Cast: Hugh Jackman, Sir Patrick Stewart, Dafne Keen
Director: James Mangold
Synopsis: In the near future, a weary Logan cares for an ailing Professor X in a hide out on the Mexican border. But Logan’s attempts to hide from the world and his legacy are up-ended when a young mutant arrives, being pursued by dark forces.
With Marvel’s recent move to begin eliminating all the X-Men/mutants one by one, it was only natural for Fox to follow in the same direction. Logan follows the story of “Old Man” Logan. Simply put, Logan is dying and his once faithful powers are failing him. The X-Men are dead. Charles Xavier, his father figure, is also dying and being cared for by Caliban. There are no more mutants being born anywhere. Logan now works as a car service driver in a service similar to Uber/Lyft. He’s just trying to scrape together enough cash to run away with Xavier and live on a boat in the middle of an ocean to die.
This plan seems to be going well until a woman named Gabriella tracks him down, trying to acquire his help on something that only he can help with. Naturally, Logan refuses because it isn’t part of his plan and he’s done living his life as Wolverine. He continues to resist helping this woman, until Gabriella ends up dead while trying to convince him that her daughter, Laura is a mutant and needs his help. Though he doesn’t believe her, the woman’s offer of $40,000 is enough of an incentive for Logan to agree to help. That was the rest of the money he needed to buy the boat for himself and Xavier to escape.
From there, the movie begins to move quickly. The decision to make this an r-rated film was a good move on Mangold’s part. The level of violence and profanity just casually thrown around the film was very fitting of Logan/Wolverine. This also allowed for Dafne Keen to have some excellent action scenes as well–which is very fitting of the character X-23.
This was one of the first films dealing with X-Men related material that I thought was any sort of proper tribute to the characters. Even the Transigen dossiers had some fun Easter eggs hidden in there for avid fans of the comics and there were some references to other events in the timeline. Though, admittedly, not as many as I would have liked. At one point, Logan is flipping through one of the X-Men comic books and comes across images of Rogue and seems to have no reaction to seeing her at all. In both the comics and movie universes, Rogue was very much like a daughter to him. It seems odd that he wouldn’t become a little torn up or angry over seeing her image portrayed in what he considered to be a collection of factual errors on their lives. There were also no references to Jean, even though she seems to always become a central figure in his life no matter what timeline it is. I was also slightly disappointed that more characters from the Weapon X program weren’t used in Transigen files. Raven Darkholme/Mystique and Victor Creed/Sabretooth being the most noticeably absent. For a film that was in many ways a farewell to the old cast of the X-Men, I felt that this fell a little short and would have liked to have seen some references to these characters.
Now, that’s not to say that this isn’t a brilliant movie. In fact, this movie puts Dafne Keen in the perfect spotlight to stand proudly alongside Millie Bobby Brown as an up-and-coming actress. She held her ground beautifully alongside Hugh Jackman and Sir Patrick Stewart and had some truly heartbreaking moments onscreen as well as some very courageous ones. I’m excited to see what she does next–and if she continues to portray X-23, which would be true to her character.
This is a fairly long film. The run-time is about two hours and fifteen minutes and there is a notable absence of an after credits scene as they aired Deadpool’s new trailer before hand. But the absence of that scene was fitting given the movie’s very final content. And that final scene might make you sit through the credits at least partially anyway. It will truly pull at the heartstrings and makes tears spring to your eyes.
But don’t take my word for it, I truly recommend seeing this film. It’s one of the best films X-Men films I’ve seen in a long time and I believe that die hard fans and newbies alike will all enjoy it. The dialogue is witty and dark and the performances are all around excellent. So, if you have two-and-a-half hours to kill, go see this.