Logan's swan song one of the best superhero movies yet

Logan's swan song one of the best superhero movies yet

‘Logan’

Starring: Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart

Directed by: James Mangold

Rated: R

 

This franchise might be aging, but don’t count it out. At least, not with this installment that is equal parts brutal and poignant to the point that, hold on, tears might be shed. Fair warning, X-Men fans.

For the 10th time, Hugh Jackman reprises the character of Logan, also known as Wolverine, the metal-clawed mutant who served as a quasi-father figure to many a young mutant, and will do the same here for one last time. This episode is set in the near future when Wolverine is serving as a caretaker to the frail Professor X (Patrick Stewart), who is suffering from a degenerative brain disease that causes some mind-blowing seizures. Hidden away from public near the Mexican border, and living in a time when mutants have literally died out, they are an anomaly, and for that reason are about to be hunted down.

This is not the virile, feral Wolverine we know. He’s beaten down, grizzled and weary, and literally dying from adamantium poisoning, which signals this is going to be a different kind of movie from the previous ones that date back to 2000. To see Jackman’s transformation is startling when you recall the mutton sideburns, physicality and dynamism of this character from the earlier films.

The story itself is kind of the same old story of “we want what you have,” but it’s not exactly Wolverine that the bad guys want. It’s the young mutant, Laura (Dafne Keen), that enters their lives who has his same claw-wielding mutation. It’s not a stretch to learn she’s been given some of Logan’s DNA, and now they are being hunted down by a mad scientist (Richard E. Grant) and his henchmen.

When the right elements come together in the superhero genre, something happens that sets it apart from being a good piece of entertainment to something that fairly transcends the genre. We’ve seen it with Christopher Nolan’s “The Dark Knight” and a few others, some of them even in the X-Men franchise. Mangold knows how to weave the elements of pathos, introspection and action into something that is greater than the sum of its parts. In all its darkness, this may go down as one of the best of the series simply because it has a soul, no matter how bleak.

It’s no secret this is Jackman’s last outing as Wolverine. In addition to the X-Men movies, this is his last standalone movie as the character in what was a trilogy. It is equally known that Stewart is bowing out of the X-Men franchise after this movie, as well. So, the spoiler here is not really a spoiler, but it gives this a powerful finality that isn’t found in many superhero movies.

Sadly, we won’t see the likes of Logan or Xavier again. Goodbye, my friends.

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