Like a weary cowboy Logan is back for one final adventure before riding off into the sunset, and what an adventure it is.
Set in the near future the film follows an older alcoholic Logan (Hugh Jackman) who’s trying to keep the wolverines from the door as he ekes out a living as a chauffeur on the US/Mexican border.
Destiny comes a knocking however when Professor Xavier (Patrick Stewart), now well into his nineties and suffering from dementia, introduces Logan to a young mutant called Laura who needs our healing hero’s help.
From the moment I saw the first trailer, with Johnny Cash’s haunting Nine Inch Nails cover, I knew Logan was going to be different from normal superhero films, I just didn’t realise how different.
Logan is a marvellous mutant of a film, perfectly balancing elements from classic westerns, action films and of course superhero films. I laughed, I gasped and I even welled up at one point.
Of course it wouldn’t be a Wolverine film without a liberal dose of ultra-violence and both the action scenes and fight choreography are blisteringly frantic, frightening and bloody, leaving me opened mouthed at the blood letting on screen.
Seriously, gone are the days of Wolverine’s claws being as sharp as butter knives, they’re now deadly weapons that dice and slice their way through just about anyone in the film leaving a trail of bloody carnage behind.
The violence would have felt a bit over the top had it not been off-set by the surprising amount of pathos in the film. You see for all the typical Wolverine tropes the hero of this film is not the same man we last saw in Days of Future Past.
Jackman portrays Logan as a broken man, both emotionally and physically. A man who’s trying to outrun both his past while refusing to acknowledge that there may be a future for him.
There’s a real sadness in seeing a man who was once so strong brought so low that you can’t help but become invested in his story and see where he goes.
It’s apt that the film chose the title Logan, as opposed to Wolverine III: Old Man Logan, because at the start of the film the Wolverine as we knew him is dead and the movie’s really about Laura and Xavier forcing Logan to become the Wolverine once again.
For all the praise though Logan is not a perfect film, it’s flawed just like its main character, and my biggest problem was with the film’s central antagonists which stopped it from completely transcending its comic book origins.
While both Richard E. Grant and Boyd Holbrook did sterling work as the film’s fiendish bad guys they felt oddly vestigial as though the film had evolved past this sort of antagonist.
At its heart though Logan succeeds in what it sets out to do because it’s the perfect love letter to the character Mr Jackman’s been playing for nearly two decades. It’s violent, sad and exciting.
If this is really the last time that Mr Jackman will pop the adamantium claws that made his name he can rest easy knowing that he’s justice to the Wolverine.