UK Release: 01/03/2017
Directed by: James Mangold
Starring: Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, Dafne Keen, Stephen Merchant, Boyd Holbrook, Richard E Grant
It’s official – Logan is everything I wanted and more.
Hugh Jackman is back as everyone’s favourite mutant. But this time around, Wolverine has seen better days. He’s no longer rocking around with the X-Men (who all seem to have died or fled or… something else). And he’s no longer the hero we remember. He struggles to regenerate with new wounds taking a long time to heal. He’s old, and tired, and isn’t in the best of health… and to top it all off, he’s now just a regular Joe.
In fact, it turns out he’s a driver.
But things are about to get interesting…
It’s a weird start to a movie about one of the X-Men – firmly grounding the character as an average guy. Of course, we know he’s not. But it’s this kind of grounding, realistic take on the character which builds him up as a Taxi Driver style everyman.
He’s like Travis Bickle with adamantium claws.
And soon enough, they’re going to come out.
Although Logan isn’t in the X-Men anymore, he still lives with Professor X (Patrick Stewart). He and a mutant named Caliban have been looking after the Professor, who in his old age seems to have developed a form of dementia. It’s gruelling stuff that tackles quite harrowing scenes head on – he often doesn’t remember them, and for Logan it can be a thankless job. But clearly, he can’t turn his back on the man who once saved him.
Still, it looks as though Charles isn’t quite as far gone as you’d think…
He claims to have been communicating with a young mutant – something Logan instantly disbelieves. The mutant gene is dying out, and there haven’t been any new mutants born for years.
But it seems times have changed.
Eventually, Logan is faced with a young girl named Laura (Dafne Keen). She’s a mutant – exactly as Professor X had tried to explain. And she’s like Wolverine. A lot like Wolverine. The young girl possesses the same healing factor as Logan, and has also been implanted with an adamantium skeleton – including two retractable claws in each hand and one in each foot.
That’s right – she’s X-23.
Comic books fans will already know all about young X-23, who’s essentially a clone of Wolverine… and that’s the storyline they’re sticking with in the movie. It’s not quite the same. But much like the comic books, she eventually escapes the laboratory where she was created, and now she needs Logan’s help to find a mysterious mutant haven – Eden.
At this point, Logan becomes a strange sort of road movie.
Clearly, Logan and the Professor have to help the girl find her way… and the only place she knows is ‘Eden’ – the possibly-fictional mutant haven which was detailed to her by one of the nurses at the laboratory. And she’s not the only one headed there, either – it turns out that the mutant projects at the lab were deemed obsolete at the creation of the mysterious X-24. And we know that means – the kids were due to be euthanised, until the nurses stepped in and got them out.
Now they’re on the run and headed to Eden… and Logan has to get X-23 there.
Obviously, it’s not as simple as that. They encounter numerous problems along the way, including a lack of medication for Professor X which results in an amazing psychic blowout. And as they meander their way across the country towards their utopian hideaway, it’s not long before X-24 catches up with them.
And that’s quite a sight.
Honestly, I don’t want to spoil it too much, but the CGI here is phenomenal. And the fight between Wolverine and this mysterious man-made project is truly a sight to behold. It’s just that good.
And that goes for the rest of the movie, too.
Logan manages to pull off something spectacular – it’s an X-Men movie without the majority of the X-Men. It’s a Wolverine movie without the hero we know and love. Instead, we see the pain on Hugh Jackman’s face as he looks back on those glorious times. We see the man that he’s become after the glory days are long behind him. And we find that he’s got just as much fight left in him as he always had.
He just needs someone to pry it out.
Logan is a marvellous jaunt through a post-X-Men world where everything is a real threat. There are no half-measures here – the threat is real, the consequences are dire, and it’s a real fight to the finish. It’s guttural, it’s bloody and it’s the best we’ve seen Hugh Jackman in a long time. In fact, the entire cast pull off some stellar performances throughout.
It’s got heart, it’s got guts, and it’s got a lot of blood.
Most of all, Logan is the best X-Men movie to date.
Logan heads to cinemas on 1 March 2017.
Have you seen Logan yet? What did you think of Hugh Jackman’s impressive swansong? Let us know what you think in the comments below…