“Logan” opens with the movie’s titular hero Logan (also known as Wolverine), portrayed by Hugh Jackman, being woken up abruptly from his drunken slumber.
He slowly stumbles out of the back of his vehicle to find gang members hijacking the tires off his limo. Logan pleads with the thieves to leave but is immediately shot point-blank in the chest.
Logan rises from the dirt and slowly draws his iconic claws, until they get stuck halfway. A fight ensues, ending with four dead bodies, severed limbs and a car door filled with buckshot. Logan drives off beaten, bloodied and swearing underneath his breath.
This opening scene immediately establishes what type of movie the audience is in for.
“Logan” isn’t the typical comic book film. There are no colorful costumes or spectacular powers. There is no super villain trying to destroy the world with a CGI army. “Logan” is a gritty, western sci-fi about a violent, haunted man trying to find a new reason to keep living.
The movie is set in a near future where mutants are nearly extinct and a weary Logan is left to care for a mentally deteriorating Charles Xavier, portrayed by Patrick Stewart. Their plans for survival go awry when a mysterious girl name Laura, portrayed by Dafne Keen, needs their help to make it to safety.
“Logan” marks the end of a 17-year-long era for actors Jackman and Stewart in the iconic roles of Wolverine and Professor X, respectively.
They give Oscar-level performances in a film that is the tenth installment in the X-Men franchise. However, this is the first time it feels as though these characters have truly come to life.
Jackman has a well-documented history of committing physically to the role of the Wolverine, but he takes it to a new level in this film. Every punch, leap and limped walk in this film carries tremendous weight that continues throughout the film.
He is constantly worn down and always on the edge of the throwing in the towel after every fight. Jackman’s acting is nothing short of extraordinary in this film. The emotional weight he brings onto screen seeps into every line of dialogue he delivers in a n unexpectedly moving way.
Despite the film’s dark tones and character arcs, the film places itself firmly on the shoulders of Keen’s character, Laura.
Her character represents a hope for all mutant-kind and an avenue of redemption for Logan. Keen delivers an extraordinary performance with incredible stunt work and emotional gravitas despite hardly speaking for a majority of the film.
The story crafted by director James Mangold is an extraordinary character piece about a man looking for peace in his troubled life.
Mangold brings his tightly written script to life through riveting camera work and visceral imagery.
Mangold has created not only the best X-Men film, but one of the greatest comic book movies ever made.
“Logan” proved to movie studios that a faithful adaptation of comic book characters can be successful financially and rewarding to fans as well.
“Logan” was released on March 3 and has currently grossed over $500 million with a budget of $96 million.