I will let you down. I will make you hurt.
Hugh Jackman is Wolverine. For the past 17 years, the iconic X-Men antihero has endured as one of the most iconic characters in film thanks to Jackman, and now, it’s over.
Logan is the end of Jackman’s Wolverine. It’s bleak and bloody, but also immensely satisfying and powerful.
Set in a future where mutants are all but extinct, an old and weakened Wolverine cares for a mentally decaying Charles Xavier. Encouraged by Xavier, Logan reluctantly agrees to escort a mysterious young girl named Laura across the country, while avoiding dangerous militant forces in pursuit.
Logan excels because it is squarely character driven. The story is bare bones, and references to the greater X-Men continuity are nonexistent. This isn’t an X-Men movie, this isn’t really superhero movie. This is a film about a man realizing his life is coming to an end, and deciding what his legacy will be.
The film’s scale is small, and the tone is bleak. Logan is infinitely more apocalyptic than X-Men: Apocalypse, and this achieved through a constant sense of hopelessness radiating throughout. Wolverine’s final outing isn’t happy, and that’s the point.
Every performance is exceptional. This is Jackman at his absolute best, and for the love of God, give Patrick Stewart an Oscar. Despite not being very vocal , newcomer Dafne Keen is fantastic as Laura, and Stephen Merchant as the mutant Caliban is grounded and superb, working as a somber foil to Wolverine.
This is the first R-rated Wolverine movie, and this rating is taken advantage of to the fullest. Every adamantium claw swing leads to limbs being gruesomely detached from bodies, or faces being mutilated in grisly detail. The violence isn’t excessive though, as it always feels like a nature outcome to the brutality of Wolverine’s abilities. Logan is bloody and ruthless, but it works in tandem with the story being told.
There really isn’t much to complain about; the second act drags a bit and there is a very convenient exposition-spouting cell phone video, but these are minor bumps in the road.
Logan is an achievement because it expertly realizes finality. In a world drowning in never-ending superhero franchises and cinematic universes, this movie crafts an actual ending to Wolverine’s story. Although hopeless and dour, Logan is an emotional reminder of why Jackman’s character endures, and why he won’t be forgotten.