“She’s like you, very much like you,” says Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart) to Logan (Hugh Jackman) who’s just discovered a young girl who seems to have powers like his in Logan, the R-rated final Wolverine film with Jackman.
It’s 2029 and most of the mutants are now gone. An older and weary Logan is surviving and laying low, making money as a hired limo driver while checking in on and taking care of Charles Xavier. Charles lives across the border in Mexico and is suffering from a degenerative brain disease which gives him horrible seizures and makes his mind incredibly dangerous. Aided by the albino Caliban (Stephen Merchant), Logan’s trying to save up enough cash through his limo service to buy a boat and live on the ocean.
Life becomes more complicated and dangerous when a woman shows up begging Logan to take a young girl named Laura (Dafne Keen) on a long journey to safe place. Although Logan keeps trying to distance himself from the woman, when little Laura ends up meeting Charles a bond instantly forms. Charles tells Logan he’s been expecting her and that they need to help her. Logan barely has enough time to comprehend what Charles is telling him before sinister forces, and a man from Logan’s past, show up wanting the girl. Decision made, Logan, Charles, and Laura are on the run trying to stay ahead of the evil men pursuing them as Logan realizes he will have to be the Wolverine again if they’re going to have any kind of chance to make it.
Dark and extremely violent, Logan is more of a modern day Western/road trip film than a superhero movie. It takes the two most popular X-Men characters out of the fantasy action-adventure world they’ve lived in and places them near the end of their journey together in a gritty, dirty, and brutal world.
Hugh Jackman delivers a strong and perhaps his best performance as an older Logan who’s just trying to make it day by day while working to spend his final days living with Charles on a boat in the fresh air. Jackman has played this character since the first X-Men film back in 2000 and has made it his own. This is a darker, crankier, and more brooding Logan than ever before, and one who’s only close to his surrogate father, Charles. Jackman perfectly portrays Logan’s resistance to getting close to and caring about Laura, despite the fact she does seem very much like him – quiet, angry, and dangerous.
Patrick Stewart is simply wonderful once again as Charles Xavier who’s in very poor health and depends on Logan and Caliban to take care of him. Stewart shows that at Charles’ core is still his need to help and protect young mutants by insisting that he and Logan help young Laura. The scenes between Stewart and Jackman are the best in the film, and these two fine actors still have great chemistry together as they convey the deep love these men have for each other as surrogate father and son.
Newcomer Dafne Keen delivers an impressive performance as Laura, the mutant who has too much in common with Logan for it to be just a coincidence. Her innocent young face is matched by her inner rage and will to survive. In an early fight scene, Keen’s Laura shows real confidence and pride in her abilities to wound and kill the men trying to catch her.
The one real drawback to Logan is its brutal and repetitive violence. It’s overkill and disturbing to see the Wolverine and Laura in so many bloody and fierce fights, as well as uncomfortable for the audience to watch men hunting children and teens with weapons. The film truly earns its R rating.
Although overly violent and bleak, Logan is still a solid farewell to Jackman as the Wolverine. It’s also one of the best stories Wolverine has had since the beginning of the franchise.
MPAA Rating: R for strong brutal violence and language throughout, and for brief nudity
Running Time: 137 minutes
Release Date: March 3, 2017
Directed By: James Mangold