Logan Movie Review: A great send-off to Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine

Logan (2017) Movie Review – ** Beware of Minor Spoilers **
Director: James Mangold
Starring: Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, Dafne Keen, Boyd Holbrook, Stephen Merchant, Elizabeth Rodriguez

Saying that Logan is the best standalone Wolverine movie is hardly going out on a limb. Logan is deserving to be in the conversation for best X-Men franchise movie. What makes this film standout is exploring Logan at his most authentic self in a grounded way.

Many of the other X-Men movies don’t hit the mark especially when it comes to characters. By stripping away the trappings of a typical superhero team movie, this film distills the raw, essential aspects of Logan.

In 2029, old man Logan is an alcoholic, Uber limousine driver. This is a nice symbolism for Logan’s aimlessness and purposeless life. After the opening act, Logan is sort of like a road movie with a Western vibe.

Characters are typically in a constant state of movement which is contrasted in some scenes where they can’t move at all. Logan’s problem to overcome is on choosing a destination which is a good way to represent both his state of mind and the practical dilemma at hand when trouble comes his way.

Living forever sounds like a great thing. But it also means that everyone you know is dead or dying. You could find yourself stuck looking at life in the rear view mirror. With old man Logan having an expiration date he’s more relatable to us mere mortals in that he’s stumbling to find meaning in life and doesn’t know what hope looks like even if it hits him in the face. For a lot of people as they lie on their death-bed they see hope in knowing that a part of them will live on in their children.

Part father-figure, part conscience, Professor Xavier is Logan’s only responsibility until a feral, mutant girl named Laura comes into their lives. I like Xavier’s interplay with Logan more than with Laura. Xavier has some great lines, heck he even swears. One of my favorite pearls of wisdom from Xavier is “This is what life looks like: people love each other. You should take a moment…”.

Perhaps what Laura represents to Logan is that he has to accept responsibility for her and in doing so may find meaning. Laura is mostly a non-verbal, physical role by actress Dafne Keen and she gives off some great, terrifying glares. Without the R-rating, these main characters would have lacked an edge. It’s refreshing and satisfying to see a no-holds bar Logan.

Our greatest enemies are usually ourselves. We may be aware of our deep character flaws yet that doesn’t mean we can overcome them. So can I understand the reason for choosing this particular villain. For viewers comparing Logan to the Dark Knight it doesn’t come close, certainly not on the villain front. Here the villain is underdeveloped and there could have been more interesting choices.

As an antagonist, Donald Pierce (Boyd Holbrook), a conniving agent with a cybernetic hand, starts off promising. Unfortunately, he doesn’t do anything “villain-worthy” and is treated like an afterthought in the final act. Although he looks decrepit, mutant tracker Caliban (Stephen Merchant) is a good guy with a dark past. I thought of Wheatley from Portal 2 when I heard Merchant’s voice; however, aside from both being cue balls, Wheatley and Caliban aren’t anything like.

Like Logan, the actions scenes are savage. Without mutants who’ll raise their hands from their side to make a rain storm pour down, the focus is squarely on Wolverine’s physicality and ferociousness. We finally see what those nasty adamantium claws can really do to people. Nothing too grandiose or comic booky. This style is a perfect fit for Logan. It’s too bad that Hugh Jackman who’s consistently good is hanging up the costume. Oh wait, we never got to see him wear the classic yellow Wolverine suit. It would have clashed with the weary, realistic tone of this movie anyways.

Logan isn’t meant to be an epic story. It’s a character journey where along the way he finds bits of himself that he’s lost or forgotten. Logan does justice to its main character. Hugh Jackman owns the role for the last time. He captures Wolverine’s humanity and the animalistic side. The weaker spots in Logan is the final battle and lacking an engaging villain. So as Logan walks off into the sunset so to speak, hopefully X-men movie producers are taking down notes furiously on how to get it done right for future films.

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About Eddie@Jaccendo

Movies, TV shows, comics, and video game news & review.

Posted on April 23, 2017, in Comics, Movies and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. I really enjoyed this film, very engaging and also very sad. Great review!

  2. I agree to say this is the best of the Wolverine trilogy is not much of a compliment. But it is in the conversation for best X-Men movie (though for me it comes in third). I enjoyed this one a lot and the interplay between Logan and Xavier was one of the highlights.

    • Hi Sean, I really liked Logan and Xavier’s interplay too and the comedic elements worked for me. Oh yeah, that first Wolverine origins movie was a train wreck, The Wolverine wasn’t bad, but Logan is on another level.

  3. I also thought that the villains were unmemorable. This seems to be a recurring problem in the Wolverine franchise and well, the whole superhero genre. Nevertheless, it was a character study done well and an emotional send-off. Great review. 😀

    • I agree there are many weak villains in superhero movies. I guess the focus, especially with origin stories, are on the heroes. Logan has a good mix of things that worked, it came together really well, plus a great way for Hugh Jackman to wraps things up with the character. Thanks Jade! 🙂

  4. Great review! I thought this was a great final chapter for Wolverine and a fitting way to send off Hugh Jackman, who did such a wonderful job portraying this character. He was always great, even if some of the X-Men and Wolverine films had their issues. I think Deadpool and Logan have opened the door for more unconventional superhero tales, and I think variety is always a good thing!

    • Thanks! It’s a satisfying final chapter. It may be difficult at first seeing another actor take up the role of Wolverine after Hugh Jackman. I could tell that Hugh Jackman was really dedicated to the character and I can understand why he wanted to go out on a high note. I agree it’s good to have some more unconventional superhero tales when it fits the right characters like Deadpool and Logan. 🙂

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