Verdict: A powerful sendoff for Jackman, and a surprisingly beautiful parenthood story. This is an incredible film, for any audience (except little ones, it’s definitely Rated-R). Go see it.
Synopsis: “In a hideout near the U.S./Mexico border, an aging Logan (Hugh Jackman) cares for the ailing Professor X (Patrick Stewart). However, their sheltered existence comes to a sudden end when a young mutant girl (Dafne Keen) arrives and needs their help to stay safe.” –Rovi
The Good: One of the best films of this genre, making use of an intimate story and deep character dynamics
This is a strange kind of film. On one hand, the concept seems so simple, it’s baffling that it hasn’t been done yet. On the other, this is such a specifically context-necessary story, I doubt it could ever be replicated. And it’s all the better for it.
Even if you haven’t seen the X-Men film franchise, I would safely bet my next paycheck that you know Hugh Jackman plays Wolverine. He alone has played this character for 17 years, across 9 films. At this point, the actor and character are one and the same. There is not one without the other. And Logan is his final showing.
This contextual weight adds to this movie in a way that I’ve only seen in The Force Awakens. Similar to TFA, you can certainly enjoy this film without knowing who Jackman is, or his relationship with Stewart’s Professor Xavier. But if you do, the movie transcends its incredibly simple concept.
At its most base level, Logan is a story of family and disappointment. This makes it unique to the genre, in that the scope of the story is incredibly small. It revolves around Logan, Xavier, and Laura, and that’s about it. It’s the story of a disappointing son with a disappointed father, trying not to disappoint the young girl now under their care.
There’s not much more to say about Logan without spoiling it. Just know that if you have hated superhero films up to this point, then you’ll likely love it. It’s an arthouse western of the very genre Hugh Jackman helped bring back 17 years ago. So yes, you’ll probably tear up at the end.
Also, it’s insanely violent, in the best possible way.
The Bad: I honestly couldn’t find something, so let us know if you did
Seriously. Let us know.
The Wonderful: Some great representation and character diversity
Ok let’s start with the obvious: Dafne Keen as Laura is an absolute delight. At twelve years old, she immediately joins the ranks of Hollywood’s greatest action heroes. Keen is vicious and feral, all while being mostly silent. Keen is also Hispanic, and when she does speak, it is primarily in Spanish. This seems like a small point, but the only non-English speaking hero I can think of in the modern genre is Nightcrawler in X2. It was delightful to see.
There are also a significant number of non-white actors in the supporting and tertiary casts, and in diverse roles. This is what the superhero genre should be moving toward, and I couldn’t be happier that it started here.