Since 2000, the X-Men film series has gone from strength to strength. Based on the popular Marvel comic book series created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, the stories about mutant outcasts continually captured imaginations. Ten films later, we reach Logan, the third in the solo Wolverine series. Part of the extended X-Men universe, Logan sees everyone’s favourite steel-clawed mutant in new environs. It’s also the best Wolverine film to date, with story and main star going full throttle in a moody action spectacle.
Two decades on, no new mutants have been born. Seeing the slow extinction of the unique race are Professor X (Patrick Stewart) and Logan/Wolverine (Hugh Jackman). Working as a limo driver near the Mexico border and wanting to lay low, Logan tries to forget his legacy. When approached by a mysterious woman who wants him to protect young mutant Laura (Dafne Keen), Logan’s past comes hurtling back. Helped by fellow mutant Cailban (Stephen Merchant), Logan readies to face against evil forces one more time until the final showdown.
Being promoted as Jackman’s final appearance as Wolverine, Logan goes out in a blaze of glory. Nothing is off limits from the violence to the way the story is told. In Director James Mangold’s hands, Logan plays like a 1970s revenge Western with the dirty, grimy locales of Wolverine’s mean streets. Logan is a man on the edge and near the end of his days. His world-weariness is conveyed very well by Jackman who hasn’t always been the greatest actor. His limited range has produced some cinematic stinkers, although Logan is definitely not one of them.
Praise should go to the writers who have developed an atmosphere of dread and blood-thirstiness. Each character wants to control something even with limited resources at their disposal. Logan has more in tone with the earlier X-Men films without the silly throwaway camp which bogged down the worst of them. Logan knows the story it wants to tell and does so without abandon. Wolverine’s brutality is seen in pure force with the cinematography perfectly capturing the desolate nature of his environs.
There is no doubt Logan is the best of the Wolverine movies. It’s also the best performance Jackman has given to date, discarding his usual Home and Away-style acting that usually holding him back. He exits the superhero scene with violent grace and a satisfying ending that is as poetic as any hard-lived Western.
Reviewed by Patrick Moore
Rating out of 10: 8