Director James Mangold’s latest film, “Logan,” is a drama superhero film featuring the Marvel Comics character Wolverine.
“Logan” tells the final chapter of Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine. In the distant future, an exhausted Logan tends to an ailing Professor X in a rusty sanctuary on the Mexican border. But Logan’s efforts to conceal himself from the planet are ruined when a mutant in the form of a little girl arrives, being hunted by a group of evil military men and scientists.
Bring tissues. No, seriously. This movie is emotional, gritty, tense and full-fledged in its execution and themes. Films like “Logan” will keep the superhero drama from imploding on itself for a couple more years. The secret to the film’s success is director Mangold’s decision not to shoot “Logan” like a conventional superhero film.
“Logan” plays more as a noir-ish Western than a splashy and stylized superhero blockbuster. This gives the film a chance to play to the more emotional sides of characters like Logan and Professor X. Because of this, truly remarkable character moments are to be had. The tools that “Logan” uses to differentiate itself are not groundbreaking. But considering the fact that we have not seen a superhero film operated through the lens of a Western… “Logan” is revolutionary in a way.
What sells the gritty nature of “Logan” is Jackman’s dedicated performance. Jackman loves this character, and this character made his career. Mangold and Jackman both put the character of Logan through utter hell in this movie. However, this causes the audience to see Logan at his most human state. The bruises, the scars, the addiction, the emotional and physical damage—all these qualities create a brutally honest version of the superhuman man.
Likewise, the film’s supporting cast does nothing but elevate Jackman’s stage on which he performs. Patrick Stewart’s Professor X once again shares a lovable rapport with Wolverine, the duo having transformed into a dysfunctional father and son relationship.
Newcomer Dafne Keen plays X-23, adding a particular zing and essence to the film. Keen’s spunk and energy detonates on the screen, meshing into a kinetic energy that Jackman feeds off of in several scenes.
Finally, the film’s R rating is a welcome addition to the film. Seeing Wolverine aggressively slash away at plentiful men, ripping arms and legs off are what fans have been waiting years for. Perhaps inspired by the success of “Deadpool,” “Logan” is unfiltered in both its violence and its look.
With cinematographer John Mathieson, Mangold pulls back on the smooth and slick cinematography that we have seen in past films like “The Avengers” and “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.” This gives the film a weathered aspect, and it goes with the deteriorated state of its main character.
Overall, “Logan” is an awe-inspiring and tremendous conclusion to Hugh Jackman’s 17 years playing Wolverine. The character has had its ups and downs on the silver screen, but the film’s finale mends any flaws we have seen in the past two decades (looking at you “X-Men Origins: Wolverine”).
Go and get your tissues ready, bub.
My rating: 9/10