â€œLogan,â€ starring Hugh Jackman and Patrick Stewart and directed by James Mangold, is the final chapter to a character that has been a theatrical presence for 17 years. Although released under the â€œMarvelâ€ brand, Logan comes across as ostensibly a stand-alone film. And itâ€™s fantastic. In fact, I would argue that it is not crucial to have seen any of the other â€œX-menâ€ films to enjoy this movie, although if you do have a connection to these characters, the emotional punches that the filmmakers deliver here are bound to hit you particularly hard.
To give you a brief set-up, â€œLoganâ€ follows the life of Hugh Jackmanâ€™s titular character as he lives out his days years after the events of past films. Set in the near future, Logan now works as a chauffeur in Texas, living day-by-day as a shadow of his former self. Old, haggard and irrevocably exhausted physically, mentally, and spiritually, Logan is a superhero from an era long gone. We learn early in the film that the rest of the mutants are gone, excluding a handful of characters including Professor Charles Xavier (Stewart), who has been reduced to a senile old man with whom Logan is tasked to take care of, due to the fact that Charles now suffers from a neurodegenerative disease which causes him to lose control of his telepathic abilities to calamitous effect. A turn of events comes when Logan is given the job to transport a young girl with mutant powers identical to his own across the United States, in search of a so-called â€œEdenâ€ where mutants can escape the threat of a government who seems hell-bent on eliminating them. Along this journey, Logan is pushed to the edge both physically and mentally. Healing powers that he once Â possessed are fading. Â For a reason later revealed in the movie, Â Jackmanâ€™s character is deathly ill.
Although still immensely powerful, he is not the man he once was. Â For this reason, the violence in this film is all the more brutal and effective. Â
The Wolverine is no longer on Invincible Unstoppable Force. As a result, the action sequences carry a weight that was not present in previous â€œX-Menâ€ films.
The first â€œX-Menâ€ film was released in an era where the superhero genre was nothing like it is today. Back in 2000, the film industry was a place where the thought of crafting a â€œseriousâ€ superhero film was a fairly alien idea. The film was rated PG-13, and featured a pretty violent character lofted from the comic books, the source material.
However, due to the softer PG-13 rating coupled with the perceived idea that audience members were not ready at the time to witness a superhero character that featured any level of serious violence or gore, a lot of potential was lost throughout the series. Jump to 2017, and the success of films such as â€œDeadpoolâ€ as well as Netflix series like â€œLuke Cageâ€ and â€œJessica Jonesâ€ shed light on the fact that making a big budget superhero movie R-rated is one of the best decisions one can make. â€œLoganâ€ is a hard R. The brutality in this film alone will come as a shock to audience members who are so used to directors of past X-Men films having to cut around the fact that this is a character whose power is to rip through his enemies with razor sharp claws that protrude from his knuckles.
In addition to a higher level of violence, the emotional substance and depth is much more pronounced. Director James Mangold plays with incredibly powerful themes of loss and alienation, so much so that itâ€™s a marvel that the movie still manages to retain a sense of fun Â and adventure. Â While unquestionably dark at times, there are so many moments of humor and joy that work so well because they feel earned every time. I donâ€™t wish you to read this review and have the idea that Logan is devoid of any kind of fun; Rather, Â it is simply incredibly refreshing to see a movie depart Â from the familiar formula of so many of its contemporaries Within the superhero genre. Â overall I would give â€œLoganâ€ 9.5 out of 10.