Helmed by director James Mangold, Logan may well have been the final iteration in the X-Men universe as we know it, until the travesty that was Dark Phoenix went and messed it all up. Regardless, its "main" successful 16 year run has come to an end. Upon release, Logan received universal critical acclaim. Although judging against the prior standalone “Wolverine” movies, my expectations for this movie were already set quite low. In fact, I remember the trailer not giving away too much in plot or story either. However, did it actually live up to the hype as possibly being the best “X-Men” movie ever made?
Time has passed and Logan (played by Hugh Jackman) aka “Wolverine” is now getting older with his mutant abilities also deteriorating with the age. His main role in life is as a carer for Charles Xavier (reprised once more by Patrick Stewart) aka “Professor X”. Charles is suffering from a life-threatening brain disorder which occasionally leads to him having epileptic-like seizures, resulting is devastating consequences to all around him. Logan soon comes across a lady named Gabriela who asked for his assistance in transporting herself and daughter, Laura (played by newcomer Dafne Keen) , across the border over to Canada. However, it becomes apparent that all is not what is seems. Laura is in fact a mutant with similar powers to himself and they are on the run from a team of soldiers who are hell-bent on killing them both. But what are the reasons for this and is there more to their “accidental” meeting than meets the eye?
Taking a cue from the equally popular movie Deadpool, this film is an R-rated production. This comes with a few caveats, of course. Namely, that this is an adult presentation through and through. The violence throughout is carnal and visceral on every level. The damage inflicted from the use of “Wolverine’s” adamantium claws are shown up close and personal, with every gory detail of injury exposed for our viewing pleasure. Add to that the explicit language being used by our two main protagonists and you have yourself an X-Men movie with a very different feel to it than ever before. Though I’m pleased to say that this is as welcome a change as any. The heavy gauntlets of “PG-13” territory have been cast aside and let the producers loose on the project with little to no restrictions about what can and can’t be shown on-screen. You can really feel they have a great time putting this title together.
The acting is stellar and pretty much as good as it’s going to get. Even from our new miniature star, Dafne Keen, every cast member gives it their all before bringing the final curtain down on this epic series. And with it, comes the emotional tug. This movie has it in spades. From the withered version of Charles to the reluctant yet hurting character of Logan, we are treated to the most endearing X-Men movie ever produced. The fact that most other mutants have either gone missing or been killed (as is hinted in the movie), there is an air of desperation as time seems to be all but running out for the two of them. They are all that’s left of what Charles had once built. Add the character of Laura into the mix and you’ve got heart-rending, action packed movie that stands out as one of its kind. Very impressive stuff and the very best way they could have hoped to see out this franchise.
There are many welcome surprises interspersed with the action. One namely being one of Logan’s toughest adversaries yet. And the main antagonists of the movie have enough of a unique angle to their persona’s to raise them above just being serviceable villains. The stakes are high and the narrative sets the whole premise up to perfection.
I find it interesting in that this movie comes across as anything “but” a comic book movie in it’s look, style and feel. However, that may just be because of what we have been spoon-fed all these years. Though not necessarily being a bad thing per se, I believe this wrap-up to the saga combined with an invigorating and fresh twist as they did, is the ultimate finished product. It is sad and did manage to bring a tear to my eye as the credits began to roll. This would have theorectically been the last time we would ever ever see our beloved and tragic heroic figures on-screen again. But what a hell of a way to bow out. An absolute classic from it’s foundations up. I loved this movie more than you can imagine. Simply put, the finest form of artistic excellence this movie franchise has ever known.