Title – Logan (2017)
Director – James Mangold (3:10 to Yuma)
Cast – Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, Stephen Merchant, Boyd Holbrook, Richard E. Grant, Dafne Keen
Plot – Set in the near future where mutants have become nothing more than a distant memory, Logan (Jackman), no longer able to be the hero he once was, lives out a sad and sorry life that includes looking after an ailing Professor X (Stewart) in the dusty badlands of Mexico. Logan’s quiet and sombre existence is turned upside down however by the appearance of mutant child Laura (Keen), who may just hold a shot at redemption for Logan.
“Nature made me a freak. Man made me a weapon”
Review by Eddie on 06/03/2017
Since his debut on screen in 2000’s X-Men, grizzled mutant Logan aka Wolverine became a fan favourite, the poster boy for the then budding new series and a career defining role for Australia’s very own favourite son Hugh Jackman.
A lot has changed since that memorable debut in Bryan Singer’s well-liked comic book hit, for Wolverine as a character, most of that revolves around a lot of crumby cameos and forgettable solo adventures but proving once and for all that good things come to those that wait, Jackman and his The Wolverine director James Mangold have decided enough was enough and finally given the many fans of the clawed mutant the film they’ve been calling out for.
Logan, a downright glum and violent affair is very far from the “perfect” film but considering where this character has come from and where it seemed like he was likely to stay, Mangold’s film is one worthy of the name and this Western inspired road trip provides a sense of closure when it comes to the Wolverine name, in that we can finally say Jackman did all he could with this creation that gave birth to his enjoyable international career.
A film that ends up being slightly too long in the claw, Logan is 130 minutes of dust covered, blood strewn and anti-children’s entertainment that leverages Marvel’s new found “older” audience targeting that did them so well with Deadpool and their Netflix events, as a now withered and old Logan is trying to live a quiet life as a driver for hire whilst supporting an ailing Professor X only to be thrown headfirst into a violent battle to protect mutant child Laura who acts as a surrogate daughter to the bearded ex-hero.
This set-up allows Mangold and Jackman to explore Logan on a deeper level, as the near suicidal man struggles to find meaning behind his sombre existence and Jackman delivers his best turn yet as the character while many fanboys will appreciate the time he gets to spend with Professor X (who I would argue gets too much screen time uttering Logan’s name on repeat for the majority) and it’s a chance to finally see the famed mutant act out some seriously impressive carnage.
The action in Logan is where the film truly shines and from the film’s opening minutes you’re acutely aware that this is not a film you’ll be watching with the younger members of your family.
Limbs are lopped, chopped, sliced and diced and Mangold isn’t afraid to linger on the killing that sometimes needs to be done and for all those years we’ve endured rather forgettable Wolverine fight scenes, Logan certainly does more than enough to make up for this.
With action a high point of the film, Logan’s not so amazing moments come from a story that starts to drag come the final stretches and with a finale that will be far from many people’s memories come a few months’ time, it feels as though Logan wasn’t entirely sure of itself when it came to delivering the goods come the films conclusion.
It’s nice to see Marvel shy away from “city destruction” and an evil villain that just wants to take over the world but you can’t help but feel the earlier beginnings of Logan signposted a far more “epic” final act, not one with a bunch of children running around a forest and a bottle of peptides.
A fine final outing for Jackman and his Wolverine to be a part of, Logan is without doubt the best solo Wolverine adventure and easily one of the best X-Men orientated feature films that draws out Jackman’s best performance in some time and introduces us to newcomer Dafne Keen, who does a great job in her portrayal of Laura.
There’s nothing truly ground-breaking here but it’s certainly refreshing to see Marvel willing to keep expanding their horizons and deliver different takes on stories and characters that have flooded our cinema screens for nearly two decades and while this overlong trip is lacking a little in the emotional stakes and features a few to many corny circumstances, it’s unlikely the images of Logan enacting out his sweet form of justice will be forgotten anytime soon.
3 ½ bowls of cornflakes out of 5