There is something that I must admit. As much as I like Hugh Jackman as the character Wolverine, in reality, I have very little information. In fact I read the X-Men comics much less compared to others during my teens. I even haven’t watched any of the movies. And as a result I am not aware of most of the backstories of the heroes. So when I review the film, understand that, I am writing purely out of my love for the character Wolverine.
Now, right from the first look, one gets the feeling, that Logan is going to be a strong thump in the Wolverine series. In his ninth appearance on screen as Wolverine, Hugh Jackman reaffirms prowess as the clawed hero. Logan is both the most violent and possibly the most poignant film in all of the X-Men series.
But, is Logan more powerful because of what the superhero genre has delivered over the last decade? Does it seem both groundbreaking and classic because it doesn’t feel like a modern superhero movie? Modern over-realistic CGI has become almost synonymous with modern superhero movies, particularly in final acts comprised almost entirely of apocalyptic explosions.
But, Logan has stakes that feel real, perhaps the only noticeable CGI being the claws. The fight choreography is fluid and gorgeous instead of just computer-generated effects. Most importantly, Logan has characters with which you identify and about whom you care. It’s not just great for a superhero movie, it’s a great movie for any genre.
The movie opens almost a decade into the future, where our hero is grizzled, weary, and evidently in pain from the toll that getting into scrapes all his life has taken on his body, Logan aka Wolverine is a shadow of his former self. His legendary self-healing powers are much diminished, and he’s drinking heavily even as he’s trying to stay under the radar working as a limo driver ferrying drunk girls to bachelorette parties and the like. Only occasionally – and only when pushed to the brink – do the claws come out.
The future, as it seems, is dark for mutants. And those who are surviving, are in a pretty bad shape. Once the most powerful mind, Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart), whose brain is now declared a weapon of mass destruction, is plagued with some disease, causing earthquake-inducing seizures, for which he has to take heavy dosage of drugs. But, amidst all this, Logan has planned a safe future for him and Charles, and is working to collect money.
Trouble comes calling in the form of a young mutant girl named Laura (an excellent Dafne Keen), who has similar powers as Logan (two claws from each hand, and one from each leg), but who needs to be protected from an evil scientist with nefarious plans.
In it’s core, Logan is a heartfelt movie with lots of emotions, and has been made with utmost care. Logan and Charles is one of the film’s key strengths – a father-son dynamic, complete with mutual affection, and also irritation. Structured for the most part as a road movie, it really allows us to understand who these characters are at this point in time.
Hugh Jackman has already announced Logan to be his last venture as the iconic Wolverine, and if in fact this is, then it’s a fitting send off, and rest assured you will choke up.
I’m going with 4½/5 for James Mangold’s Logan. It is the rare blockbuster that could be a game-changer. It will certainly change the way we look at other superhero movies and the way they go down in history. Logan very efficiently deconstructs the modern superhero movie. It will be hard to put it back together again.