Dan's Review: "Logan" not your typical "X-Men" movie
Feb 17, 2017 10:38PM
● By Dan Metcalf
Hugh Jackman in Logan - © 2017 – 20th Century Fox.
Logan (20th Century Fox)
Rated R for strong brutal violence and language throughout, and for brief nudity.
Starring Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, Richard E. Grant, Boyd Holbrook, Stephen Merchant, Dafne Keen, Eriq La Salle, Elise Neal, Quincy Fouse, Doris Morgado, Elizabeth Rodriguez, David Kallaway, Han Soto and Krzysztof Soszynski.
Written by Scott Frank, James Mangold and Michael Green.
Directed by James Mangold.
The ninth time is the charm? That’s right, Hugh Jackman has donned the adamantium claws, white tank top and scruffy beard nine times, including the March 7 release of Logan, the “final” chapter in the saga of Wolverine/Logan, the most prominent member of the X-Men team. This time around, Logan seems doomed to an awful fate, while trying to find peace among the last of his fellow mutants.
The story picks up several years in the future, as Logan’s health deteriorates and he cares for his few remaining mutant friends, including Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart) and Caliban (Stephen Merchant) near the U.S./Mexican border, where he drives a limousine for hire. One day, a Mexican nurse approaches Logan, claiming he has daughter named Laura (Dafne Keen). Logan refuses to accept the woman’s claim until a security agent named Donald Peirce (Boyd Holbrook) visits and insists that he help locate Laura, who is an escaped mutant experiment from Mexico City. Logan eventually meets the girl at the same time Peirce attacks his compound. Since she was cloned using Logan’s DNA, Laura has the same mutant powers (and claws) as Logan and has no problem defending herself against Pierce’s security forces as she, Logan and Xavier escape. Peirce captures Caliban and uses his mutant abilities to track the fugitives as they head north. Laura believes that other children have escaped the Mexico City lab and are planning on a rendezvous in North Dakota, where they will cross over to Canada and find refuge. The children were born in the lab controlled by the evil Zander Rice (Richard E. Grant), who commands Peirce and the security mercenaries.
As Logan, Xavier and Laura continue their journey, they leave a path of destruction and death whenever Pierce and his men get close. Logan and Xavier both suffer from declining health as Laura insists that they continue their journey. When Logan and Laura finally arrive, Peirce and his army are there, and Logan must decide whether to accept Laura as his daughter and help protect her (and other mutant children), or find peace on his own.
First, I want to make something absolutely clear: while Logan is technically an X-Men movie, it is most assuredly not of the same genre as other films in the franchise. It is a dark, emotionally draining, brutal, tragic and graphic movie, bordering on horror. Simply put, Logan is rated R for a reason. When I’d heard James Mangold and Jackman insisted on making an R-rated Wolverine film, I suspected that there’d be a few more “F-bombs” and a little more blood. I was mistaken. There is a lot of graphic violence and gore; unlike anything you’ve ever seen from Wolverine. There is also a constant stream of profanity laced throughout the dialogue, along with a few other vices, and unbridled rage. Honestly, it wouldn’t have taken much for Logan to garner an NC-17 rating. In short, Logan is not a superhero/sci-fi-fantasy film, with cool special effects, quirky one-liners and optimal outcomes. Innocent bystanders are not spared, either. It’s a visceral adaptation of a graphic novel, so please resist the temptation to bring your kids to see it, even if they have rooms full of Wolverine toys and gear.
All vices aside, Logan is an excellent movie with incredible performances from a talented cast, most notably Stewart, and especially Jackman, who seems to give every part of his soul to the character he has owned for the past 17 years (Incidentally, Jackman claims Logan will be his last Wolverine film, but he’s said that before, and there’s always the possibility of another “prequel,” since the character has a story arc spanning several decades we have yet to see on film, so take that with a grain of salt. There’s already talk of a Deadpool/Wolverine mash-up, but nothing definite).
Jackman’s excellent performance highlights the tragic nature of a beloved character that may be hard for some X-Men fans to take. Even so, all things must come to an end, and Logan provides a fitting redemption for a troubled soul like Wolverine.