Logan is nothing like a superhero movie, which is why it’s so damn good. I don’t know about you but I was really suffering from comic-book fatigue – large, noisy, expensive films drowning in CGI with those hideously long climaxes in which entire cities were destroyed as the good guys fight the bad guys.
And then comes Logan. This film is seeped in ache and loss. The year is 2029 and everything is in an advanced state of rot. Including our hero, who is now a dying, hard-drinking mess of a man. Logan or Wolverine is so battered and shattered that he can barely put up a fight. He works as a limo driver. And all he wants is to make enough money so he can buy a boat and go far away with X-Men headmaster Charles Xavier, who is also dying. There hasn’t been a mutant born in 25 years. Or so Logan thinks. In the badlands of Mexico, the army and some big Pharma company is conducting bio-engineering experiments and creating a new brand of mutant children. One ends up with Logan. And he must do what it takes to keep her alive.
Logan is a melancholic road movie crossed with a traditional Western. It’s also a deeply disturbing vision of the near future. Director James Mangold and his co screen writers Scott Frank and Michael Green envision a bleak and brutal world. Logan is horrifically violent – heads roll and I mean that literally. And what’s unsettling is that a lot of this violence involves an 11 year-old girl who kills with a robotic ferocity. This is an R-rated superhero film. Please do not sneak your kids into it.
But what anchors the blood and gore is authentic emotion. At one point in the film, Logan, Charles and the girl Laura spend the night with a family who they have helped. For a brief interlude, they experience normalcy. And Charles tells Logan – This is what a life looks like – a home, people who love each other. Of course the peace doesn’t last long. This is Hugh Jackman’s 9th outing as Logan. He delivers a powerful and poignant last outing. And matching him at every step is the feral, ferocious Dafne Keen. She manages to effortlessly combine innocence with a murderous rage.
At almost two and a half hours, Logan is long and bruising. This isn’t the rousing epic adventure that you might look for in superhero movies. But it is deeply satisfying, desolate movie. I’m going with four stars.