Logan (2017) Review

Set in the near future, the mutants are already on the brink of extinction. Logan (Hugh Jackman), who is now working as a chauffeur, lives a low-profile life somewhere in a junkyard desert with the elderly Professor Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart) and albino mutant tracker Caliban (Stephen Merchant). Soon, trouble arises when Logan finds himself protecting a young mutant named Laura (Dafne Keen) from a squad of mutant hunters, led by Donald Pierce (Boyd Holbrook).

For the past 17 years, Hugh Jackman’s successful acting career is largely owed to his iconic portrayal of Wolverine since the first X-Men movie in 2000.

Fast-forward to 2017, it finally comes to a full circle after Jackman decided to unleash his adamantium claws for one last time in Logan. In this third solo Wolverine movie, Logan manages to improve by leaps and bounds than the previous two lacklustre efforts seen in 2009’s X-Men Origins: Wolverine and 2013’s The Wolverine. Best of all, The Wolverine director James Mangold give what fans really want: an R-rated (18-rated) Wolverine movie that is both feral, gritty and unapologetically violent. When I said “violent”, Logan holds nothing back in terms of its graphic depiction. Every slashing, slicing and dicing that Logan fights against his enemies with his adamantium claws are both grisly and intense.

Mangold, who also co-wrote the screenplay with Scott Frank and Michael Green, are smart enough to draw major inspirations from Mark Millar and Steve McNiven’s Old Man Logan comic-book series, as well as classic revisionist Westerns including 1953’s Shane and 1992’s Unforgiven. In fact, Hugh Jackman’s portrayal of Logan even echoes the similarity with Alan Ladd’s Shane and Clint Eastwood’s William Munny from the two aforementioned movies: an anti-hero who wanted to leave his past behind and settles down until something happens that forces him to revert his old ways. Despite the story’s moody and sombre tone, the screenwriters still manage to slip in some wry humour to balance the overall mood of the movie.

Given the fact this is Jackman’s swan song as Logan, he does a great job giving his all in this movie. Kudos also go to Patrick Stewart for his unvarnished portrayal of an elderly Professor Charles Xavier, unlike the same old character you have seen him in the past. Boyd Holbrook and Stephen Merchant are both equally worthwhile as Donald Pierce and Caliban. Then, there is the 11-year-old Spanish newcomer Dafne Keen, whose performance as the mostly-mute Laura is pitch-perfect.

If there is any flaw in Logan, the movie could have benefited with a tighter editing in some parts. This is especially true during a long stretch involving a group of young mutants hiding in a remote area.

So, this is it. Every good thing must come to an end. Thanks to the sheer efforts that Hugh Jackman and James Mangold have given to make their dream project come true, Logan is bound to be remembered for years to come.

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