Hugh Jackman has been playing Logan/Wolverine for 17 years, and by god, it was an amazing ride. It’s difficult enough for directors to find actors who are able to play a character well, but even less so to find an actor who fits so well into a role, that just watching it happen before your eyes feels like magic. You really can’t imagine these characters being played by someone else (Heath Ledger as the Joker, Ian McKellen as Gandalf, or almost everyone in the Harry Potter movies)
Logan is meant to be Jackman’s final performance as everyone’s favorite curmudgeon mutant, as well as Patrick Stewart’s final appearance as the wise telepathic Charles Xavier. Both actors are marvelous here as their old characters, but whom have gone through rough times over the course of more than a decade. Logan’s healing factor is receding, the adamantium that coats his skeleton is beginning to poison him and he’s now working as a chauffeur. All while having to take care of Professor Xavier who has seemingly gone senile and is losing control of his telepathic abilities. They are also accompanied by Calaban (played by Stephen Merchant), an albino mutant who’s ability is to track other mutants.
Their lives are uprooted by the appearance of Laura/X-23, a young mutant who resembles Logan and needs to be brought to a safe haven no one is even sure exists. She is played by 12-year old Dafne Keen, who is remarkable here. Equal parts bad ass, likable and adorable, Keen definitely holds her own while paired up with Jackman. The film turns into a road trip/ chase film as our heroes our pursued by the menacing Donald Pierce (played by Boyd Holbrook) with intentions to capture and kill Laura.
Perhaps, the most obvious thing I loved off the bat was, because of the film’s R rating, Logan is able to be his true visceral self. Bloody, foul mouthed and unleashed, this is probably the best portrayal of Wolverine ever shown on film. Despite that, this is also the most sympathetic we’ve seen of the character. Not just because of his weaker state, but because we see him take on more of a father figure to Laura and Professor Xavier.
Also noticeable is the complete change of tone compared to the previous films. While the rest of the X-men films felt more action packed and were prone to over-the-top moments, Logan goes for a more bleaker realistic look that emphasizes the gravity of our heroes’ situation. Whether in the middle of the desert or deep in the woods, there’s always a sort of desperate aesthetic that shadows the film, even during its warmer moments. It definitely makes this film stand out compared to the other films in the series
Without spoiling the ending, I will say that it is a fitting, if painful, send off for Logan and Hugh Jackman.The final battle is both satisfying and gripping, with all the players involved getting their time to shine. If you are even slightly susceptible to tears, you might wanna bring your handkerchief.
In all seriousness, even at his lesser films (*cough Origins: Wolverine) watching Jackman playing Wolverine for almost two decades was a joy to experience. We only get these occurrences once in a while and they rarely last as long as Jackman did with Logan. As the that old saying goes “All good things must come to an end”
Thank you Hugh