It doesn’t seem like seventeen years since Hugh Jackman first popped his claws as Wolverine in X-Men, but seven feature films later and two cameos the Australian actor faces his last stand as the troubled mutant. Not only does this add an extra level of expectation for fans entering the cinema, but the fact this will be the only Wolverine movie with an R rating makes the task of pulling this picture off all the more crucial. Thankfully I can report that the filmmakers succeed in accomplishing this, as despite a few hiccups, this is a marvellous way to send off the character.
James Mangold returns to direct Wolverine once more, and despite there being some similarities in how he handles the character, you’d be forgiven for not realising it was the same director. Reflecting the success Deadpool had with an R rating, Mangold allows for a Wolverine experience unlike anything we’ve seen before, with the gore and violence being taken to the max. Despite this being a massive up, I did feel the director went a little over the top with the swearing, especially given how little casual fans will have become accustomed to throughout the other X-Men movies. All that aside, what makes this stand out from most comic book movies, is the way Mangold grounds the tale, with it having more of a gritty, western feel. The way this works into the emotional elements of the story only goes to further enhance the quality of this movie, with it being a sensational piece of storytelling.
There are few actors who can own a role for as long as Hugh Jackman has with Wolverine. Returning one last time the Australian actor gives one of his best performances as the claw wielding mutant to date, as with a healing factor that isn’t quite working the same and an ageing physique, it’s easy to see this is a Logan unlike what we’ve seen before. That said it is the emotional turmoil that once again seems to bring the best out of this character, and with a frail minded Charles Xavier (wonderfully played by Patrick Stewart) by his side, we see just how much of an effect time has on a character. Jackman and Stewart aren’t the only two actors who stand out in this final hurrah for Logan, however, as newcomer Dafne Keen does an outstanding job as Laura/X-23, with Stephen Merchant adding a somewhat comical, if not strange, element as Caliban.
Despite all this the film fails to overcome a factor that plagues most comic book movies, and that’s poor villains. Despite the acting ability of Boyd Holbrook (Donald Pierce) and Richard E. Grant (Zander Rice) being not too far off that of Jackman and Stewart, it was hard to feel anything for their characters, weather that be intrigue or sheer hate. Add to this a uninspiring physical opponent for Logan to tackle and I can’t help but feel that the filmmakers missed a grand opportunity to end Jackman‘s time as Wolverine on a massive high note.
Logan is easily the best solo outing for the clawed X-Man to date, being a tremendous send off for actor Hugh Jackman. Not only did it give us the gritty, violent take that we’ve been begging for, but it also gave us an emotional rollercoaster of a ride that had a few surprises along the way.
(8.5 / 10)