Before you begin reading this review please stop if you have not yet had a chance to watch Logan. Last chance, walk away because I cannot review this properly without spoiling pretty much everything. Still here? Okay, so first of all: this is a really good film. It is Wolverine’s best stand-alone film and one of the best X-Men films. While this film certainly gets many aspects right, there are a few missteps here and there.
Logan, you still have time.
Right off the bat, this film started off with a little teaser for Deadpool 2. It was hilarious, but a bit misplaced. It made me laugh quite a bit only to be gut punched by Logan. Regardless, it was a pleasant surprise and did give a small dose of good old-fashioned fun before a very somber film. In this iteration, the mutants are all but extinct. It is revealed towards the end of the film that Dr. Rice, played by Richard E. Grant, contaminated the food and water supply in order to prevent new mutants from being born. It is also strongly hinted that Charles Xavier himself was responsible for the death of the remaining X-Men. The film never takes the time to explicitly tell the audience what happened, which I am perfectly fine with. You have to pay attention to what the characters are saying and draw the conclusions for yourself.
As far as Logan, the film explains that the adamantium in his body is poisoning him. This is why his healing is taking longer and why for most of the film he is coughing and limping. So here we have an aging Logan who wants nothing more than to die, but must keep taking care of a lost Charles Xavier. Who is not only responsible for killing the rest of the X-Men, but can kill off a considerable amount of civilians if he is not taken care of. It is a tragic position for our fallen heroes, but that is where Logan gets most of its intrigue from. I loved seeing how the interaction between these two has changed since the very first X-Men film. In the end both of these two beloved characters meet their end. Both of which are at the hands (or claws?) of X 24. I will talk more about him later on, but X-24 is a clone of Logan. Between the two deaths, Logan’s death really got to me. I found myself tearing up because: here is a character that I have watched on the big screen for the past 17 years. Now he is dead. However, while I was sad to see him go, I was glad that the characters pain and suffering had finally come to an end. Both Hugh Jackman and Sir Patrick Stewart gave their very best this time around, which is more than any fan could ever ask for.
This is what life looks like.
While these are our two leads, Dafne Keen plays newcomer Laura (X 23). She is revealed to be Logan’s daughter, who was born and bred in a lab. Her backstory is incredibly tragic, but her relationship with both Charles and Logan is quite touching. I loved her character and young Ms. Keen is someone who should be commended. She did a fantastic job with both the action scenes and the scenes that required some more emotional heft. Perhaps this is not the last we have seen of her. Before delving into a few complaints I need to touch on some more important parts of the film.
The action itself was remarkable and brutal. This film used its R-rating very well, but it never felt forced. The soundtrack may be my favorite in recent memory because it really helped set the mood emotionally. Especially the score the played during Logan’s death scene. Speaking of death scene’s, let us touch on a few negatives. First of all, I feel like Xavier’s death scene was overshadowed by the revelation that X 24 is a younger clone of Logan. It never gave me time to properly digest what had happened to him since there was a greater threat present. I am also not the biggest fan of the film having a younger clone of Logan. It came off a bit silly in a film that felt so grounded. However, let me play devil’s advocate here: at the end of the day this is a comic book film. Not only that, but Logan is the ultimate killing machine, so it does make a lot of sense that Rice would want a clone of Logan to do his bidding. Towards the end, some of the mutant children took me out of the film. Some of their acting just was not very good, but they were not on screen long enough to really harm my viewing experience.
The more I think about Logan the more I realize what a great film it is. Not only as a superhero film, but as a film in general. It is a long film, but even though I felt its length I never wanted it to end. The narrative may be fairly straightforward at its core, but James Mangold and company instill enough twists and turns to keep you constantly engaged. This was a beautiful way to end the long run of Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine. This character has been a prominent part of my life for the past 17 years and I will miss him dearly, but I am overjoyed that he finally got his due.