merchant was a writer on the Office (US version) for quite a while and it makes sense that I like him because that is one of my favorite shows. Oh, that’s right, you can also catch him on HBO in Hello, Ladies.
Overall, I love this movie. I think it gives great tribute to two actors who have carried out two characters amazingly over the years. Jackman and Stewart have stated this is likely to be their final appearance as Wolverine and Professor X. Though neither of them has ruled out a possible return, they have done great justice to these characters over the years and if this is the last performance, then they finished on the strongest note possible. I do want to see the director rerelease of Logan Noir, in which the fantasticalness of this film is translated to black and white filmography. I’m sure I would fall even more in love with this movie. Whether you love Wolverine or X-Men or even just the actors themselves, I think this is a film worth watching at least once. But preferably more than once because it is truly that stellar in my eyes.
Writer. Reader. Hogwarts alum. Nap enthusiast. Coffee expert. Holder of tea parties. Nerdfighter. Browncoat. Whovian. Cumber cookie. Alliteration addict. Wit factory. Can often be seen making meandering journeys through her mind in search of something profound. If cranky, approach quietly and offer either caffeine or chocolate.