By Luke Keenan (Dublin, Leinster, Ireland)

 

If words like gritty, depressing and bloody don’t make you think of Marvel’s X-Men then Logan is here to change that. After watching it and giving it all the attention it deserves I can safely say that its more beautiful and more important of any adventure that a superhero could embark on, you won’t find any nefarious super villains, flashy vehicles or secret bases but what you will find is a trio of classic characters, bloodied and beaten on a journey that’s part of something even bigger than they are.

Wolverine/Logan (Hugh Jackman) is now a lonely limo chauffer working in Texas, while tendering to an aging and more senile Professor X (Patrick Stewart) with the help of Caliban (Stephan Merchant). They make up the last few Mutants around as all the others were wiped out by some cause not yet revealed to the audience and none have been born in recent years. But it’s not long before Laura (Dafne Keene) ends up on their doorstep sharing similar powers to Logan, most notably her claws. The characters then find themselves on the run towards a safe haven for mutants known as Eden and from the cyborg, Donald Pierce (Boyd Holbrook) who wishes to recapture the mutants.

Already the mutants are in a somber and difficult position, you may think of how glamorous and eventful their lives used to be and now they sit as outcasts and wait for their inevitable deaths, but I’m sure that one way or another people can relate to this and this will make them further understand the message that it’s never too late to change. I was genuinely impressed with the story and its characters. The simple goal of reaching a location allows for many different plot points to be introduced, the story also makes the audience question as to what could happen next as the movie has a fast and rapid pace which makes the subtle breathing time all the more precious to both the audience and the characters. At these times the characters are allowed to reflect and contemplate their lives, which is a nice breakeven but is also used to push the story further into what the audience does not know, yet the characters do. This hypes the rest of the story up.

Pierce and his Militia of soldiers are really remarkable villains as their ability to piece together evidence left behind by the smallest of traces really do make them feel like an efficient force to be reckoned with. Pierce himself is also a great villain just by himself, when he’s first introduced he remarks about how he is a “huge fan of wolverine” which makes him all the more menacing and sinister. You don’t really see Villains go up against and rampage with icons they look up to.
But Logan himself is the best character of the film, as the film progresses you feel his pain and anger more and more as the world chewing him up and spitting him out means he doesn’t have the good natured and understanding personality that powered so many other films.

The result of his lacking makes for a truly damaged soul that is beaten down and crushed at any result of change. He’s the perfect part in this story, which blends helplessness, fear, redemption and ignorance. You see the professor and you think of all that he’s accomplished and all that he has to his name and has now been reduced to a senile, old, nobody in a wheelchair that even deep down is a burden to his friends. But still he fills in for what Logan does not have and is always gentle, kind and smiles in the face of overbearing odds. The movie uses these characters to show what it means to have been a superhero and how nobody can change the world if it does not want to change itself. It’s purely disgusting how the world accepts a mass genocide of people who only wanted to change it for the better and this makes you think of why we do these terrible things.

I could never understand how movies and cartoons managed to censor wolverine, a rage induced monster with claws, so I was quite happy for this movie to go ahead with blood, gore, guts and so much more. But at no point does it ever appear like the characters are masters of what they do and never do they seem overpowered. For every ten baddies that are slashed, butchered and have their heads skewered there is always one harpoon through the stomach or guns tearing holes in the flesh of the hero. This vulnerability is what makes every kill pump more adrenaline into the audience, as all they can say is “don’t stop now”. The audience always knows the kill streak can turn in the other direction.

If I had not made my case clear I would still say that Logan is a masterpiece of age old story telling, shaven, battle hardened with a heart that’s always beating and claws that are always sinking. A film that is truly lightning that will never strike again.

Rating: 5/5

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