Marvel’s X-Men Film Franchise has had a rather bumpy ride to success. With hits and misses throughout the last 17 years, it is not uncommon to be skeptic when a 9th installment is announced. This movie in fact is the third in the Wolverine-centered films, proceeding 2 rather mediocre films to say the least. But by Apocalypse, it succeeds in all aspects, and makes for a beautiful, emotional and fantastically paced film.
With the surprise (not really) success of Deadpool, the first R-Rated film in the X-Men franchise and one of the very few R-Rated superhero films ever, 20th Century Fox made the decision, with thanks to director James Mangold and actor, Hugh Jackman, to produce an R-Rated Wolverine film, the last one for Jackman, who has portrayed him for now 17 years.
“Logan” is set in a dystopian future, where nearly all mutants have past away. The claw bearing mutant, Wolverine, now only known as James Logan Howlett, lives south of the Mexican border with Professor Xavier (played by Sir Patrick Stewart) and a mutant, Caliban (played by Stephen Merchant). Taking a job as a limo driver, Logan lives a tiresome and hard life, away from the modern world. However, through a series of events, he becomes the guardian of a child mutant turned fugitive, genetically engineered by a private corporation, who has been based partly on his own genetic code and mutant abilities. Her name is Laura, known also to comic fans as X-23 and is wonderfully and charmingly played by Dafne Keen. Logan now has a mission to bring her to a safe haven where all other surviving child mutants live, away from those hunting them.
This film is not your typical superhero movie. In fact, it isn’t even about superheroes. Though it is starring famous characters from a even more famous franchise, the film does not put its attention on the fact they are Marvel entities but instead focuses on the characters as individuals and the problems they may face. It is much more violent, gruesome, vulgar and mature then Deadpool as well as all other previous Marvel superhero films, giving hard-core fans a film now staying very true to its original source material, one of Marvel’s more maturely written and violent characters.
“Logan” has a simple premise when it comes to set design and environment; Less is More. The crew managed to create a vast yet choking landscape of a dystopian United States of America, one feeling partly real and surreal. The vast wastelands of deserted nothingness compliments the film greatly as the characters are all very alone, with very little contact between them and other mutants. They are finding their way, and the landscape is simply gloomy as it is breathtaking.
This X-Men film is the last one for both Sir Patrick Stewart and Hugh Jackman, and they both deliver stellar performances as well as the entire cast. Dafne Keen, though she is quite silent for the majority of the film, plays a very central role and delivers greatly. The chemistry between Keen, Stewart and Jackman is marvelous, plain and simple. Furthermore, Boyd Holbrook, who portrays Donald Pierce with charming wit is and incredibly intimidating throughout the film, making him arguably one of the very few memorable Marvel films’ villains. With a very tight group of actors in an even tighter setting, they were able to delve deeper into the psyche, the thoughts and the actions of our main characters. It is a R-Rated action film, yes, but with a lot of heart and passion.
James Mangold directed a nearly perfect film, the acting, the score, the set and the pacing all played out and worked out for the best. It is arguably the best if not one of the best superhero-genre film to date and luckily will be paving the way for more mature superhero genre films. Now retiring the character, Jackman will be remembered, for me anyway, as an actor portraying beautifully one of my all-time favorite Marvel characters. His love and passion for this character throughout the last 17 years was greatly appreciated and will truly be one of the most memorable portrayals.