The X-Men franchise is as convoluted as Spaghetti Junction. Littered with constantly changing timelines, it has become the epitome of tiring and fans are getting exasperated too. With every great film (X2, X-Men: Days of Future Past), the series has followed it with some truly awful movies (X-Men: Origins Wolverine, X-Men: Apocalypse).
To this end, Hugh Jackman has finally decided to hang up his Adamantium claws after Logan, his ninth and apparently final outing as the grizzly hero. Are we third time lucky for his solo films?
James Mangold, director of The Wolverine, returns to the director’s chair and helms an at times brutal and uncompromising film speckled with the sort of emotional heft you’d find in the saddest rom-com’s.
In the near future, a weary Logan (Hugh Jackman) cares for an ailing Professor Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart) in a hide out on the Mexican border accompanied by long-time acquaintance Caliban (Stephen Merchant). But Logan’s attempts to hide from the world and his legacy are upended when a young mutant, Laura, (Dafne Keen) arrives, being pursued by unspeakable dark forces.
In parts, Logan feels very much like a Western. The bleak, unforgiving Mexican landscape is a beautiful change from the dreary concrete jungles that blight the majority of superhero films these days and this is where Logan will either succeed or fail. It doesn’t feel like a superhero film, despite its faithfulness to the Old Man Logan comics.
Much like a metaphor for the genre itself, Logan has grown weary of the world and it is a testament to Hugh Jackman’s acting capabilities that he is able to add yet another dimension to a character that has been a cinema staple since the Millennium. Patrick Stewart is also on top form showing a vulnerable side to the world’s smartest mutant. Newcomer, Dafne Keen is also exceptional despite her limited dialogue.
Heartfelt scenes in which the oddball family share dinner with kind strangers are strikingly juxtaposed with sequences of sheer brutality. If you thought Deadpool was bloody, you haven’t seen anything yet. And for all the violence, Logan is the most poignant film in the entire X-Men canon, wearing its 15 certification proudly when it needs to, but not shying away from sections of quiet contemplation.
Negatives? Well, in spite of its gargantuan length, the ending feels a little tacked on and rushed – something a lot of modern blockbusters seem to feel is necessary at the moment and the final 30 minutes are a slight anti-climax in comparison to what preceded it, but on the whole, this final outing for Hugh Jackman proves a fitting one. Third time’s a charm!