In the year 2029, a drunken, broken Wolverine has retreated out of the public mind. As a limousine driver on the Mexican-American border, the titular Logan cares for his mutant friend Caliban and his aging mentor, Professor Charles Xavier. After an encounter with a mysterious woman, the Wolverine must look after a young girl and protect her from a shadowy corporation. When bounty hunters come knocking at Logan’s door, he is forced to go on the run with his companions to find the legendary mutant refuge in North Dakota.
Pictured above: a very not R rated Wolverine with PG-13 friends from the DCU
“Logan” had an uphill battle to win my favor. “X-Men: First Class” was the first film in the franchise that made me want to go out and see the next one. After that, the series became a cluttered mess, introducing too many obscure characters and timelines. I had zero interest in returning to the series, until I heard the plot and rating for the upcoming Wolverine sendoff film.
In the wake of Deadpool’s success as an R rated superhero movie, Fox’s executives felt it was financially viable to make the final X-Men film for Hugh Jackman as violent as the comic books.
“Logan” is based in an almost post-apocalyptic America, resembling the wastelands of “Fallout” or the classic, “A Boy and His Dog.” The rundown villages that Logan moves through over the course of his journey reflect how beat down the character’s physical and mental health have become.
The film does a good job of throwing the viewer straight into the rated R version of the character, with Logan’s first line being: “Ah, f**k.” This leads to our hero reluctantly slaughtering a crew of gangsters in a frenetic and gruesome clash. The character is finally unleashed here, decapitating and maiming several enemies. The realistic blood and gore reveals the true consequences of Wolverine’s encounters with his foes, while his reluctant demeanor reveals that the character’s desire to live a regular life.
What I enjoyed most about the film was the subtle familial themes, as remarked about in Red Letter Media’s review. Patrick Stewart’s Professor X provides a fatherly figure to Logan, who also provides a father figure to the young girl he is employed to protect. Logan and Professor X exchange jabs back and forth, but care deeply for each other and hope to escape from the dilapidated world they live in.
With all of the light, pulpy action showcased in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, “Logan” provides a down to earth view of comic book movies. It succeeds as both a comic book and a standalone film through its balance of action set pieces and emotional, quiet scenes that show the complexity of the characters.
“Logan” is a wonderful sendoff for the character and Hugh Jackman. Jackman and Stewart deliver meaningful dialogue and make the characters real people who have been through unparalleled pain together. Go out and see “Logan” even if comic book movies are not your thing. You may be surprised.
I give “Logan” four stars out of five.