Sunday, March 5, 2017

Movie Review: Logan

Hugh Jackman makes his final outing as the Wolverine in a bloody adventure that takes on the Western genre and hints at a strange future for the X-Men. Logan works as a limo driver and from the first scene starts slashing and maiming anyone who crosses him. He has a secret hiding spot across America's southern border where he stores Professor Xavier (Patrick Stewart) who has lost control of his mental. With the help of Caliban (Stephen Merchant), Logan tries to stay off the grid but a woman, Gabriela (Elizabeth Rodriguez) tracks him down in desperate need of help. She has smuggled out a young girl, Laura (Dafne Keen) who is one of the rare young mutants in this dark future.

Hunting Laura is Pierce (Boyd Holbrook), an ex-military man who works for a private corporation. He brings an army to Logan's hideout and the chase begins. The action is brutal and entertaining for parts but there are long stretches of Logan, Professor X, and Laura hiding out on the road from hotels to gas stations to the house of a friendly family. Pierce uses Caliban's power to track mutants to stay on the trail and leader of this mysterious organization Dr. Rice (Richard E. Grant) joins the hunt. He has a secret weapon known as X-24 that is a killing machine taking after Wolverine. 

With Professor X's powers out of control, Logan does his best to keep them moving and off the radar. Laura is new to the world and thanks to Dafne Keen's amazing performance has the most exciting and interesting character in the film. The action under James Mangold isn;t so much spectacle but just bloody and gruesome as Logan steadily declines due to what seems like adamantium poisoning. There is also a mysterious incident that is hinted at and Professor X confesses to causing many deaths at some point in the past. 

The goal of their journey is South Dakota and eventually crossing the northern American border into Wolverine's home country of Canada. Logan is convinced the coordinates are from these meta-X-Men comics that he considers exaggerations on the movie universe but Laura and Xavier hold out hope of salvation. The chase gets a bit repetitive with them finding peace and being attacked and the final action sequence is no different. There are some jolts of emotion but as we have seen some of these characters die before, it doesn't quite have the emotional impact. 

I had high expectations from all the great reviews and Logan delivers on some level though doesn't have the eye-popping action of other superhero films. The movie benefits from the R-rating as viewers will finally see what those awful claws and the toll of invincibility can do. Where the X-Men universe goes from here will be interesting to see as they are already promoting a Deadpool sequel and I didn't stick around for any post-credit scenes. Seventeen years ago, I greatly enjoyed the first X-men film and Hugh Jackman's role as Wolverine, Logan is a fitting ending. 

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