A future in which mutants have been all but wiped off the face of the Earth. In which the world’s most powerful mind is now in the cruel throes of dementia. In which the once powerful frontman of the X-Men is now a limo-driving alcoholic. Such is the world of Logan (Hugh Jackman), now caring for his old mentor Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart) and trying to leave his history behind. But the universe has other ideas, and when his path crosses that of a young girl named Laura (Dafne Keen) he’s forced to face the enemies of his past.
I’ll cut to the chase and say that Logan is an absolute success story, and there are two main reasons why. The first is the film’s 15 rating. While other superhero tales are confined to the family-friendly necessities of a 12A, this has the freedom to go all out. It’s violent; bloody and brutal, you can guarantee those claws will impale everything in their path, and this savageness makes the fight sequences thrilling from start to finish. The more lenient rating also allows for more mature language, which adds a lot of realism (although who knew Professor X had such a filthy mouth?)
The second is the relationship between the characters on screen. There’s so much attention to detail in the way these people interact with one another that brings a whole new depth to their stories – ‘showing, not telling’, as is always hammered home to writers, and this is proof of just why that works so well. It’s Logan asking Charles to prove he’s taken his medicine and being met with a childish stuck-out tongue. It’s Logan smiling at Laura ogling a boy her own age, or agreeing to buy them all clothes as modelled on a happy family. These details make us really care, and they make us feel the kind of emotion required to elevate this film to another level.
This doesn’t feel like just another a movie that’s just been rolled out on the Marvel production line. It doesn’t feel like a movie that cares about glitz and glamour. It feels like a movie that’s been made because Wolverine and his story deserve a real and truthful send off. And for me, it’s the perfect conclusion to an epic series of films. Long live Logan.