“Logan” is the classic story of the unwilling hero told through the lens of one of Marvel’s most popular superheroes warped into an aged old man who carries the weight of his past sins on his shoulders.
The film, directed by James Mangold, is unlike any other previous Marvel superhero movie to date. The story overall is much darker and focuses on the frayed, tired, title character Logan, or Wolverine, played by Hugh Jackman.
Jackman has played the titular character for nine movies over the course of 17 years, and this film serves as his last reprisal of the superhero that arguably made his career.
Patrick Stewart also reprises his role as Professor Charles Xavier, but in this film, he’s far more senile and mentally unstable, creating even bigger issues due to his telekinetic mind.
A new character within the movie “Logan” is Laura, or X-23 to fans, and she is played by 11-year-old Dafne Keen. Despite being Keen’s first film, she absolutely steals the show, and her portrayal as a young, naive girl who contains a vast killing potential is wonderful and even funny in some scenes.
For people new to the superhero genre, “Logan” was first conceptualized as the “Old Man Logan” movie, which was to be based on the comic book series of the same name, written by Mark Millar and drawn by Steve McNiven. It depicted a version of Logan that very much matches the movie’s version.
Logan was tired, old and his ability to regenerate from any injury almost had immediately degenerated; all he wanted to do was to live a peaceful life away from the fighting and violence.
But similarities between the comic and the movie adaptation basically end there as the plot and the cast of characters vary heavily between the two.
The plot of the film focuses on Logan tasked with the goal of transporting a young 11-year-old girl named Laura from El Paso, Texas to somewhere in North Dakota. Tagging along with him is Professor Charles Xavier and chasing after the three is Donald Pierce (Boyd Hollbrook) who wants to kill Laura.
The film is able to capture intense character interactions between Logan and the other supporting characters without seeming like the actors are trying too hard, and the dialogue feels natural and heavy at times.
When it comes to the action, fans of the comic have been urging studio executives for another rated R superhero movie after the box office success that “Deadpool” got on its release, and this time, the executives listened because they knew that Logan would be a perfect fit for another violent film. Fans will be glad to see that the film is finally able to deliver on Logan’s signature berserker rage with all the gratuitous blood and gore that a rated R film comes with.
Overall, the movie serves as the perfect send off to Hugh Jackman as he leaves the role of Wolverine. Thematically, the movie is definitely a departure compared to other Marvel movies that are rife with one-liners, backtalk and sarcastic remarks. Instead, it makes up for that by being a movie that hits hard on the issues of age, guilt and hope and delivers the best character performances of comic book superheroes since Robert Downey Jr. took the role as Iron Man for the first time.
If you’re not too well versed in superhero lore, the movie is definitely still a fun and intense adventure worth seeing. For the comic book fans, especially X-Men or Wolverine fans, it’s one of the best superhero movies made yet.
Rating: 4 out of 5