Wolverine has been the character from the X-Men to receive the most action, from his early days in X-Men to his own trio of spinoffs and of course Hugh Jackman returns to the character we are all so familiar with. However Logan takes on a different task, as it is seemingly set in a not so mutant-friendly world.
What is different to the Wolverine we all know and enjoy, is that he looks incredibly dishevelled, covered with cards and to some extent, broken. But it’s still the same old character as he gets locked into a battle with some Mexicans trying to steal the lug nuts of his car. Thinking we would be treading familiar ground with this battle, I was shocked as Wolverine’s claws slash through one of the unsuspecting Mexican arms, and before one can even process this, someone else’s head is pierced with the same claws.
My favourite superhero franchise has always been the X-Men Universe and this still holds true with the never-ending onslaughts of films by the Marvel Cinematic Universe (ugh). The X-Men Universe housed some of the better heroes and villains during its seventeen-year franchise, but never exhibited this grotesque violence that was appearing on the screen.
But it was just so great.
You can almost feel the weariness of Hugh Jackman’s new-look Wolverine, as he cannot keep up with the speed of battle like he used to. But what becomes clear is that he also taking longer to heal as he pops out shell casings in a truck stop bathroom and wipes the pus from his knuckles. Part of this comes down to Jackman giving one of his better performances. We all know him as The Wolverine, but Logan is the first film since X2 that I’ve been impressed by the character.
As I mentioned previously, my thoughts are that the X-Men Universe has always housed the greatest villains, like Magneto and Brian Cox’s William Stryker. Logan keeps up this trend, as the antagonist is one of the most intriguing, hate-inducing and cocky characters I’ve seen recently. Boyd Holbrook is definitely in his element as Donald Peirce, the man intent on catching X23, or better known as Laura (Dafne Keen).
The trailers seemed to ruin the big reveal of Laura and her use in the story, which was a shame, as I would have preferred the surprise that would’ve come with it. Her character is really enjoyable and the chemistry that she has with Wolverine/Hugh Jackman is just fantastic, as they become enjoyable to watch interact with each other.
James Mangold managed to take the film in a very different and intriguing direction over the two hours or so that the film was running for. Aside from the upping in the ratings of the film, it is a visceral and haunting look into our beloved hero Wolverine slowly dying before our very eyes. The method that he took the narrative in was not ground breaking, but the characters that he filled the story with were the perfect, without shoving anyone’s character into too much exposure.
Although the basis of the narrative was not very inventive, it was still laced with a couple of well-crafted twists including ones that were ruined by the trailers and ones that were not. Mangold managed to take this film and place it in this surreal future (as it was set in 2029) but leave you with enough intrigue about the past events. I wouldn’t say Logan needs required viewing of the previous instalments of his spinoffs, but it would help as it gives you more of a feel of the characters in terms of Wolverine and Patrick Stewart’s Professor X.
In amongst the rip-roaring action that unfolds in Logan (which is just superb) Mangold managed to create this surreal future with some beautiful shots of Mexico, making the world seem as though it has become a barren wasteland, echoing the word from Mad Max: Fury Road. It’s not often an out-and-out action has the ability to use stunning visuals and create an intriguing storyline that in some instances you really can become wrapped up in.
Logan is a really enjoyable film, which doesn’t lean too heavily on the comics I felt (but then I don’t actually read them) but rather embraces the violent nature of Wolverine, especially in that first scene. In parts I thought it began to drag it’s feet through the two-hour viewing time, but the enjoyment of the characters mixed in with a few plot twists made me forget those parts quickly.
Mangold has managed to create something that hasn’t previously been attempted in the X-Men Universe and for my money it worked every step of the way. It’s grotesque use of violence was perfect and fitting for this aging veteran, but the antagonists worked perfectly as well. If you’re a fan of Wolverine films and X-Men in general, then this is the perfect film as you see Wolverine is all his glory, but also not so much in all his glory. It’s almost as if he’s human. Almost.