Much like ‘Deadpool’ (another fella from Marvel’s crowded locker room) did last year, ‘Logan’ sets a new bar for comic book movies – a stylish, dark, and unflinching one. But while Deadpool’s Ryan Reynolds did the damage with his tongue-in-cheek smart ass demeanor, Hugh Jackman’s Logan prefers to simply rip the darn tongue right out. Heck, in most cases, he’s lopping entire heads off.
…he is the Wolverine, after all.
Despite the excessive violence, though – something X-Men (and especially Wolverine) faithful have had on their wish list for quite some time – ‘Logan’ makes its mark for another reason, yes an even better one than slices, dices and bullet wounds; this is an exceptionally good film.
Technically a sequel to 2013’s ‘The Wolverine’, Jackman’s final bow as the near-invulnerable Canadian mutant plays a lot like a good old fashioned western; only in this flick, the aging gunslinger just happens to be a moody, spandex-less superhero with claws, a drinking problem and zero patience left for anything.
Set in 2029, Logan – who has visibly lost a step – is toiling away as a limo driver in dusty El Paso, keeping his former mentor, Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart) safely tucked away just over the border. And if you think poor Wolverine is losing the battle with father time, wait until you see Professor X; dementia has turned the telepath’s once-wonderous abilities into, shall we say, a most dangerous liability.
Then….again, shades of a Gary Cooper classic….an innocent comes to request the protaganist’s services. Here, it’s a wee little girl with some intense skills, designed for pure mayhem. Our heroes thought there were no more mutants – but once you see Laura (Dafne Keen) in action, taking out an entire hit squad, you realize that they thought wrong.
‘The X-Men’ franchise has been a roller coaster ride for fans, with some of the installments stellar, some not so much. Thus, ‘Logan’ is the movie (at least The Wolverine Movie) that long suffering fans deserved. It’s stuffed with brutal, bloody R-rated combat, but takes its time to create the kind of atmosphere and emotion that gives everyone involved, including director James Mangold, a chance to really shine. It isn’t over for the X-Men….far from it…..but for Jackman, this is a worthy, touching….and kick butt goodbye.