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(Contains potential spoilers)
Years in the future of the X-Men universe, the existence of mutants is in a substantial decline. Hidden away from the rest of humanity, Logan nurses an indisposed Professor Xavier. Not in good shape himself, the duo are soon interrupted by a gang of hostile individuals, who are on the search for an extraordinary young girl. The girl happens to possess impressive ability and combative powers, similar to Wolverine himself. It’s down to the drained warrior to get the girl away from evil clutches in a live or die sequence of events.
Not Just a Superhero Movie
It’s been 17 years since Hugh Jackman first graced our screens to depict the X-Men mutant Wolverine in the 2000 Marvel comic feature X-Men. He’s had a good run with the brusque clawed hero, with nine appearances across the cinematic universe. With Jackman coming to the end of his reign over the beloved character, it seemed logical to give him the right send off. And that’s exactly what happened with this instalment. It may be a simple story arch, but it doesn’t falter the overall brilliance that is shown. The inclusion of the physical X-Men comics in the world is a fascinating addition which is not seen in other Superhero films; it brings a smart and new concept to create a fuller world for these characters to live in.
Logan is something new, exciting and so well rounded, it easily stands out from the rest of Marvel’s superhero back catalogue. With a bold R rating, the Fox feature feels more than just your average Superhero movie. Following suit from the success of Deadpool last year in terms of collaborating Superhero and strong adult themes together to create a feature predominately aiming towards a grown-up audience. Set predominantly in the desert environment, there’s a rugged, dystopian undertone that stands out from other films. It’s brilliantly dark and intense, gripping the audience right from the beginning as Logan performs a succession of brutal hits against a gang of thieves.
It’s clear that Wolverine is a strong character in the Marvel universe – in both comics and cinematic universes. Hugh Jackman has always triumphed in his characterisation, easily demonstrating a strong ruffian temperament, yet still remains a captivating character to watch and support through his endeavours. He grows so much as a character: from a self-centred, rundown old man to a guy that actually shows emotion towards others.
His declining health is a prominent concern throughout and it’s a heart-breaking deterioration to witness. Everyone around him knows his body is failing on him after all these years of healing and getting right back up after a fatal blow. He may be noticeably older, more rugged and devoted only to the contents of a bottle, yet he’s still a hero with an abundance of charisma to charm the audience into backing him through thick and thin. Jackman takes on the emotions with a strong stride.
Logan is easily the star of the show, but nevertheless is also supported by another character that is so similar yet equally so differing; creating a diverse and pleasing dynamic to the journey. Not much has been previously uncovered regarding Laura’s character in the X-Men universe. Commonly known as X-23, she comes across as a brilliant addition to the third – and perhaps final – Wolverine solo movie. She’s tough and carrying bucketloads of sass, basically a smaller, female version of the clawed, animalistic Wolverine himself.
The introduction of another vicious mutant experiment proves to become a extremely tough adversary for Logan particularly. His presence is hinted at throughout the first segment, yet when an indistinguishable Logan lookalike appears at Charles’ bedside, it was still the satisfying surprise that you would want from an antagonist. The fights between Wolverine and the dark X-24 are incredibly intense and don’t hold back at any point, it’s almost painful to even watch. After the murder of his beloved mentor and friend Charles, Logan is surely out for revenge and will stop at nothing.
It’s impossible to not take the ending into regards when discussing the epic feature. The duration of the narrative progression takes the viewer on a monumental journey of varying emotions, from comedic eccentricities to devastating decisive moments amongst the action. There’s a lot of death throughout the 2 hour span, which is moderately granted for a R rated, dark action film such as this one. It definitely backs up the statement from Logan during the film “In the real world people die”. There is no shortage of gore and ruthless attacks, while our hero struggles through a succession of bloodthirsty blows.
What’s really great about Logan is how it doesn’t need to end on a big setup in preparation for another film following up later on: there’s no need to leave any loose ends to the concluding scenes. The final scene burying Logan worked brilliantly, allowing the viewers to walk away satisfied. How Laura positioned the cross before leaving to join the other mutants was pure brilliance: a perfect end to the character’s story arch, which thankfully wasn’t unnecessarily prolonged like some Superhero films tend to do.
A roller-coaster adventure of emotion and brilliant character growth, coupled with intense action unlike any other X-Men instalment that has been produced. Granted there are a couple of pitfalls: there’s no clear reason for Logan’s dying state or any explanation as to how all mutants managed to die out in the short time span between Days of Future Past and this timeline and where did Logan get that shovel from to bury Charles…? But overlooking those, its a brilliantly brutal, thrilling treat to witness. It’s dark, sombre and extremely satisfying.