Occasionally we'll take a break from the horror genre to review a particularly hyped or acclaimed film, and so is the case with Logan. Logan is the third installment of the solo films of Wolverine, the popular, gruff member of the X-Men. Played famously by Hugh Jackman in his final performance as the clawed antihero, Logan follows the mutant in a future in which most mutants are gone and Logan is left taking care of Professor X (Patrick Stewart) with the help of Caliban. After a series of events, Logan is left to protect a mysterious young girl from the clutches of a secret organization.
Logan was everything anyone ever wanted out of a Wolverine movie...sans the unfortunate absence of Sabretooth...But, it was still the film the adult audience couldn't wait for. Part road trip adventure, part comic book movie, part western, and part indie drama, we connect with Logan in a way that is not only unique to the Wolverine films, but also other X-Men and Marvel films as well. It is one of the most grounded and visceral comic book films ever made, rivaling The Dark Knight trilogy in its blend of practicality and fiction.
And, of course, we are treated to the full extent of just what Wolverine's claws can actually do. The camera rarely pans away from the carnage, letting us know that 6 blades sandwiched between the knuckles of two closed fists is going to draw a lot of blood. Little is left to the imagination in this regard, and that's exactly what we knew we were missing from previous X-Men films; the feral brutality that is at constant odds with his ever-pressing conscience. We are treated to, in my opinion, what the world of being a mutant would actually be like. It's not pretty, but it makes for great cinema.
As a side note, it was a pleasure to see Caliban in a larger role than his cameo-like appearance in X-Men: Apocalypse. He is a rather interesting mutant in the comics, particularly to us horror fans, for in addition to his ability to sense mutants within a certain distance, he was able to feed off of the fear of others to gain superhuman strength and a monstrous physique. As made clear in Apocalypse, sadly, Caliban is absent his fear-induced ability, but we still get a lot more of his character here and I think it adds a proper amount of flavor to the story.
The action pieces are strong and properly blended between moments of moral strife and character development. This isn't just a blockbuster scifi action film...you're getting rich characters and a story centered much more around relationship and humanity than anything else.
***SPOILERS FOR THOSE THAT DON'T READ COMICS/DON'T KNOW WHO X-23 IS***
I'm not a fan of most clone concepts. I feel like most clone ideas lead to the dilution of a character or story and shows a complete lack of creative ideas to push a character further. X-23 is no exception. Despite her increasing popularity, I just can't seem to connect with a plot that feeds off the success of another character. However, Logan takes the clone concept in the direction that matters, focusing on Logan as a reluctant father, rather than some kind of "passing of the torch" cliche. It's something that tears at the character's depth rather than diluting it. It works.
Logan was the perfect goodbye to Hugh Jackman and Patrick Stewart. It seems impossible that anyone will ever fill their shoes in their respective roles (sans James McAvoy's take on a younger Professor X, which is fantastic), but it will feel like sooner rather than later that Fox will try and do just that. In the meantime, we can bathe in the dark of one of comic book's most deep and gritty takes on a character and realize what can be done when creative freedom is more rightfully distributed.