A fitting finale to Hugh Jackman’s depiction of Wolverine, ‘Logan’ is a gritty, brutal film that easily captures the bleak nature of the world they inhabit. Most of the mutants are dead and somewhere in a remote area in Mexico, Wolverine is left to care for Professor X (Patrick Stewart) who’s slowly dying. When a girl arrives with the same powers as Wolverine, he reluctantly agrees to take her to North Dakota and the border beyond to save her from the men that relentlessly chase her.
The story is good and moves along at a decent pace but as an X-Men or Wolverine film, ‘Logan’ is neither. It exists parallel to the increasingly confusing timeline with every X-Men film and trying to place this anywhere amongst what’s come before is nigh on impossible. This might actually detract from the enjoyment for people who want good continuity but as a stand alone film, ‘Logan’ does the X-Men universe justice even if it does sometimes leave more questions unanswered as the film goes on.
We’re never explicitly told what’s happened to the mutants and outside the tight character-driven story ‘Logan’ tells, most of this is kept under wraps. Ordinarily I wouldn’t dwell on this, but judging by the ending, it doesn’t initially make it clear whether the story will continue or end here. I’m not going to spoil anything but while the story told in this film is good, I did feel the climax was a little abrupt. In the 2 hour film, the final battle that balances the fate of our characters is over in about 8 minutes. Whilst I certainly don’t condone dragging things out for the sake of it, ‘Logan’ could have actually benefited from a bit more action to reward those large slower paced parts of the film that bog down the middle.
The haunting piano score that hangs over ‘Logan’ is one of the best qualities to this film aside from the action and unlike the epic, fast paced orchestral scores in the previous films, the methodically slow pace of this film is complemented by the music. There’s some great scenes here as well and the R rating (15 for us Brits) is absolutely justified and never feels like a gimmick.
Aside from the jarring effect of hearing our softly spoken Professor X curse repeatedly, the violence depicted through the action scenes are not for the faint hearted. There is a lot of it. From Wolverine’s claws digging through a man’s skull or face, to a severed head being tossed across the ground, this is a seriously brutal film which suits the overall mood of the film but won’t be for some who might see this as excessive.
Overall, ‘Logan’ is the second best X-Men film for me (I still prefer X-2) and aside from some wonky timeline issues and a lack of clarity on the world our characters inhabit, ‘Logan’ is a really solid superhero film. It’s gritty tone is great and never feels forced at any point. It’s a fitting end to the character Hugh Jackman has embraced for the past 17 years and (hopefully) an end to the rocky history of the X-Men universe.