Logan is directed by James Mangold and stars Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, Boyd Holbrook, Stephen Merchant, and Dafne Keen.
Very rarely does an actor so tremendously play a role that they embody that character more than they do themselves. Reeve as Superman, Downey Jr. as Iron Man, Connery as Bond, and Hugh Jackman as The Wolverine. For 17 years, Jackman has embodied the clawed X-Men mutant through the good, the bad, the ugly, and whatever X-Men: Apocalypse (2016) claimed to be. In what is a swan song of tears and trials to close out 17 years of Jackman, Logan is a cinematic triumph that is gritty, intense, touching, and deeper than many comic book films dare to be nowadays. Quite simply, Logan is the best film in the X-Men series, and one of the best films so far this year.
The film takes place in the year 2029, a distant future in which mutant-kind is all but extinct. The X-Men have all long since vanished, and hiding out on the Mexican Border are Logan and an ailing Charles Xavier (Stewart). When a young girl with extraordinary powers (Keen) stumbles upon their path, the two embark on a journey to protect this girl from those who seek her destruction. In this being Jackman’s final go at the character, he shines like always, bringing a broken and darker edge to his character that is in large part because of the film’s long overdue R rating. Stewart and Keen are standouts as well, as not a single member of this entire main cast felt out of place or over the top, which is a true rarity nowadays. John Mathieson brings crisp and dirty cinematography which fuses seamlessly with the film’s stellar editing and score. All the elements on display, such as the performances, the narrative, the production, the sets, the action, the score, and the heartbreaking yet resolute ending blend in such a way that makes for a truly tragic and intense personal drama.
Now let’s talk about that R rating.
It’s about time we got an R-rated Wolverine movie, am I right? In what is probably the most satisfying aspect of Logan, this film takes its R rating and pushes it to the extreme. The rating helps to supplement the film’s tone, as the violence and dialogue do nothing but contribute tenfold. The gravity of every slice, F-word, and sight of blood reverberates throughout the theater and hits the audience in a way that superhero films rarely ever do. This film is very heavy, and even at times hard to sit through, but somehow constantly sucks you in and grips you until the credits roll. Blade (1998) made R-Rated kickass, Watchmen (2009) made R-Rated profound, Deadpool (2016) made R-Rated funny, and Logan manages to make R-Rated intensely gritty, masterfully violent, and ultimately beautiful.
The closest thing I could find to a flaw in Logan would be my issue concerning the film’s antagonist(s). Not to say that they’re weak, or even underdeveloped, even in a film where the three lead protagonists shine. Boyd Holbrook gives a menacing edge as the film’s lead villain, but there is almost something of a third-act shift in the villain department that was quite odd at first, despite my eventual getting used to it and acceptance of this change. Those who have seen the film probably know what I’m talking about.
Having seen many-a-sendoff to actors in certain roles, I can say with exuberant confidence that Logan ranks among some of the best, if not THE best goodbye I have ever seen. This film is absolutely everything I wanted it to be and also soars high above expectation. Logan is an achievement like none other, and gets an A+.