Now that superhero movies have become a mainstay of every summer, it is up to each individual film to stand-out. Some have achieved this well, like Deadpool and Ant-Man, while others have struggled, like the newest X-Men movie or anything DC are producing. Luckily, Fox have gone a different route with their latest instalment in the mediocre Wolverine solo franchise and it has worked to great effect.
For a superhero which is known for regenerating and aging slowly, it was always going to be difficult to sell Hugh Jackman as young as the world aged around him. Cleverly, in Logan, they solve this problem by having it set in the future, where mutants have stopped appearing and all is left is Jackman’s lone-warrior and an even more aging Patrick Stewart as Professor X. This doesn’t just solve the aging issue but also distances this franchise from it’s contemporise, bringing it out of the glossy, action-orientated blockbuster arena and into something much more low-key and almost with an independent movie feel.
This isn’t about Wolverine, or Logan as he goes for most of the movie, saving the world but instead saving one small girl. It becomes refreshing to have the story be much more personal and makes for Jackman’s best version of the character yet. It also means he can do something else with Wolverine, being much more tortured, damaged and fragile, as his mutant abilities begin to catch-up with him.
This is also Jackman’s closest version of Wolverine to his comic-book counterpart. The fans have been clambering for an R-Rated version of the character and Logan finally delivers. From the multiple times he gratuitously drops the F-Word to the gory but very effective violence from the outset, it is clear that Logan is a more “grown-up” superhero movie and is all the better for it.
It isn’t a perfect superhero movie by any stretch. It is lacking in certain areas, like a plot of any originality or a villain who stands-out or is any way memorable but this film is not about the superhero moments but more about a look at what being a superhero can do to a character. Wolverine was always the reluctant hero and in Logan he gets to demonstrate this further. Knowing this is Jackman’s last run-out as the character adds even more gravitas to the performance and a slight pathos as the end-credits roll.
Overall, Logan is finally the Wolverine movie that Hugh Jackman and the fans deserve. It is gritty, violent, mature and character-led, adding depth to one of the more complicated superheroes. It is a smaller movie but better for it. If this is in fact both Jackman’s and Stewart’s last turns as Wolverine and Professor X respectively, they have gone out on a high.
Rating – 4
(1 – Awful, 2 – Average, 3 – Good, 4 – Great, 5! – Must See)