“Logan” proves the old adage is true: “Those who live by the adamantium blade will die by the adamantium blade”, or something like that. Logan, formerly the X-Man known as Wolverine, is enhanced with the indestructible metal called adamantium and a tremendous healing factor, stars in this movie that shows the difficult latter years of the former superhero. His strength and powers of regeneration are almost sapped dry and the years have not been kind.
In 2029, Logan (Hugh Jackman) is visibly aged. He is emotionally and mentally drained. All other mutants are thought to be long dead; but Logan is hiding a frail Prof. Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart), who is into his nineties. Xavier’s mind is fading and starting to fail him, and at times he seizes up and sends telepathic waves that will cause a state of paralysis. One other mutant exists (that they know of…), called Caliban, who helps tend to the withering Xavier. Logan meets a woman who begs him to take a young girl named Laura (Dafne Keen) to North Dakota. Logan is driving a limo in El Paso to make money, but the woman offers a large amount to protect the child. Unbeknownst to Logan there are evil forces from a government-run research industry on the hunt for the girl. The security team headed by Pierce (Boyd Holbrook) finds them and comes for Logan and the girl. The girl is shown to be a super-powered Wolverine Junior, with the retractable blades and such. Her fighting skills are as sharp as her weapons. Before you can say ‘road trip’, the group are headed across country to get to a special ‘safe place’ that Laura read about in the X-Men comic books. Logan is mortified that any of his past exploits were put into a comic book.
You may have heard that this is Hugh Jackman’s last performance as Wolverine (or Logan), unless you believe the rumor that he will be in a Deadpool/Wolverine team-up film. He has intended to make this final movie the most bad-ass swan song ever and in doing so he has made sure that the movie cuts to the core of Wolverine. It is brutal, violent and profane. The movie is rated R, and for very good reason. The language is rough, the fighting is bloody and gory, and it perfectly suits a character like Wolverine. This is the Wolverine movie we have been waiting for since he hit the silver screen.
Jackman worked with director James Mangold to get everything just right. The theme resembles an old Western in which the heroes are being chased over the frontier hills and valleys. The tone of regret and despair falls over everyone. All of his superpowers are nearly gone, and days of a quick recovery turn into weeks of pain and agony. Will there be any redemption for Logan?
Hugh Jackman has taken this character over seventeen years to this one as the final conclusion to his Wolverine run. His performance is distinct and precise, and evokes a great deal of inner pain and mental anguish. He plays it all to the hilt, and does not hit any false notes. Patrick Stewart is also terrific as a mentally diminished Professor X. He is pained by the fact that he is losing control of his mind and when he lapses into a seizure the world around him gets a taste of his telepathic skills gone very wrong.
Dafne Keen gives a masterful performance as a little girl who has been raised to be a brutal killing machine. She has a physical presence that can give you chills when you see her become angry. You know that something very, very bad is about to happen, and she can do that with just her stance and the glare in her eyes. It is quite an impressive feat for this young actress. She really brings X-23 to life on screen and proves she was the perfect choice.
4.5 out of 5 stars