Third time’s the charm huh?
As I sat in the dark with my fiancée, it hit me hard as I realized how much I actually care for the Wolverine. We’ve been carrying each other on this road for 17 years together. But no one can escape time. And this is the end for us. I will always cherish our time with you. James Mangold, who also directed The Wolverine, comes back to the director’s chair for Logan, the last wolverine film featuring Hugh Jackman. Also along for the ride is Sir Patrick Stewart, who returns as Professor X, Richard E. Grant as Zander Rice, Boyd Holbrook as Donald Pierce, Stephen Merchant as Caliban, and Dafne Keen as Laura / X-23.
I enjoyed it more than I thought I would. I’ve never been much of a fan of the X-Men movies (even though I have four of their movies in my top Comicbook Movies of all time) but Logan was the exception to the rule. Mangold did a really good job at creating a grounded and character-driven story that felt so much more personal than anything we’ve seen before from a superhero film. It’s even more depressing when I realized this would be the last time we saw Jackman portray Wolverine.
Professor X’s decay into senility is brilliantly done by Patrick Stewart. I know those interesting things have been done with that character with McEvoy, but he has never been this tragic. Logan is too broken, not only physically, but also emotionally. He is a man who seems to have utterly given up and Jackman does an amazing job of injecting the massive amount of pathos into the character. A rage-fueled, Spanish-speaking, heart-breaking X-23 is something I didn’t know I needed in my life until I saw Logan. Dafne Keen was excellent as Laura. I thought she played the character really well. All the actors did actually. I feel like they could’ve got more out of Richard E. Grant. He was severely underused.
I was genuinely surprised that they decided to kill Wolverine at the end. Part of me was hoping that he’d survive and that at the end of the film he’d take Laura to Eden, but then decide that he can’t be apart of the new mutant community and just wander off into the sunset. But I enjoyed the way they ended it nonetheless. A bittersweet ending to what has been a remarkable 17 years portraying the character.
I really think the violence added a lot to the movie, especially in the scenes with X-24. Seeing those two shreds each other to pieces like a meat grinder was such a powerful contrast to the relatively tame Lady Deathstrike scene in X2. It really felt like Logan was fighting for his life… or whatever little was left of it.
My least favorite moments featured X-24. I understand the symbolism of Wolverine fighting himself and I guess they sort of thought the only person strong enough to kill the Wolverine was the Wolverine but it felt a bit over the top. With X-24, I feel like they could have gone two other directions and would’ve ended up better. Direction A would have been that the rumors came true and Liev Schreiber returned to play Sabretooth in the role of 24. I would have loved to have seen Liev come back to finish the Wolverine story. Direction B would be that X-24 was portrayed by a different actor and would be named Daken, after Wolverine’s mostly villainous son in the comics. Still, I liked what we got.
I really wish this was the start of a trilogy rather than the end of one. Would have loved to seen what Mangold could have done with three of these films. Hopefully, he’ll stick with the X-Men franchise for at least one more film. Even if it isn’t Wolverine. It’s never easy to say goodbye to two characters you grew up with but I do think this was a fitting ending for the two actors who helped define the superhero film genre. It didn’t rely on whiz-bang special effects and I was pleasantly surprised by the emotional scenes between Xavier, Logan, and Laura. Sometimes sweet, sometimes sad, and sometimes brutal. This is what the Wolverine Should be, an R-Rated movie with lots of blood and cursing. This is easily the saddest, hardest superhero film to watch.
SUPERSAM RATING: 10/10