LOGAN MOVIE REVIEW BY JMCNAUGHTON
“Logan” proves out the old adage from the Bible: “Those who live by the adamantium blade will die by the adamantium blade”, or something like that. Logan being the X-Man called Wolverine who has been enhanced with the indestructible metal called adamantium; this movie shows the difficult end times of the former superhero. His strength and powers of regeneration are almost gone, and the years have not been kind.
In 2029, Logan (Hugh Jackman) is visibly aged. We is emotionally and mentally drained. All other ‘mutant’ being are thought to be long dead. But Logan is hiding a frail Prof. Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart), who is up into his nineties. Xavier’s mind is fading and starting to fail, and at times he seizes up and sends telepathic waves that will cause a state of paralysis. One other mutant exists, called Caliban, who helps tend to the disabled Xavier.
Logan meets a woman who begs him to take a young girl named Laura (Dafne Keen) to North Dakota. Logan is driving a limo in El Paso to make money, but the woman offers a large amount to protect the child. There are evil forces from a government-run research industry. The security team headed by Pierce (Boyd Holbrook) finds and kills the woman, and then comes for Logan and the girl.
Soon there is a wild fight at Logan’s Mexico hideout, but he escapes with Xavier and Laura. The girl is shown to be a super-powered Wolverine Junior, with the retractable blades and such. Her fighting skills are as sharp as her weapons. Logan finds out that the research company was raising many children in Mexico and they were turning them into miniature weaponized mutants. Pierce and his crew of bounty hunters, called Reavers, will stop at nothing to get them all.
Before you can ‘road trip’, the group are heading across country to get to a special ‘safe place’ that Laura read about in the X-Men comic books. Logan is mortified that any of his past exploits were put into a comic book. Prof X has another seizure and it causes a lot of grief for everyone around them. They barely escape, and they are running low on medicine for Prof X. Pierce and the head of the research place named Dr. Rice (Richard E. Grant) are closing in.
After stopping to help a farmer with some wild horses, Logan, Prof X and Laura are invited to take a break. But things do not work out well for anyone, and more death and mayhem occur. Logan and Laura get back out on the road to find the safe zone, where Laura hopes to find the other mutant offspring who escaped with her from the research facility. If she can make it there, they can all cross the border to Canada, eh!
But every time he fights and every bad guy killed by Logan keeps draining him of his powers to heal and rejuvenate. He is looking all the worse for wear, and the days have been rough. As Indiana Jones would say “It’s not the years, it’s the mileage”. Logan is feeling every little ache and pain that was inflicted on him for all those years/miles.
You may have heard that this is Hugh Jackman’s last performance as the Wolverine (or Logan). He has intended to make this final movie the most bad-ass swan song ever. He has made sure that the movie cuts to the core of Wolverine. It is brutal, violent and profane. The movie is rated R, and for very good reason. The language is very rough; the fighting is bloody and sometimes gory. It perfectly suits a character like Wolverine.
Jackman worked with director James Mangold to get everything just right. The theme resembles an old Western in which the heroes are being chased over the frontier hills and valleys. The tone of regret and despair falls over everyone. All the super powers are nearly gone, and days of a quick recovery turn into weeks of pain and agony. Will there be any redemption for Logan?
Hugh Jackman has taken this character over seventeen years of X-Men movies to this one as the final conclusion. His performance is distinct and precise, and evokes a great deal of inner pain and mental anguish. He plays it all to the letter, and does not hit any false notes. Patrick Stewart is also terrific as a mentally diminished Professor X. He is pained by the fact that is losing control of his mind. He lapses into a seizure and the world around him gets a taste of his telepathic skills gone very wrong.
Dafne Keen gives a masterful performance as a little girl who has been raised to be a brutal killing machine. She has a physical presence that can give you chills when you see her become angry. You know that something very, very bad is about to happen. But she can do that with her stance and the glare in her eyes. It is quite an impressive feat for this young actress. All the rest of cast are also well-cast in their roles, but main three are the ones that count.