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Review: ‘Logan’ sends off Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine with a violent, emotionally resonant bang

The poster for the movie Logan. The movie stars Hugh Jackman.

The poster for the movie “Logan.” The movie stars Hugh Jackman.

It has been 17 years since Hugh Jackman first began to unleash his adamantium claws on his enemies, a cinematic experience first realized in the 2000 film “X-Men.” Now, after all these years and nine movies, Jackman finally says goodbye to the character of Wolverine with the new film “Logan,” the third and final Wolverine solo film following 2009’s “X-Men Origins: Wolverine” and 2013’s “The Wolverine.”

The biggest difference between this movie and the other films in the “X-Men” franchise is this film’s R rating. In the character’s last outing, Wolverine’s fully realized R-rated world finally comes to life, which basically just means far more gruesome violence and a large amount of f-bombs. But hey, if you’re gonna go out, you might as well go out with a f****** bang.

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Viewers also get a special treat before the movie starts with a quick scene featuring the only other X-Men-affiliated character to have his own R-rated film, so watch out for that.

“Logan” takes place in the year 2029 and sees an aging Wolverine (whose real name is Logan) working as a limo driver close to the Mexican border while also trying to care for an aging Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart), the former leader of the X-Men. Logan’s special abilities have begun to wear off at this point in his life. He is no longer the young, spritely mutant that he once was.

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Typical superhero movie plot lines unfold from there, eventually forcing Logan and Charles to go on the run while protecting a young mutant named Laura, Dafne Keen, who just so happens to have the same mutant abilities as Logan.

This film takes place in a future where almost all of the X-Men have already been killed off, adding to Logan’s torment and misery as he knows that he is slowly dying from some sort of mysterious poison coursing through his veins.

This film takes on a violent, gritty tone never seen before in the X-Men universe, resulting in an end product that feels a lot more realistic than previous movies. Viewers may realize their slight psychopathic tendencies at the small amount of enjoyment they may get with the vivid imagery of Logan gruesomely sinking his claws through people’s faces. Violence does not typically add to a movie’s effectiveness, but “Logan” would not have worked any other way.

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After so much time and so many movies, Jackman better know how to play the role at this point. Luckily, he does. He is reliably spectacular in the title role, creating a tormented but well-developed character haunted by his past but still trying to scrape together a better future for himself and Professor X, the only friend he has left. 

The film does have several plot holes and leaves many things up in the air. Sometimes, this technique works well in filmmaking to draw viewers further in and possibly set the stage for a sequel. Some of the unanswered questions posed by “Logan” make it seem like there may have been times where the filmmakers decided not to pay attention to these slight issues with the script and to instead devote their energy to the amount of freedom they got in terms of violence and gore.

These elements combine to create a violent, thoughtful and often emotional film that further defies the conventions of what superhero films can do and is on par with the best entries of the X-Men film series, far surpassing the first two Wolverine stand-alone films with dramatic depth, thoughtful storytelling and certainly violence.

This film will certainly please X-Men fans and should satisfy most casual viewers as well, assuming you have the stomach to handle the intense violence, of course.

Grade: B+


Follow Alec Kuehnle on Twitter.


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