In the near future, a weary Logan cares for an ailing Professor X somewhere on the Mexican border. However, Logan’s attempts to hide from the world and his legacy are upended when a young mutant arrives, pursued by dark forces.
So here’s the thing: I’ve watched the first two or three X-Men movies but I never really followed the franchise. I loved the 90s cartoon growing up and I didn’t quite feel the same love with the franchise, so even with the reboot and the Wolverine movies I didn’t really follow it. I only watched this movie because my brother had seen it first and was telling me how much he loved it…then I watched a few YouTube reviews from reviewers I follow and they raved about it…and then I finally got around to watching the first trailer (embedded above) and that’s what convinced me to check it out. So yes, MASSIVE SPOILERS if you haven’t seen the movie!
The feels in this movie, you guys. Wow. I’m typing this review having just watched it a few hours ago and I still don’t know where to start.
To start, the R-rating I think helped, haha. And it’s not just viseral action sequences for the sake of it or dropping the f-bombs every so often–though it was amusing to watch Sir Patrick Stewart swear–but it just feels like part of the world that these characters are in, the state of mind they’re in. They’re tired, they’re old, they’re frustrated, they don’t give a shit. Add that to Logan’s personality and yeah, R-rating it is.
And I’m not going to lie, the action sequences were great 😀
But the true strength of the story lies in the drama and the characters and the themes of death and family and experiencing life even when you’re at the end of your line. Logan and Xavier are both old and broken here in a world where there are pretty much no mutants left. Logan is barely scrapping it together to keep them going before they are embroiled in this conspiracy and the arrival of a new mutant on the run. Her appearance definitey adds to the dynamic, awakening an old part in Xavier whilst challenging what remains of Logan’s time hiding. I mean, Logan here is a mess: he’s old, he’s sluggish, he’s not healing as he used to, he’s drinking copious amounts, he just wants nothing to do with the past and yet he’s hauled in reluctantly to help this young girl out. And amidst it you find a culmination of his character, the notions of a quiet and safe life taken away from him because he was made into what he was, the weight of all the people he’s killed over the years, how he’s never really fit in or had a family. Yes, he has his responsibility in taking care of Xavier here, but to take care and protect this young girl as well? The dynamic was hilarious and interesting to watch as he comes to terms with his own mortality and his own past. Hugh Jackman absolutely killed it with his performance, you could see it in his eyes from the first moment you see him on screen.
“This is what life looks like… People who love each other. A home. You should take a moment. Feel it. You still have time…”
Kill me with feels, why don’t you, movie…
But Xavier’s journey was also a heartbreaking one on several levels. On the one level there’s the tragedy of his abilities taking a dangerous turn with age and illness and I thought that was a fascinating element that they did here in the movie because it felt realistic within the world. If you had a neurological condition and you had psyonic abilities, what would happen? Yeah, that…They alluded to a great tragedy that happened a few years before the start of the movie that, if the casino sequence didn’t nail the problems home, that bit certainly did. But on another level, it was just Xavier’s age and just the ravages that time does to a person. I see this where I work and it’s totally in keeping with Xavier here, from the despair that he thought Logan’s just waiting for him to die to him taking his pills and sticking out his tongue to show that he took it all. It’s heartbreaking and just as realistic.
Newcomer Dafne Keen was amazing as X-23. Whilst she didn’t say much for the first two-thirds of the movie, her eyes and expression just said so much. And omg those fight sequences…Do not mess with that kid, haha. Her dynamic with Logan was fantastic, it was interesting to watch Logan try to be a dad whilst clearly being out of his league but you really feel for X-23 as she slowly warms up to Logan and Xavier. They really were like this odd family unit on a road trip, which was wonderful but then heartbreaking to watch.
Gah, I could just go on and on with the dramatic elements of this movie which were really my favourite parts. I of course enjoyed the action sequences and the storyline with the conspiracy of a corporation setting out to control the appearance of mutants and creating their own mutants only to clean up their programme. Those reavers were menacing and a nuisance, as were the antagonists in the film, but they all did a wonderful job, I think. And I liked the soundtrack too, particularly the quieter set pieces. It really adds to the overall atmosphere of the movie.
Overall Logan works well a a standalone movie in the franchise but also as the final movie starring Hugh Jackman. His, Patrick Stewart, and Dafne Keen’s performances were absolutely fantastic, and their scenes together were wonderful, too many to just list here. I can’t wait to watch the movie again at some point, I cannot recommend it enough.