When it comes to superhero movies, few performances are admired as much as Hugh Jackman’s continued role as Wolverine in Fox’s “X-Men” movies. In director James Mangold’s “Logan,” Jackman plays James “Logan” Howlett (also known as the legendary Wolverine) one last time and goes out with a resounding bang.
In “Logan,” the film takes place in 2029 with an aging and weary Wolverine who does not heal like he used to. Unlike previous “X-Men” films, Jackman now appears to portray a character in a pain-stricken state we are not accustomed to seeing. Wolverine’s ability to heal and even his iconic claws have noticeably deteriorated, taking much more time and not always popping completely out on command. Because of this, Wolverine abuses alcohol as a substitute for his weapon deficiencies and healing woes.
The rage-fueled, inebriated and foul-mouthed Logan tries to escape his fading glory by taking up a job as a limo driver along the Mexican border town of El Paso, Texas. Logan is caring for an aging professor Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart) and weary albino mutant Caliban (Stephen Merchant). They appear to be the only mutants left on Earth, or so they think, until the presence of an escaped young mutant Laura Kinney/X-23 (Dafne Keen) is detected by the heavily-medicated and increasingly senile Professor X.
As it turns out, Laura is being pursued by cyborg Donald Pierce (Boyd Holbrook) and his group known as the Reavers. While on the hunt for Wolverine and X-23 along the Mexican border and eventually throughout the United States, Pierce conceals his ruthlessness and lack of compassion for a child with a smug gentleman’s charm. Unlike Charles (and eventually Logan), Pierce only views Laura as an escaped mutant experiment that must be corralled and controlled.
From start to finish, it’s clear why “Logan” was given an R-rating due to the overwhelming amount of violence and gore in a superhero movie. For Marvel, this was officially its second film with an R-rating following the 2016 highly-successful release of “Deadpool,” the hilarious and gore-riddled picture starring Ryan Reynolds.
Despite all the violence and profanity, the film also possesses a comedic excellence and emotional component that we’re not used to seeing in previous superhero-genre films based on Marvel comics. The banter among Jackman, Stewart and the young Keen is fluid throughout the movie, only adding to its high praise and growing legacy.
Mangold, who also directed films such as “The Wolverine,” “3:10 to Yuma” and “Walk the Line,” added a metaphor to the plot of “Logan” with Wolverine constantly trying to run from the darker side of his past. This seems to be the inner beast that Jackman’s character has been battling for all of his life.
Ultimately, “Logan” is a significant addition to the “X-Men” movie series and it would be appropriate to give Jackman heavy consideration for the Academy Award for best actor at the Oscars next year. This movie is simply a classic and the perfect way for Jackman’s Wolverine role to ride off into the sunset, paving the way for more greatness in future “X-Men” films.