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This time 2 years ago, Hugh Jackman hung up the claws and played Wolverine for the last time in Logan, in the only R-rated Wolverine movie ever. He had played the X-Man for nearly 17 years in 9 movies, but after all this time came his final run in 2017 with Logan.
Directed by James Mangold (The Wolverine, Walk the Line) and starring Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart and Dafne Keen is the third and final film in the Wolverine series in the X-Men universe, Logan. Set in 2029, an old Wolverine is suffering from his adamantium skeleton poisoning his body. He’s hiding from the public eye as a limo driver, regularly crossing over to Mexico where he and the last surviving mutants are hiding out in an abandoned smelting plant. There’s Caliban, who can track other mutants, and a nonagenarian Professor Xavier, whose telepathy has developed into dementia, where he has uncontrollable seizures. While on a limo job, he is approached by Gabriela, a nurse for Transigen, who hires Logan to take a child that has been experimented on, Laura, to Eden, a refuge in North Dakota. When Reavers, who are hunting Laura, attack Logan and Charles in Mexico, the trio escape and it’s now down to Logan to protect an ailing Professor X and Laura from the dark forces that put his own life at risk.
Hugh Jackman played Wolverine, or Logan as he goes by in this film. I think it’s fair to say that Jackman’s portrayal of Wolverine in Logan was his best in the entire X-Men series. Jackman brought out a more damaged and harsher side of Logan that he brilliantly portrayed. His range of emotions blended with a new edge of agony and gruffness was perfect for the movie and was part of the reason why I enjoyed the film so much. Jackman also played X-24, Logan’s clone who is essentially an evil version of him in the movie. Again, Jackman did a superb job of playing X-24 and I had no issues with his character here. Professor Charles Xavier was played again by Patrick Stewart who was good as Professor X. Similar to Wolverine’s character in Logan, Charles’ character was more of a vulnerable and weaker man, but with more of a humorous and lighter side that we hadn’t really seen before. Stewart executed his role of Professor X wonderfully and he was one of the best parts of the movies. The role of Laura or X-23 (Logan’s daughter) was played by Dafne Keen and for such a young actress, Keen was spectacular as Laura. She was able to act well emotionally and had the ability to create complex character relationships through little words between Logan and Charles. Dafne Keen also won the award for Best Female Newcomer at the 2018 Empire Awards, showing that her performance as Laura was truly sensational. Caliban was played by Stephen Merchant who Merchant played well, though lacking in a couple areas. I also would have liked to have seen more from Caliban, as it seemed he really just served to show that mutants were on the edge of extinction. Merchant has a brilliant acting ability and I couldn’t help but feel that it was somewhat wasted in the role of Caliban. Had Caliban been featured more in the film, then I would have appreciated his character more. Boyd Halbrook played Donald Pierce, who was the head of the Reavers. I liked the way that Halbrook played Donald, as he brought a tone of creepiness and mysteriousness that made him a good character in the film. If I’m being honest, I thought there was a bit too much of his character and we should’ve seen more of some other characters, maybe Laura or Richard E Grant’s Dr Rice. Grant played Dr Rice well, but as previously mentioned, I would’ve liked to have seen more of his character. The character chemistry between each character was superbly acted out by all actors in the film, particularly by Hugh Jackman. Logan’s character had complex relationships with each and every character that Jackman was able to perfectly portray.
The music used in Logan featured no pop songs or techno or anything. Instead, the music pieces were perfectly matched to the darker, sinister tone of the film. The themes were composed by Marco Beltrami, who has also composed music for other movies such as ‘A Quiet Place’ and ‘Scream’. The themes were dramatic, wonderfully composed and added to the dark tone of the movie and also added to my enjoyment of the film.
The storyline in Logan differed from the usual superhero movie plot which actually made it so much better. There were no robots, and the plot wasn’t the world is going to end and that the heroes had to save it. It was just taking a girl to a safe haven. Honestly speaking, there weren’t many powers used either. We only see Professor X use his telepathy once or twice, and Logan only using his (failing) claws as a defence mechanism. The film was uneven, dull and boring in places, and it did not flow as much as it could have. It did use a fair amount of exposition but not as much as most movies do and the film wasn’t ruined entirely by the exposition that was in Logan. Logan was a fantastically entertaining film that I have rewatched a few times since its release in March 2017, and I have only enjoyed the film more and more. I liked the symbolism of Logan facing himself, his clone in the film too. It was a smart twist that personified Logan’s internal struggle with his adamantium poisoning and inevitable death.
Now for my favourite scenes. I loved the opening which wonderfully illustrated the change in tone from the usual superhero movies and also showed what Logan has become. He’s changed, he’s weaker, no longer to defend him and no longer the mighty Wolverine as he used to be. The development from here was interesting but was a little dull to watch, but I liked the introduction to Logan’s new life in Mexico. It showed a change in lifestyle and how different the situation was. Professor X’s introduction was well done and made for a good scene. The first attack of the Reavers in Mexico which showed off Laura’s claws and agility was brilliantly exciting to watch. It showed off a new character and marked a point that showed the film would change from here. The next best scene for me was the gory hotel scene, which built on the R-rated theme of the movie and made for a great scene. Then the film tries to further itself, which it does but could have been done in more of an engaging way. Logan, Professor X and Laura then help out the Munson’s, who invite them over. There was some exposition here, but the film begins to move forward faster from this point. It is revealed that Logan has been cloned by Transigen in a ruthless duplication known as X-24. X-24 kills Professor X in a touching scene and leads to a gruesome fight between Logan and his clone, which was a scene I loved. Logan and Laura escape and bury Charles’ dead body. They make their way to North Dakota to meet with other young mutants who are going to cross the border to Canada where they will reach safety. The forest fight scene was one of the best parts of the film. The team-up between Laura and Logan, between daughter and father, was incredible to watch, but I was left on the edge of my seat at the final fight between Logan and X-24. X-24 impales Logan on a log where he has his dying breaths. He whispers his last words to Laura: ‘so this is what it feels like’ before passing away. The young mutants bury Logan and make a cross out of some sticks. Laura turns the cross sideways, so that it is an ‘X’ now, and the film fades to black and ends; a beautifully done ending to Hugh Jackman’s legacy of Wolverine.
Overall, Logan was a fantastic conclusion to Hugh Jackman’s run as Wolverine and proved for one final time that he is irreplaceable as Wolverine. The film receives an 8.6/10 from me. It’s R-rating gave it incredible action scenes while also taking on a new plot-perspective which made it more enjoyable. As previously said, it was the perfect send off to Patrick Stewart’s Professor X and, more notably the long-lasting legacy that will never be forgotten, Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine.
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Once again, thanks for reading this week’s review. Join me next week for the review of the latest instalment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Captain Marvel. See you then!