“Logan” claws through critics
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The year is 2029. Mutant-kind is all but extinct, as far as Wolverine, A.K.A. Logan, knows or cares. He spends his days as a limo driver and watches over Charles Xavier, whose age and deteriorating mind have caused his telekinetic powers to grow unstable, forcing him into hiding.
Beyond the goal of buying a boat so he and Charles can live out the rest of their lives in peace and safety, Logan finds no purpose in life. But a purpose finds him in the form of the mysterious girl, Laura, who is being hunted by government agents.
Guided by Xavier, Logan reluctantly embarks on one last mission to get the girl to safety, all the while escaping vengeful hunters and coming face to face with his own mortality.
With this being the second Wolverine movie by director James Mangold, he certainly knows the character front and back, inside and out.
This knowledge of the character and his mythos is especially important as this is the last solo Wolverine movie — and the last movie to have Hugh Jackman as the adamantium-clawed mutant. And it sure sends the fan favorite X-Men character off with a bang, albeit a grim, and bloody bang.
“Logan” is the Wolverine movie that many fans have wanted to see for decades. It focuses solely on the titular character and is as gory and coarse as its namesake. Where past X-Men movies have felt too censored when it comes to scenes involving Wolverine, “Logan” lets loose with visceral battles and strong language to make up for all those previously padded portrayals of Wolverine.
Unfortunately, as impressive looking as the hard-hitting violence is, the blood and gore soon become somewhat of a distraction, as it seems to take precedence over what could have been a compelling and introspective character study.
While there is plenty of heartfelt drama and poignant scenes, especially between Logan and Xavier, it feels somewhat overshadowed by the extravagant fight sequences. The violence in the end is only for violence’s sake and doesn’t really add any depth to the characters.
However, when the action has quieted down, there is still much to be enjoyed. The triangle of Logan, Xavier and Laura ultimately proves to be the beating heart at the center of the movie. The best parts of the film are the interactions between these three, using their actions and Mangold’s direction to set up a shot that holds volumes of inferences beyond what their words say.
It is certainly a fresh take on the superhero genre to have complicated characters that the audience can genuinely care for.
“Logan” is a bleak film taking place in a bleak future. It certainly helps to watch the previous X-Men films to get the full effect of what transpires in the film’s two-hour and 20-minute running time.
Perhaps the most heartbreaking aspect of the film is the exchanges between Xavier and Logan because we have seen these characters go through thick and thin together so often before. It tugs at the heartstrings to see these two much older and worse for wear.
Laura is also a great new addition to the X-Men universe, who is a fully realized character in herself.
Despite the overabundance of carnage, there are some pretty touching moments that occur throughout this film. It really does feel like a final hurrah in the last days of Wolverine; we in the audience feel a certain melancholy as a once great and powerful superhero comes to grips with the fact that things aren’t as good as they used to be.
Hugh Jackman has played the character of Wolverine for 17 years, ever since the first X-Men movie came out in 2000. He gives an outstanding performance in this last outing as Logan.
Patrick Stewart reprises his role as Charles Xavier. Stewart is another X-Men veteran, having played the same character since day one in the first X-Men film. He gives a commendable effort as a Xavier who is more somber and surprisingly funnier than he’s been in past years.
Dafne Keen gives an impressive turn as Laura. Keen does an excellent job of keeping Laura strong-willed and tragic, never devolving into the annoyingly moody brat character that plagues many films.
Boyd Holbrook plays Donald Pierce, the film’s primary antagonist. Oozing charm and likeability, Holbrook chews the scenery any chance he gets. Unfortunately, the character of Pierce never becomes more than a one-note villain intent on achieving his goal.
There is a lot to like about “Logan.” Hugh Jackman gives his all in this final performance as the fan favorite mutant and Dafne Keen is a wonderful addition to the X-Men movies. In addition, the dramatics are so heartfelt and meaningful that you are bound to be overcome with emotions by the end of the movie.
It is a shame, however, that “Logan” feels it must spend more of its time in overbearing carnage. Instead of a poignant character drama with some good action, we get a gory action movie with some great drama.