By Jason Yon
Elm Staff Writer
Hugh Jackman slices his way through “Logan,” which has been advertised as his final appearance as Wolverine on the big screen, arguably it is his best performance as the mutant character. This is the second R rated Marvel film in recent history, after the massive hit “Deadpool” last year. Not surprisingly, “Logan” follows suite and holds nothing back to pleasurable results. It feels like this is how the character of Wolverine should have been portrayed all this time. The movie is written and directed by James Mangold who was also responsible for the 2013 movie “The Wolverine,” it features the same main characters with a very different tone.
“Logan” opens in the year 2029 with Logan driving a limo and living day-to-day trying to support himself and an aging Professor X, played again by Patrick Stewart, two of the last mutants in the world. Professor X is suffering from a degenerative brain disease that makes it extremely dangerous to be around other people, since his mutation includes telepathic powers. Consequently, Logan keeps Professor X isolated in the deserts of Mexico locked inside of a toppled water tower with the idea that the metal will block his telepathic seizures. Even though Professor X has his mental sight blocked by metal and medication, he finds a young Mexican girl with powers on the run from a government agency: Laura. Professor X leads her to himself and a skeptical Logan, who agrees to take her under his wing. From there, Logan is responsible for taking the young mutant north to safety.
One of the more surprising aspects of “Logan” is that it’s a superhero movie that doesn’t feel like a superhero movie. A majority of the film is a road trip for, lack of a better word, focusing on Logan, Professor X, and Laura and the bonding that occurs between them. The relationship between Logan and Professor X is akin to a father-son relationship, although humorously bitter at times. With the addition of Laura as a spiritual daughter to Logan, the trio makes a ragtag family of a sort.
“Logan” truly succeeds in creating this family and investing in the characters, especially Logan and Professor X. It is a movie about family, or more specifically, Logan’s lack of family. There just simply isn’t a lot of fighting.
However, when there is fighting, it is gruesome and bloody. From the very first scene we know that this is not going to be a typical X-Men movie. Logan dismembers or brutally carves everyone that pisses him off. The violence and gore in “Logan” is not light. While his claws have been a staple of the character for years, no one has seen the blood that would realistically be involved with those weapons. In “Logan,” it is finally present.
Another difference from previous X-Men universe films is the language. Logan and Professor X drop the f-bomb, among other curses, quite frequently throughout the film. It feels strange at first with those characters but quickly fits in with the overall somber tone of the movie.
“Logan” is by far one of the greatest superhero movies, especially under the Marvel name. It manages to create a beautiful yet melancholy story of family, specifically between two characters fans have grown extremely fond of over the past 17 years, as well as thrilling superhero action. The nostalgia felt here is not cheap callbacks but a genuine love for Hugh Jackman and Patrick Stewart and their brilliant portrayals as Logan and Professor X. “Logan” succeeds in causing ironic laughter, shock and disgust, and the occasional, yet appropriate tears.