Movie Review: Logan
After witnessing the astonishing results of the graphic and vulgar Deadpool becoming America's sweetheart last year, Fox decided to give X-Men fans something they so desperately desired. An R-Rated film based on everyone's favorite short-tempered Adamantium clawed mutant Wolverine. Directed by James Mangold, Logan takes its inspiration from the popular Old Man Logan storyline with Hugh Jackman taking his beloved character reluctantly into battle one last time against a new enemy he may not be able to defeat.
Logan is a superhero story we rarely see on the big screen with the focus shifting to our hero's end game. Father time has gained the upper hand on Logan at this point in the confusing X-Men film timeline and the once unstoppable mutant is a shadow of his former self hiding out along the Mexican border with his mentor Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart giving a great grumpy performance) whose mental state has deteriorated immensely. This is an intriguing idea exploring our heroes in retirement with their powers failing them. You feel a great deal of sympathy for these powerful entities who have lost the strengths that made them who they were.
Director James Mangold along with Hugh Jackman deliver a strong character drama that is hiding out in familiar mutant cinema territory. Wolverine is at constant battle with who he was and who he has become. This is different take on our clawed Canuck who now is covered in scars both physically and mentally. A good deal of the film deals with Logan coming to grips with his purpose in life when a mysterious young girl named Laura finds him in need of help. Jackman shows how much he has grown as an actor since the first X-Men film back in 2000 with a performance that is both thoughtful and poignant in this swan song for Xavier's favorite pupil.
Now just because Logan paints a grim illustration for Weapon X after his fighting days are done, doesn't mean the film is some art hour piece about the twilight years of our lives. Logan's claws may come out a little slower, but with an R-Rating (Thanks Deadpool!) fans are finally getting to see the Berserker Rage they always craved. Limbs are lost, claws enter skulls and a little girl named Dafne Keen steals the show as Laura who has a massive violent streak of her own that will surely delight adult audiences looking for their heroes to get a little blood on their hands (or Claws).
After two failed attempts to get Wolverine right in his own solo film, the third time is the charm for Logan. The action is more grounded with Fox ditching the CG effects and taking a practical approach much like Mad Max: Fury Road where the combat is intimate and feels real. Jackman and Keen make a superb duo that are so much fun to watch as they create carnage and a few sweet moments during their getting to know each other road trip in Logan. It's a shame it took until the last time out for Jackman for Fox to finally get this gritty character right, but Logan is worth the wait. Bravo Hugh Jackman, the next person who takes on Mr. James Howlett has some huge claws to fill.
Overall, I give Logan 3.5 out of 4 stars.
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