The X-Men film universe is a real mixed bag as of late, with the original trilogy turning into an absolute cheese-fest and the more recent prequels, no matter how exciting and fun they were, working to confuse and complicate character storylines. Not to mention the underwhelming X-Men Origins: Wolverine film which totally missed the mark on honouring the iconic character with his own stand-alone film. Logan takes a much-needed step away from these earlier films, telling an emotional, poignant story which is a great send off to the iconic Wolverine character.
Based on the Old Man Logan comic series, the film is set in the year 2029, a year where the mutant race has been vilified and the majority have been wiped out by the Transigen corporation who are killing off mutants to extract their powers in an attempt to create child mutant soldiers. Logan (Hugh Jackman) & Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart), both aging and struggling to keep control of their abilities with their strengths dwindling, are tasked with saving the escaped child mutant Laura (Dafne Keen) and guiding her to safety whilst being hotly pursued by Transigen, who want to put down the child mutants they created as they class them as failed projects.
The film does not hesitate to show you just how brutal it is going to be, as it opens straight off with an action sequence full of blood & gore, which is great to see with the Wolverine character as he has always been one of the darker, grittier characters within the Marvel Universe, much like The Punisher or Blade, but has always been dulled down for the big-screen in order to better suit the X-Men franchise, so its refreshing to see him be let of the leash as you could say.
This brutality continues throughout the film and is a constant with every action sequence, with numerous severed limbs and a couple of decapitations really depicting the tone. This brutality and conflict is depicted in such a way that it brings this fantasy of super powered mutants to the real world, as Logan and Professor X themselves aren’t depicted as overpowered heroes who only suffer from minor flesh wounds and face barely any threat, but they are struggling mentally & physically themselves and are barely keeping ahead of the enemy, A welcome change from the shiny, bright coloured, fun-filled superhero films that have become so common these days.
The film isn’t all blood & guts and serious dark tones however, the dynamics between the characters are crafted in a way that is consistently providing comedic breaks from the seriousness. The relationship between Logan, Charles & Laura is that of a dysfunctional family on a road trip, Stephen Merchant as Caliban is hilarious as underneath the mutant persona their still is the trademark British comedy of Stephen Merchant, and Boyd Holbrook‘s character Pierce has some very well written sarcastic, witty dialogue.
The only thing I could fault this film on is that it does seem to get very slow at a couple of points and start to drag a little. I believe this is warranted however, as it seems to be done in a way where you are able to build emotional connection with characters, which in turn makes certain plot points more poignant, emotional and shocking. So basically it isn’t really a fault I guess now I’ve thought about it, but at the time it was my only issue and it was very minor.
Overall, Logan is a beautiful farewell to Hugh Jackman’s iconic Wolverine character, a poetic, emotional story told in a brilliant way, bringing a great deal of reality to the comic book film genre. I only hope the farewell to the character is honoured and nobody tries to make a cash cow reboot of the character trying to piggyback off the success Logan has had, I feel if we were ever to see Hugh Jackman as the Wolverine again it would have to be as a cameo in the next Deadpool film and little to nothing more than that.