Logan is a superhero film directed by James Mangold and stars Richard E. Grant, Boyd Holbrook, Stephen Merchant, Dafne Keen, Patrick Stewart and Hugh Jackman. Jackman plays Logan/Wolverine for the final time in the tenth instalment of the X-Men film franchise. Patrick Stewart reprises his role as Professor X/Charles Xavier for the final time too. The story of the film focuses on an ageing Logan who is caring for Professor X in a dystopian future where mutants are nearly extinct but Logan embarks on one final mission; to transport Laura/X-23 (Dafne Keen) to “Eden”.
My Knowledge and Expectation of Logan
I have a very tumultuous relationship with the X-Men franchise. For me personally, X-Men is a pretty good film and X2 is one of my favourite superhero films of all time. X-Men: The Last Stand is not a good film but I don’t hate it as much as everyone else does. X-Men Origins: Wolverine, on the other hand, is complete and utter garbage. I liked X-Men: First Class a lot and enjoyed The Wolverine up until the last 10-15 minutes where it drops in quality.
My biggest issue with the franchise came after I saw X-Men: Days of Future Past which I now see as a great film. Still, after I watched it for the first time, I didn’t like how the timeline was reset at the end as it made films which I have a deep connection to such as X-Men and X2 redundant. However, X-Men: Apocalypse was a film I really liked and it changed my feelings towards the ending of X-Men: Days of Future Past.
Going into Logan, I was in a relatively good place with the X-Men franchise despite its ridiculous continuity issues which I doubt will ever be fixed. Nevertheless, I was looking forward to Logan due to the critical acclaim it was receiving as well as seeing Hugh Jackman and Patrick Stewart, two actors who I have great affinity for in this franchise, for the final time.
My Thoughts on Logan
Overall, Logan is a very good film and a great character study of Wolverine. Certainly, Hugh Jackman gives his best performance as Logan/Wolverine. It has depth and he is much more of a tragic and brutal character than we have seen before. We really delved into Logan’s emotions and how the tragedy of what he has gone through in the past has taken him to a point where he is devoid of hope.
Patrick Stewart was also stellar and Dafne Keen was also very good for such a young actress. It was more of a physical performance than a speaking one but she does have some lines in the third act of Logan. I would have preferred it if she was silent until her final scene as it would have been more emotionally impactful but she was awesome as X-23.
The action in Logan is pretty great too. It is gory, raw and fresh compared to what we have seen in previous X-Men films and in superhero films in general. In fact, I contend that Logan is more of a western than a superhero film. Its setting and pacing make it a film which is more in the vein of something like Unforgiven than say a film set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Its ability to transcend the superhero genre reminds me of The Dark Knight but I find Logan, while a very good film, to be a lesser film than its DC counterpart.
While I liked the pacing for the most parts, it is a little bit uneven at times. Moreover, while the ending of the film is emotional, I found other scenes which were supposed to be emotional to be lacking in this regard. I think part of this is because of the fact that, deep down, the continuity issues with the X-Men franchise prevent me from buying into Logan as part of the franchise.
Certainly, while this film attempts to connect to what has happened before in the franchise, it is better to see Logan as a standalone film that is a character study set in the genre of westerns rather than superhero films. If you can do this, then you can really appreciate Logan for what it is.