By Colin Froment – 1851 Staff
Since donning the metal claws for the first time in 2000, Hugh Jackman has made the comic book character known as Wolverine one of the most popular superheroes from the “X-Men” film franchise. Jackman has shined as Wolverine on the big screen in nine films over the course of 17 years. After announcing his retirement from the character after one last film, fans have wondered if “Logan” is the best way to say goodbye to one of their favorite mutants. “Logan” details an aging and nearly-powerless Wolverine in a dark future caring for the disease-stricken Professor Xavier (another staple character in the franchise played by Patrick Stewart).
When a young girl, played by Dafne Keen in her first film role, who demonstrates the same abilities as Wolverine, is on the run from government forces, the three will embark on one last journey to get the girl to safety.
The film focuses on hardcore action sequences and strong character dynamics that ultimately make it a high point for both the “Wolverine” and “X-Men” franchises. “Logan” is certainly one of the more violent films (Rated R) that have come out of the superhero genre. Fans of brutal action scenes will find joy in watching Wolverine slash and fight his way throughout the story. This allows for Wolverine to show off his more ferocious side that fans have been dying to see for years. It stands out from the past “X-Men” films, and even from some of the best superhero films that either Marvel or DC have already released. This action is also non-stop for more than two hours, providing entertainment that doesn’t lose focus or attention from audience members. The action doesn’t overshadow the film’s plot and maintains the right balance between a compelling story and bloody visuals.
A highlight from previous installments in the franchise that carries over into “Logan” is the relationships between the main characters. Jackman and Stewart still maintain bright chemistry together as both characters can relate to each other with their own personal struggles, and the common theme of attempting to survive in a world with few gifted people like them left. It is a relationship that comes to a powerful conclusion for two of the main characters from the “X-Men” movies. Aside from Stewart’s Professor X, Jackman creates a strong dynamic between his character and newcomer Keen as X-23. The two create a well-crafted connection that is almost like a father-daughter type bond, and gives Wolverine a soft side as a mentor for the first time in his life. The ending is a satisfying “passing of the torch” movement between the two cast members and could hopefully lead to seeing more of X-23 in future films. Other characters who are impressive to watch include Stephen Merchant as Caliban, a mutant with the ability to track others, who aids Wolverine and Professor Xavier, and Boyd Hollenback, as the film’s cyborg, mutant-hunting, villain, Donald Pierce. The characters and their relationships with one another offer brief moments of happiness amidst the film’s dark and serious setting.
“Logan” turns out to be an extraordinary feature with its amazing action sequences and wonderful characters. It is the perfect send-off for Jackman as the beloved Wolverine, and a solid end of a long era for the character. It is an overall serious film, but it concludes on an emotional note, and it ends up becoming difficult to say goodbye to one of the longest-running roles in film history.