Logan (2017) – Review

Director: James Mangold

Starring: Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, Dafne Keen, Boyd Holbrook, Stephen Merchant 

The Overview

In the near future, a weary Logan cares for an ailing Professor X in a hide out on the Mexican border. But Logan’s attempts to hide from the world and his legacy are up-ended when a young mutant arrives, being pursued by dark forces. (Source: IMDb

The Good

The X-Men movies have been a pretty patchy affair, and even the die-hard fans would happily admit this. From The Good (X2, Days of Future Past, First Class), to The Bad (Apocalypse, The Last Stand) and the downright Ugly (we’re looking at you X-Men Origins: Wolverine!), it’s been a bit of a rollercoaster ride for fans of the mutants. Wolverine is one of only two characters to have received his own solo movies as well (the other being Deadpool), and Logan marks the third film in the Wolverine movies, and the 9th film in the X-Men series. 

The trailer showed great promise and gave fans every reason to be excited. Not only did this film appear to have a very different look and feel to the other X-Men movies, but it was also going to follow in the footsteps of the foul-mouthed, blood-soaked success of Deadpool by being R-rated (15 certificate to me and you!); a decision welcomed by none more so than me. For years the Wolverine moments within the movies had been particular noticeable for holding back somewhat on the violence and bloodshed. I mean come on, Wolverine is a total badass with MASSIVE CLAWS, and yet you’re not going to show the mauling, slicing and dicing that we know he is capable of?!

The fact Logan is R-rated is evident right from the offset with the gloriously violence opening scene being something of a tease for what is in store. Logan hugely benefits from this higher rating, and it is one of the bloodiest and most violent superhero movies, maybe ever! Deadpool was violent, sure, but it also had the comedic element which lessened the impact of the violence somewhat. Logan however is balls-to-the-wall action, blood, and violence, and boy is it a good time! 

Saying Logan is the best Wolverine film doesn’t quite sound like high enough praise as the other two were pretty piss-poor, but it absolutely is. It is heads and tails above the other movies, and it would also place pretty high in my ranking of all the X-Men movies; maybe even as high as top 3, just behind Days of Future Past and X2. 

Reputedly Hugh Jackman’s final outing as the titular character, this is the most fitting of send-offs to him, and whilst Jackman is always excellent, he’s in another class here. Playing a world-wearied, battle-scarred and ageing hero suits him well, yet he is still also convincing as a total badass when the moment suits. Performance wise it’s pretty great all round; particularly wonderful to see Patrick Stewart back and on fine form as the “nonagenarian” Professor X. Dafne Keen as Laura/X23 is also wonderful; silent but deadly, and with fantastic chemistry with Jackman’s Logan. 

Aesthetically this film is really quite wonderful, the Western-style dystopian landscapes are a perfect backdrop to the action and violence, and the cinematography is surprisingly excellent for a “comic book movie”. 

The Bad

This is unfortunately so often a criticism of “superhero” movies, but the villain isn’t particularly standout in this. Boyd Holbrook’s Pierce is menacing enough and Richard E. Grant hams it up as Dr Rice, but the motives and actions of both are never fully explored. This film is in many ways a character study of Logan though, and with the villains being somewhat sidelined, their weaknesses are not as noticeable. 

The Verdict

I saw this movie and you should too. Logan is quite simply fantastic! It works as a standalone film and within the X-Men movie universe as well which is difficult to pull off. Easily the best Wolverine film, one of the best X-Men films, and one of the best superhero movies in recent years. Unmissable! 

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