Logan (MA15+)

In a word: Gritty

Logan

Hugh Jackman stars as Logan in latest X-Men film.

Logan is a lot darker a film than its predecessors and, while it has some colourful language and a fairly sizeable fake blood budget, the departure from the previous two Wolverine films is actually quite welcome. Gone are the montages and brighter than life colourisation of the rest of the Marvel cohort - Logan goes back to its comic book roots, where its protagonist is a conflicted, depressive type.

Director James Mangold of Walk the Line fame is to be applauded for his efforts in the direction of the newest Marvel offering. It’s not often I rewatch a Marvel creation, but for Logan I’d be willing to make an exception.

The year is 2029. The world is a lot bleaker than the one we have become accustomed to in other comic book adaptions. Mutants are a dying breed, having been hunted into near extinction. It’s been 25 years since the last mutant was born and the ones that do remain are having their gifts exploited and used against them.

In this 10th instalment of the X-Men universe, Logan is situated on the Mexican border, trying to take care of an ageing Professor X (who now suffers seizures that bring anyone in the surrounding area to their knees in a near lifeless state - played by Sir Patrick Stewart), while trying to find the sense of normalcy that he has never had.

But it's when Logan finds himself saddled with a silent tween named Laura that the film kicks off in a big way. With claws like Logan’s own and a ferocity that only he can match, Laura - played by English-Spanish actress Dafne Keen - is a living weapon that he now must protect from those hunting her down.

Logan is a lot darker a film than its predecessors and, while it has some colourful language and a fairly sizeable fake blood budget, the departure from the previous two Wolverine films is actually quite welcome. Gone are the montages and brighter than life colourisation of the rest of the Marvel cohort - Logan goes back to its comic book roots, where its protagonist is a conflicted, depressive type.

We might owe this change to Hugh Jackman. In order to achieve the grittier film, Jackman (who famously plays Logan; real name James Howlett, though more affectionately known as Wolverine to many) accepted a pay cut which allowed the filmmakers to shoot for a MA15+ rating, as films higher than an M rating generally achieve lower box office return. The acting quality however, benefits incredibly.

Jackman gives his best performance as Wolverine in this film, as he is finally allowed to drop some of the bravado of the previous films and take on the more real role of a broken man tired of having to play the hero. His hair has grayed, his scars are not healing as quickly as they used to and each battle leaves him a little more out of puff than the last. Every fight scene leaves the audience on tenterhooks as, for the first time, Logan is taking some decent beatings.

As a result, Logan is surprisingly an emotional watch, as the seemingly immortal finally prepare to meet their mortality. It’s not something I ever thought I’d see in a screening of a Marvel film, but there was truthfully no shortage of tears in my cinema.

For fans of the comic books, Logan is a victory.

And finally, a note to the parents among you: this is probably not the type of Marvel film that you’ll want to take your kids to. Let’s not have a repeat of the Deadpool fiasco.