In his final appearance as the iconic Wolverine before hanging up his claws, Hugh Jackman has delivered not only the bloodiest X-Men film, but also the saddest.
It’s 2029 and the mutants, once seen as the next step in evolution, are nearly extinct. An aging Logan, aka Wolverine, is now drinking his days away while his former mentor’s, Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart in his final appearance in the film franchise), once powerful mind is now failing him. Logan’s life is suddenly turned upside down when a mysterious girl enters his life.
For years, Wolverine films have been neutered by pandering to a more family friendly PG-13 rating, but the reigns have been let go in Jackman’s swan song with incredible results. Wolverine can finally be Wolverine in his own film, filled with more in-depth action and colorful language. The film is packed with action from beginning to end that is not only more true to the comics, but could also never be seen in a PG-13 film.
Given the depth of the film, it’s easy to forget this is a comic book adaptation. It more closely resembles a western, which is cheekily referenced when they show a clip of “Shane” during the film, which shares a similar plot to “Logan.”
The character development of this film was fantastic, unlike the poor job that was done in “X-Men: Apocalypse.” In their old age, Logan and Xavier have grown to resent one another but know that they also still need each other. Meanwhile, Laura, aka X-23 (Dafne Keen in her film debut) serves as a reminder to the person Logan once was, quiet, brutal and unstoppable. Her relationship with both Logan and Xavier are crucial. Logan, who has long been a loner in the film franchise, develops a father-daughter relationship while a guilt-ridden Xavier sees her as a chance for redemption.
“Logan” shows Logan and Xavier at their worst. Both men are older in a world no longer suited for or existing of mutants and X-23 represents the future and the potential for their return. This is a comic book movie that you won’t see for the action, but instead to feel. While it may be quite possibly the most serious comic film ever, it is also the one that challenges you the most as a viewer to throw away everything you know about comic films.
Throughout the film’s production, the “Old Man Logan” comics was heavily seen as the source material for the film, but it was nearly impossible to translate that to film because of the fact that comic includes characters from nearly every other Marvel series, most of which 20th Century Fox does not own the film right to. Instead, the movie does a blend of “Old Man Logan’s” backstory of the aging titular character, a cross country trip and a world without superheroes and “Messiah CompleX’s” dying world of mutants (none have been born in 25 years) and protection over a rare, young mutant from landing in the wrong hands.
However, with “Old Man Logan” seen as the source material, it’s hard to not be critical that the film failed to go in depth on some crucial scenes or aspects. A key part of “Old Man Logan’s” plot is that Logan no longer uses his claws, Wolverine, for a lack of better words, is dead as a neutered Logan lives his life. Additionally, a key scene shows just how all of the other X-Men perished, which instead was just a side note in this film that could have instead been not only an integral plot point, but a nice way to cameo the other key characters of this film franchise.
“Logan” also breaks away from the norm when it comes to the credits. Instead of a post-credit teaser that has become expected for these films, the stinger is shown before “Logan” begins, focused on the upcoming “Deadpool” film.
While James Mangold has stated that the film was always going to be rated R, it is hard not to imagine that this film would not be possible if it wasn’t for the success of “Deadpool” last year, which paved the way for R-rated comic films, despite being nearly the complete opposite of what “Logan” was as a film. “Logan” is a must-see regardless of whether or not you like comic films.