Logan brings Hugh Jackman’s reign as Wolverine to an end in an entertaining, overlong and unfamiliar cinematic take on the character.
Logan takes place in 2029, well after the events of any of the previous films; which I think are still canonical. Mutants are mostly gone, including all of the X-Men, besides the title character and Charles, call him Chuck, Xavier. They can also both say curse words now, making them feel oddly disconnected from everything that came before it; especially Xavier, but we will get back to that. Logan is trying to raise money to get away with Xavier when a young girl enters his sphere and all of Alkali Industries forces comes down on them. What follows is a road movie on the run and lots, and lots of death.
Thematically, Logan is about finding closure and some new found hope, only, there isn’t a lot of hope to be found. Closure on the other hand, a lot of people find a certain type of six feet under closure. The girl Logan ends up in the care of, Laura, is a new mutant on the run from people who want to kill her, Charles is having seizures and losing control of his powers, while Logan is slowly dying from the inside thanks to a certain strong metal. Cheery, huh? Yeah, I get it, this isn’t supposed to be a fun movie, it is supposed to be a dark take on the character, but, I have to say, I like the Wolverine we got in the million other films with him better.
Don’t get me wrong, Jackman is good in the part, as always, it’s just that this version of the character wasn’t as enjoyable for me. The humor felt less earned (especially since “fuck” is supposed to make everything funnier in these R rated Fox Marvel movies now), Logan is too depressed and isn’t really that likable in this film. Again, I get it, that’s the point of this movie, but I’m not going to lie in my preference of the old version of Wolverine. Xavier also feels like a completely different character than before, where Logan is a less enjoyable shade, but Patrick Stewart really is great in the part. The confused and struggling to get by Xavier is perfectly brought to life by the always great Stewart and most of the film’s best stuff revolves around him. Boyd Holbrook plays the film’s villain, until he doesn’t, but at least he plays it well until he’s pushed to the background.
The film takes a turn towards the worse around the two third’s mark, it doesn’t get bad (but it comes close a couple times), but the film loses its way and focus once a couple key characters are pushed out of the picture. Things drag a bit towards the end, the worst set piece is the finale and the whole thing feels like a huge missed opportunity with all of the powers that could have been at play. Plus, dare I say, watching X-23 and Wolverine go beserk gets a little dull? Maybe it’s because the bad guy who replaces Holbrook is a bit too similar? Also, a huge waste of Stephen Merchant, who, thankfully, makes the most of his all too brief moments.
I’m being nitpicky with Logan, but because it is so easy to do so I think exposes that the film isn’t as strong as it could be. There are a couple stand out set pieces in the first half, and the two lead performances in Jackman and Stewart are good, but the film loses its way and doesn’t ever really get it back. Logan is entertaining, but feels like it could have been something more special than it is; and thinks it is.