17 years ago, An Australian theater actor with no prior Movie acting experience was chosen to play the role of a fan favorite Superhero on the Silver Screen. That man was Hugh Jackman and that superhero was everyone’s beloved X-Men character, Wolverine. Back then comic book movies were a joke, and the superhero movie landscape was bleak but it all changed for good with Fox’s X-Men in 2001. Despite X-Men being an ensemble cast, Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine stood out as the most ravishing character and won our hearts. Since then the superhero team has faced several live-action renderings with several characters getting new actors to play them expect the Wolverine; Nobody ever donned the mantle of Wolverine other than Hugh Jackman but sadly that comes to an end now. After 17 years and reprising the role of Wolverine 9 times, Hugh Jackman is finally done with Wolverine. James Mangold’s Logan is the last Wolverine movie and thankfully, it gives a fitting end to Hugh’s 17 years long journey as the Gruffy, Slashing Canadian Superhero.
Logan is said to be based in an alternate reality but it doesn’t mean that events of the previous films don’t play any part in this movie. In truth, Logan is all about playing on the nostalgia of all the previous movies. From Logan’s pain to his relation with the aged Charles Xavier in the movie, it wouldn’t have had the same effect if we had not known the characters for so long. Jackman had stated during promotions that, “Logan is a love letter to Wolverine fans” and well, it indeed is!
After 2013’s The Wolverine failed to impress fans, it looks like James Mangold took it upon himself to deliver the Wolverine movie the fans deserved, and indeed he thoroughly redeems himself with Logan. He gives Wolverine an emotionally charged see off with extreme style, a robust western atmosphere and tops it all with solid R-rated action sequences. The best thing about the movie is how the R-rating never feels forced; from the swearing to the blood spewing everywhere, it all felt necessary to bring out the best of the character and to also show the pain he’s tolerating.
In Logan, The Mutant kind is almost extinct, there’s no more Xavier’s school for Gifted Youngsters. Logan lives on a meager wage earned by driving a limousine around town. He lives with a mutant, Caliban (You might remember a different version of him in X-Men Apocalypse) and takes care of a disgruntled Charles Xavier who doesn’t have a proper control on his psychic powers anymore and needs to be kept sedated. Logan’s life takes a new turn though when a mutant kid who’s being hunted by an organization ends up with him.
Logan is nothing like any other superhero movie you have seen till date. It’s not about saving the world or a good vs. evil story. It’s something personal. It’s the story of a man fighting his inner demons, trying to subdue the animal inside him and find peace.
Anything I’ll say about how great and different kind of superhero movie Logan is will be less but I should definitely appreciate the effort put in by the actors to make this movie a memorable experience. Hugh Jackman has mastered his role as the Claw-bearing beast Wolverine is but this time he gets the chance to add a lot more emotional depth to the character. Pattrick Stewart’s role as Professor X here is unconventional. He no more plays a character who’s always in control and can manage any amount of difficulty thrown towards him. Charles Xavier is just an old man now, who’s nothing but counting his last days confined away from the world. He can’t even take care of himself now, much less take care of any other mutant. Just seeing a man who already lost a lot in an attempt to change the world and help his kind in this condition is heart-breaking. Watching Charles’ interactions with Logan will make you sentimental at times. Still, even after having these two legends on screen, the real credits need to be given to Dafne keen who still stole the show with her amazing and nuanced role of Laura aka X-23. You just can’t come out of the theater without being amazed by her character. If Fox ever brings her back then it would be a great decision because she deserves to carry on the legacy of Wolverine.
In the end, I’ll only say that Logan is the story of the Man and not the beast Wolverine is. It did, what even an origin story couldn’t do for the character, it made us understand the tragedy his life is, made us feel what a curse his immortality has been for him and showed us what all he has sacrificed to redeem himself and live a better life. We will never forget him now. We just won’t.
- Hugh Jackman's portrayal of the character
- Dafne Keen as X-23