Wow, Logan is not your typical superhero movie. This latest X-Men movie is about endings. It’s no secret that this is Hugh Jackman’s last performance of Wolverine and it’s also, apparently, Patrick Stewart’s last performance of Professor X. It’s a sad thought, and that sadness is what Logan has taken and run with. Logan is dying, Professor X is insane and dying and mutants are going extinct. Let there be no mistake, this is not your typical Darker, Grittier reboot, this movie is a message and that message is, unequivocally: “We’re Done Here”.
In the near future, a weary Logan cares for an ailing Professor X in a hide out on the Mexican border. But Logan’s attempts to hide from the world and his legacy are up-ended when a young mutant arrives, being pursued by dark forces.
Logan is such a solid film. It’s really well written. Well mostly well written – the pacing and dialogue were great. It’s got solid foundations but there were a few occasions where the well used plot devices were a bit… too well used. The Damsel-In-Distress trope, to pick one at random, would be a fine example of something worked well at one point but nowadays seems as tired as Logan himself in this movie. But I’ll take a few stale cliches and the occasional Doesn’t Work That Way in a solidly made film over a vapid wannabe blockbuster that skimped on the writing any day of the week.
I wish I’d been paying attention in the previous films, though. It seems I missed a few and Logan wasn’t about to let me get away with that. Characters refer to events in other films as though the writers were certain that I’d already be fully informed. Well I wasn’t. There was a particularly beautiful moment for Charles Xavier where the lighting and score (also the acting) were just right and I was choking up because it was so well done but then I realized that I had absolutely no idea what he was talking about. But it was STILL a magnificent scene, for all that. This movie was full of those.
My goodness the acting was amazing. Some of that is obvious – you could put Patrick Stewart in a dog food commercial and I’d probably still pay to see it. And I love Hugh Jackman, who, in addition to being a fine actor, can still pull off shirtless scenes (which he did a lot in this film. But Dafne Keen was also a treat, showing us sullen, terrified, reproachful or berserker rage with equal skill. Also the villain, Boyd Holbrook, was very very handsome (also he acted well).
So is Logan worth seeing? Yes absolutely. If they keep making superhero movies like this, I may have to retract my earlier prediction that the impending Superhero Genre-Buster. I want to see it again and I also want to see all the others just to figure out what the hell was going on. Even if you don’t know everything exactly, though, Logan is a pretty worthwhile experience. Watching full-grown Wolverine and a little girl tag team an entire squad of fully armed soldiers is a hoot.