LOGAN Review: 10 (Holy Snikt!)
LOGAN is the latest (and last) chapter of the Wolverine saga in the greater X-Men movie series. Logan is played again here by Hugh Jackman and the film is directed by James Mangold, who also co-wrote the screenplay. LOGAN also stars Patrick Stewart, Richard E. Grant, Boyd Holbrook, Stephen Merchant and Dafne Keen. The film is set in the future of 2029. Mutants are gone--or very nearly so, destroyed by a virus. An isolated, despondent Logan is drinking his days away in a border hideout, where he drives a limo for petty cash. There he cares for an ailing Professor X, whose powerful mind is plagued by worsening seizures. Along with another mutant Caliban, the three renegade mutants are surviving and caring for each other in a despondent future world. However, Logan's attempts to hide from the world abruptly end when a mysterious woman appears with an urgent request. She asks Logan to shepherd an extraordinary young girl to safety. Though Logan is hesitant to agree, dark circumstances draw him into one last mission.
LOGAN is truly the anti-Marvel film--both tonally and structurally--and that is the very best thing about it. Avoiding quippy lines and pop music soundtracks, LOGAN avoids all the CGI effects and action setpiece spectacle and instead aims for something that feels more *important.* An epic that is part road movie and part chase film, LOGAN feels like a samurai western, far more so than the previous incarnations of the series. Because of the "R" rating, the film is able to explore (and exploit) a far darker territory. Logan, Xavier, and Caliban are all flawed characters who are surviving tragic circumstances. However, they are united in their cause for young Laura and giving her a chance in the world they inhabit. Dafne Keen is a real find here, playing Laura both as brutal and tender. They are all being chased by both nefarious forces and the demons of their past. Combined together, these elements weave a satisfying tale of love, family, and sacrifice.
LOGAN is the story of a reluctant antihero who faces his own destiny, much like a lone gunslinger or solitary samurai. Easily the best film in the X-Men series, it certainly can make an argument as the best superhero film of all time. It is a thoughtful and harsh affair that has fully realized characters and a narrative that offers stakes that give the audience something to truly care about. Finally, fans of this character get the film they deserve.