Logan Review: An Emotionally Human Send-Off To Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine

Credit: 20th Century Fox

This is it. 

This is the last film of the Wolverine and X-Men franchise for Hugh Jackman, who spent fifteen years playing James Howlett alias Logan aka Wolverine of the X-Men. This is also, reportedly, a send-off for Sir Patrick Stewart, who has been an incredible Charles Xavier.  Needless to say, Logan has some big expectations as it closes an end of a era.

At the end of screening, Jackman said on stage that he wants Logan “not to be a comic book movie or the next X-Men movie”. He wants Logan to be seen as a film about a human. Although the journey has ended, Jackman said that he will keep Wolverine with him. So it seems like it’s not only hard for fans to say goodbye.

During the Berlinale Film Festival, Logan has its world premiere on February 17th. The film’s stars (Hugh Jackman, Dafne Keen, and Patrick Stewart) attended along with director James Mangold.

Logan takes us to the year 2029. In this future, mutants do not (officially) exist anymore. This differs from X-Men: Days of Future Past where mutants were hunted. Here they died off and no new mutants have been born.

Logan (Hugh Jackman) hides Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart) with the help of Caliban (Stephen Merchant). Logan’s powers are failing. He drinks a lot and tires with little interest of getting into trouble. When Gabriela (Elizabeth Rodriguez) shows up wanting help from the Wolverine, he wants nothing to do with her. Logan could forget Gabriela easily. Donald Pierce (Boyd Holbrook) lets Logan know that he wants something that Gabriela keeps. Basically, her problems become his problems. He is involved in everything. Gabriela offers Logan a lot of money to bring her and her daughter, Laura (Dafne Keen) to North Dakota.

Naturally, everything goes wrong.

Pierce wants to find Laura for his own ends. Will Logan be enough to keep her safe? In the guise of a road movie, James Mangold takes us all on a journey. This is a pretty dark entry in the X-Men universe and from Marvel in general. Even with all of this darkness, it doesn’t forget its humor. Even though, Logan is getting on in years in this film. Mangold and Jackman manage to let Logan be everything that fans love him for one last time. The story doesn’t try to force things. All the emotions and tension come so naturally from the storyline presented.

The relationship and on-screen chemistry between Laura and Logan is funny because they are so alike in how they act and how they manage with anger. The marketing does not hide that Laura is X-23, who is Logan’s female clone in comics and the current Wolverine. Dafne Keen is perfectly cast in this make it or break it role. Laura is a vicious berserker, but the film also gives her a dose of wry humor (particularly in her interactions with Logan) along with a warmth that makes her empathetic. Dafne Keen’s acting is incredible. Laura surprises the audience more than once in this film. The connection to Wolverine is not necessary in order for Laura to be interesting. It’s more like a bonus.

She is probably some peoples new favorite mutant on screen. James Mangold revealed that he is interested in making a X-23 film. It would make sense because the character has so much to give. It was a good choice for Laura to be a young girl here. This adds to her charm, but the wow-factor is extremely high when she shows her skills.

In this last film with Hugh Jackman, we get to see all the things we love about his version of Wolverine. He stays true to the character, even though Logan is old. The audience will get to see his power in these gorgeous fighting scenes for one last breathtaking time. I know I said this earlier, but this is one of the most brutal movies under the Marvel banner in years. This film has lots of fight scenes with bloody special effects. They’re good special effects, but they’re brutal. Although, the gore does not overpower the story.

Seriously. This is not a kid’s movie.

Ultimately, the last appearance of Hugh Jackman in the role of Wolverine is a success. For Wolverine fans, it will be a very bittersweet goodbye. Still, it is a worthy goodbye. Logan is an excellent way for the character to go.

On the other hand, if this is the last time we see Sir Patrick as Charles Xavier then this will be a little disappointing. It feels like there are a lot of unfinished things for him. Professor X is one of the good characters in the X-Men universe. What I (and most fans) associate with him is the school and the way he has helped young mutants to find the right way. In Logan, the end to his story just feels wrong. Don’t get wrong, it’s very well done. It just doesn’t really live up to the character and his importance. This is just not a way that I would have liked to have seen Sir Patrick bow out of the role.

All in all, Logan is a must watch for fans of movies. It is a perfect example that you don’t need a huge star-studded cast in one film to rock it. Logan is definitely on its way to become the most successful X-Men film. It’s well-deserved in that success.

As Hugh Jackman wished, Logan is a film about a human. A human that’s not like all the others. Yet he still feels, he suffers, he breaks, but he does not give up. He will never give up.

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