By Cody Lamoreau (Bath, Maine)

 

The superhero genre has certainly been going through a series of changes over the past seventeen years. Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine has been a big part of that since the beginning. Now James Mangold and Jackman (the same duo, which brought us The Wolverine in 2013) have come together to create a story which promises to not only be a great final chapter for the character of Logan, but a brand new direction for superhero films to follow.

In the year 2029 mutants have almost completely been eradicated from the Earth. Logan (Jackman) is caring for an elderly and weary Professor Charles Xavior (Portrayed by Sir Patrick Stewart) when they discover a child named Laura (Played by Dafne Keen) who is in dire need of their help. In a world of darkness Logan is against giving any assistance, while Professor Xavior allows the child to stay as the three of them attempt a journey to bring her to safety. Meanwhile a man by the name of Donald Pierce (Boyd Holbrook) is chasing them down with sinister motives of his own.

From the very beginning of Logan it is abundantly clear this is the story that both Jackman and Mangold wanted to make about Wolverine. The movie balances being brutally violent with beautiful and heartbreaking scenes of seeing our beloved characters try to survive this world they are thrust into.

Hugh Jackman is at the very top of his game. Having portrayed this character for nearly two decades, one would think there would be no more surprises from Jackman. Fortunately this is a much darker, bitter and ultimately different version of the character. One that may get awards consideration come Oscar season. Patrick Stewart is one to look out for as well. There is no denying the amount of notably great work left behind by Sir Patrick Stewart. This by far is one of the best of his career. Both Jackman and Stewart give performances that transcend any previous relationship they have had inside the X-Men franchise. It’s heart-warming, while also being heart-breaking.

New comers Dafne Keen and Boyd Holbrook are ones to look out for. They also contrast each other in the best way imaginable. Holbrook as Donald Pierce is a young arrogant man who is able to keep verbally going toe-to-toe with Jackman and Stewart. While Keen very much like the film is very savage, but also shows a great deal of emotion without saying many words. When she is not speaking she has a ten mile dagger like stare that is almost as deadly as when she pops her own set of bloody claws.

This will definitely be a film that some people are alarmed or maybe even shocked by. Although the violence, while not gratuitous or excessive, is very brutal. When the action hits it erupts in a bloody, visceral showcase that will make most fans that’ve followed this character from the very beginning extremely happy. Others might be offended by Wolverine going in such a dark, violent and different route. When Jackman goes full berserker rage on those fighting against him nobody and no limb survives.

When the action is not present the audience will be riveted to phenomenally written dialogue and the chance to hope things will be better for these three suffering mutants. The way this story was constructed; from the cinematography, to the action scenes to the situations these characters fall under, there are many similarities with what Christopher Nolan did with The Dark Knight. Logan Is less of a superhero film and more of a western, some will even draw connections to Unforgiven. Logan is a more personal, gritty and realistic look at the character of Wolverine. Very much like The Dark Knight; James Mangold and Jackman have brought Logan into the world of reality and we all benefit from that realism, with a really great film.

The film Logan is something that we need right now. Superhero films in general have fallen into a hole of being the same predictable messes that people have stopped wanting to go see, however fun they may be. Most films in this genre are made for kids and teenagers, who just want a big summer blockbuster. But if Logan proved anything it’s that although action-packed superhero set pieces can be great, studios should not be afraid to take a deeper look into the more personal stories.

Logan is definitely not for kids, it definitely earns its hard R-rating but it is absolutely worth seeing. This is a movie not just for those who like superheroes, wolverine in particular; but those who have never seen a comic book movie. This is a film that even those who hate comic book movies can sink their teeth into or in this case their claws. Because it is not only a family story, but a story most adults can relate to on some level, be it small or large. This may be Hugh Jackman’s swan song to the character of Wolverine, but Jackman has stated with this film no matter who comes after him, Wolverine is his now and forever.

Rating: 5/5

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