Please note the review below may contain minor spoilers - I've done my best to keep them to a minimum.
Superhero movies are a curious thing, whilst Disney take the liberty of throwing an ever escalating series of Earth-ending disasters at you - from alien invasions to meteors - that end up resulting in an acute emptiness when the credits roll; Fox meanwhile have opted to take a different approach with some of its latest outings - not looking at you X-Men: Apocalypse - as shown with Deadpool, and now its mutant magnum opus Logan, which knocks it out of the park with a simple story and no Earth-ending consequences in sight.
Who knew all it took to make a great film was creating emotional attachment to characters and giving them personal consequences to deal with on screen?
Most of the X-Men and Wolverine movies thus far have shied away from the true devastation our clawed friend is capable of, either looking to lower its age guidance barometer to draw in those kiddies or frankly deciding minced meat isn't quite fitting in with the tone of the overall film. Logan though throws all of those attempts into the rubbish bin from the word go, servers a few limbs for good measure then begins to slap you around with them in its gore output. Logan is is pure brutality on display like no superhero movie before it.
In fact I’d hazard to even call Logan a superhero movie - it aims and succeeds at being so much more.
Logan could have just as easily been a Western - even paying ode to Shane in several spots - of a man who has been through the woodchipper of life, once a pioneering figure but now a relic of his time, literally falling apart at the seams and knows as such too. And now he finds himself reluctantly given an opportunity to experience a part of him he’d purposefully forgot, of helping a young girl cross the border, a girl who mirrors himself in an age long gone.
In parcel with Hugh Jackman's best portrayal of the character thus far is also Patrick Stewart's final performance as X-Men leader Professor X, who regularly jives with Logan back and forth creating the films much needed comedic effect. The pairs smatterings really get you invested in their characters, and unlike most superhero films the acting truly shines through.
That’s not to say Logan is the best thing since sliced bread though, like every film it does have its flaws. The first of which is the pure contrivance present throughout - merely for plot reasons - that are counterproductive to the logic of the world and its characters. From the characters doing asinine things such as stopping for rest bite with a local rancher's family, whilst an army of corporate mercenaries are on their tail, to the actual plot setup itself; of a woman (Gabriela played by Elizabeth Rodriguez) seeking Logan for days on end and lingering in town attempting to change his mind with a bundle of cash, when the whole - taking Laura aka X-23 to a set of coordinates - mission could have already been accomplished by that time with the funds she had.
But alas we wouldn’t have a movie if logic prevailed and nor can you let fact get in the way of some good storytelling, as evidenced by the X-Men movie timeline itself which at this point makes less sense than Scientology.
After two attempts, Wolverine finally gets his cinematic due in what is easily the best X-Men movie to date and a great franchise farewell for both Hugh Jackman and Patrick Stewart.
Logan is a brutal superhero film like none before it, and whilst it can at times be baggy and contrived a quality manages to shine through nonetheless, of characters you have grown to care for and performances that are truly on point becoming the perfect sendoff for these characters.
- 4 Out of 5 Stars
Contrived in parts
Release Date: 1st March
Runtime: 2 hr 17 mins
Director: James Mangold
Starring: Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, Dafne Keen, Boyd Holbrook, Stephen Merchant, Elizabeth Rodriguez & Richard E. Grant
- The Wolverine
No, extreme gore and mature themes throughout.
There's no end credit sequence, though American audiences were treated to a Deadpool 2 sneak-peek during the trailers section.
Patrick Stewart lost 21 pounds to play Charles Xavier in his final role.
In the UK the usual midnight screening time was pushed back to 10:23pm, in reference to the character of X-23.