Wolverine’s final bow stuns


Featuring Hugh Jackman’s final appearance as Wolverine, “Logan” shatters superhero norms and delivers a stunning and personal finale for the beloved character.

Directed by James Mangold, who also helmed 2013’s “The Wolverine,” “Logan” picks up in 2029 and finds Logan/Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) and Professor Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart) in a dystopian future where mutants have been hunted and are now on the brink of extinction.

Logan and Xavier are hiding out on the southwest border between the United States and Mexico, with a fellow mutant survivor, Caliban (Stephen Merchant), trying to avoid their dark pasts and keeping interaction with society to a minimum.

While “Logan” is a departure from the mainstream superhero industry in many regards, it remains reliably faithful to the comic book material, and uses its R rating fully by offering the audience the most violent and visceral Wolverine movie thus far.

The R rating was a big risk for “Logan,” but the confident screenplay and performances guide this film and use the violence, action, and language to further develop this intimate story and environment. As a huge fan of the X-Men franchise, and specifically, the Wolverine character, I found myself overwhelmed by this final installment, as it delivers everything I wanted and more.

After all the events of past X-Men films, “Logan” shows Wolverine and Xavier at their weakest, both displaying stark signs of aging and suffering. Logan is not healing as thoroughly or quickly as he used to, and the senile Charles Xavier suffers extremely dangerous seizures caused by his degenerative brain disorders.

Thus, “Logan” presents itself immediately as a sharp contrast to the modern superhero genre — presenting vulnerable characters tied to humanity, instead of mighty galactic gods.

From the opening, “Logan” flaunts its R rating and gives longtime fans exactly what they wished for, in an intense action set piece that pulls no punches and shows Wolverine’s ever-present anger.

We soon learn that Logan has been working as a limo driver, saving up money to take Charles and himself away from the modern world to live out their final days on a boat at sea.

However, fate brings a dangerous yet mysterious child, Laura, into his life. With the evil Reavers now after Logan for harboring Laura, he and Charles set off with Laura to try and save her from the villains and the corruptness of this world.

Thus “Logan” quickly becomes a family-focused film, centering on the forming bond between Logan, Charles, and Laura as they all try to escape their pasts for a better future.

After two viewings of “Logan,” I cannot speak highly enough about the acting in this film. Seventeen years after his debut, Hugh Jackman brings incredible complexity and depth to Wolverine that bring this story home. Patrick Stewart gives his best performance yet as Xavier, giving us a heartfelt, yet surprisingly comical look at the elder professor. Boyd Holbrook did a great job as one of the villains, Donald Pierce, offering a charismatic character that will keep your eyes glued to the screen. A true standout performance in “Logan” was that of Dafne Keen as Laura.

Keen brought a lovable ferocity to her character, displaying great strength and emotion, especially for a twelve-year-old actress.

“Logan” took great risks by setting itself apart from the status quo, but we are all enriched by its story since it delivers on so many levels. It delves into one of the most iconic superheroes, yet tells a story that resonates on a human level about what it means to live a fulfilling life, and touches beautifully on tough topics like death, loneliness, and love. While it hurts me to imagine a different actor as Wolverine or even Professor X after these seventeen great cinematic years, I cannot imagine a more fulfilling ending than which “Logan” presents.

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