Directed by James Mangold
Eriq La Salle
Richard E Grant
Logan is Hugh Jackman’s last movie as the Wolverine (supposedly) and is set in 2029 with little to no relation to the events of any other X-Men film to date. James Mangold returned to direct this film after The Wolverine, but this time, he had free reign to produce something spectacular.
This is not a comic book movie. Well, loosely, it is. This is an Oscar-worthy psychological thriller that will mess with your emotions and squeeze every form of life out of you and into you. Wolverine is old, wearing and in a broken mental state. Charles Xavier is all of those things but worse. They’re just two heaps of sand waiting for the wind to carry them away. Very few mutants remain and the world is a bleak, hopeless place.
If the trailers didn’t reveal it, the movie is about X-23, and that is all I’ll say about that because I have a no-spoiler policy. Dafne Keen is the rare find of a great child actor – as are other child actors in the film – and whatever future she has as an actress is bright. This is a hard role to play. When Patrick Stewart and Hugh Jackman are sharing a screen with you, there’s a lot to live up to. There were scenes in this movie in which she was the centre of attraction.
Speaking of, Hugh Jackman killed it, as he always does. This was probably more difficult than any of the other films he’s done as the Wolverine, but his ability as an actor was never in question. The portrayal of Wolverine in this movie is astoundingly dark, but the movie does a great job to justify why.
Patrick Stewart delivers the best performance of the film. Prior to this, I preferred James McAvoy’s Professor X, but after watching this movie I’ve switched sides. Professor X has lived a life, and the way Stewart performs reeks of a horrible past and incredible level of intellect. This was not easy at all. I realise I’ve said that about all three characters I’ve talked about thus far, but it is true. These are challenging roles that take dedication and pure, raw talent, and the three front line actors deserve credit for being able to meet those requirements. Professor X had the most emotional weight, at least for me, in this film, and there was a stabbing in my heart every time he was on screen.
I like Boyd Holbrook from Narcos and I was excited to see him in this movie, and I took a real liking to his antagonistic character and performance in the first half of the movie. Things changed a little in the second half, but overall, he did a good job.
The movie isn’t without its negatives, however. In particular, there are two. The first is a plot device that came of as a lazy way of telling a story, and in context didn’t really make much sense. I can’t give away any details because it would be heading into spoiler territory. The second is a character whose existence in this movie I did not completely understand and who took a little bit away from the film, at least for me.
Regardless, Logan is still a heart-wrenching film. There is action throughout (pretty sadistically amazing action), but Logan’s biggest strength is in its character moments. The least eventful parts of the movie are the ones which add the most to it, and they add a lot to it. The nature of the story itself allows for an emotional rollercoaster, and it is a story which deserves praise for everything it is.
This isn’t a film made for someone who would like to see mindless, over the top action. This is a film for those who appreciate characters, story and the beauty of little moments. There are character developments and arcs which are central to the story. This is a film which will pick you up and send you through the Earth and repeat, over and over and over, until it finishes and you just want more.
It is a film which deserves a full rating but I just can’t award it that because the few flaws it has are fairly noticeable. However, I do have a feeling that this, the first film I’ve watched this year, will end up being the best film I’ve watched this year.
On a scale where M is the lowest, and R is the highest possible rating, with the highlighted letter being the rating: