Logan rounds off the Wolverine stand-alone trilogy and sends the character away on the high note he so well deserves. However, fans of the superhero genre may be disappointed by a movie that chooses to go out with a flicker, rather than a CGI bang. The movie begins in 2029, with a world-weary Logan (emphasis on the weary) attempting to keep himself and an aging Charles Xavier hidden from a now mutant-extinct world. That is until the mysterious Laura appears, a young mutant being pursued by the brutal mutant hunter, Donald Pierce. This prompts Logan and Charles to undertake one final mission to save Laura, and preserve the future of mutant kind.
Full disclosure now, this is a dark movie – not the kind of “dark and edgy” that DC has attempted with its recent slate; I mean depressing and soul-crushing in its story, characters and execution. In fact, I don’t think there’s ever been a better interpretation of the “dark and gritty” superhero flick. The world that Logan inhabits truly does feel hopeless; Mutants have been brought to the edge of extinction, and no one seems to care (one subtly frightening scene has a radio host ask “… Why do we even still talk about mutants?” as if genocide were a meme or fashion trend). Both Logan and Charles are dying – Logan is suffering from a mysterious illness that has eradicated his healing factor and left him arthritic. Charles on the other hand has some sort of degenerative brain disease, making him a ticking time bomb as losing control of his mind makes him a serious threat to those around him. It’s fascinating to see the effects of age on a superhero; we find the powers that once gave them such superiority have now turned on them, and their many years of fighting has left them frail, without anyone to support or love them. Luckily for them they have each other. The pair’s constant bickering throughout the film provides some lighthearted humor between the bloody and brooding scenes. Charles’ adoptive father persona to Logan, the rebellious son, has always been a high point for the film series and the movie manages to bring satisfying closure between them in some heart-wrenching scenes.
The story is paper thin, but that’s the point. This is Logan’s movie, exploring his character and his final few relationships for the last time. All the main cast are on their A-game; Hugh Jackman and Patrick Stewart give career best turns as Charles and Logan. Stephen Merchant gives a surprisingly restrained and nuanced performance as Caliban. But the real star of the show is Dafne Keen as Laura. She has an incredibly commanding screen presence, holding her own against juggernauts such as Jackman and Stuart, and she’s fantastic in the action scenes. She’s certainly someone to look out for in the future with this heck of a breakout performance. Everything else is padding and to provide casual cinema goers some action. Speaking of the action, this is by far Wolverine’s best movie in terms of fighting; buckets of blood and flailing body-parts litter the screen. The Laura-Logan double team and some unsuspecting bad guys was something I didn’t realise was a necessity in my life until now. This is exactly the movie to show Logan’s potential to be a human slaughterhouse, and it does not disappoint.
Logan is hardly a superhero movie, it’s a sendoff to a character that has dominated our pop culture for the last seventeen years. It is a love letter to both the character and the actor portraying him for the final time. Thank you, Logan, and goodbye.