Director: James Mangold
Cast: Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, Dafne Keen, Stephan Merchant and Boyd Holbrook
Genre: Action-Drama, Superhero, Sci-Fi
One has to feel for Hugh Jackman. His most iconic depiction of the famous mutant, Wolverine, was in Bryan Singer’s terrific time-travelling adventure that was X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014). Which is strange, considering Logan is the third and final part of a solo-trilogy on the adamantiun-enhanced killing machine that is the Wolverine.
However, if one looks closely at the ‘prequels’, then it’s hard to disagree. For if X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009) was an unmitigated disaster (Extra penalty for wasting a brilliant character like Deadpool), its follow-up--The Wolverine (2013)--was a minor improvement at best. This brings us to the final part of the trilogy, Logan which is based on the Mark Millar’s Old Man Logan storyline.
It is 2029 and in this alternate timeline, things are very bleak indeed, not least for mutants. So while there isn't any time-travelling involved, the jump into the future takes time to get grips with, since a lot has been changed.
Homo Superior has been wiped out (By humans or a fellow mutant? Won’t spoil the surprise) and just three remain in this dystopian world that feels unfamiliar.
Just who are the blessed trio (Or the cursed ones, if you can call it that)?
Wolverine aka Logan (Jackman) of course, who takes care of the babbling nonagenarian that is Professor X aka Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart) with the help of a reformed Caliban (Stephen Merchant) somewhere in godforsaken New Mexico.
In the comic book, Logan travels across the United States with a blind hawk eye and the decision to replace him with Charles in the film is a masterstroke. And while the world associates Magneto as Charles’ opposite, Wolverine in many ways is poles apart from the quadriplegic psychic.
For while Charles is a practicing pacifist, Wolverine has spent most of his life as a killing machine and these two share a delightful dynamic on screen in the first half which is a delight to behold.
After a woman beseeches our limo-driving mutant to save the stoic but gifted Laura (Dafne Keen), the claws come out and begins a roller-coaster ride which despite an ambiguous end-game, will tick the check boxes for most movie-goers.
Director James Mangold (Girl, Interrupted and Walk the Line) has learnt his lesson from the visually-stunning but lacking depth film that was The Wolverine. There are plenty of grisly-action sequences which to the casual viewer, may be too much to stomach, but feel justified considering the overall theme of the film.
If the first half has the excellent Jackman-Stewart combo as a highlight, the second sees the lithe but deadly Laura step up and hold her own as the action is amped up, and it is her connection to Wolverine that stands out. For while his healing factor is greatly diminished, his uncanny ability to win over fellow hard-cases stands out and gives Logan a depth which is lacking in many movies of the superhero
The only flaw in Logan is the lack of a menacing villain, and while Pierce (Boyd Holbrook) and his gang of Reavers do their best to wreak havoc with their genetically enhanced appendages, they never once look like they can overcome a past-his-prime Wolverine. So, Jackman gets to say a befitting farewell to an iconic character that he will forever be associated with, in a movie that justifies all the hype and gives the Wolverine the film he deserves.
Logan is dark, gritty and very much R-rated and while it does feel a little stretched in bits in its two hour plus run-time, it would be akin to nitpicking if we stressed on those minor blemishes rather than focusing on the larger picture which is highly evocative.