Logan is not an X-men movie, it features x-men characters, but this is not the spandex suited super powered, campy, cg lightshows you’ve seen before. Logan is gritty, grim and oh so very bloody, but bloody in a way that feels justified by the story that is more of an action drama concerned with the people involved, where saving one little girl grips you more than saving the world ever did.
In short, Logan is a film about people trying to get bye in a world that cuts them no breaks, full of unpleasant choices where hope is tenuously clung to despite the knowledge things are only going to get worse. It would serve as a fine end to the x-men series cutting down to only the best performing actors in Stewart and Jackman who are given time to bring you along with them making the actions scenes have weight and consequence, a rarity for the franchise.
I’m not sure about anyone the rest of the cast in the series, particularly the first timeline ones never really impressed me (this is not counting Sir Ian McKellen or James McAvoy) with not great performances about characters I could not care about bouncing around in a spandex cg show that was entertaining if not engaging, not that the Wolverines two previous solo outings before were even that, more costume spectacle about super powered mutants and science, a stark contrast of Logan’s more tight small scale story about trying to get a little girl across the country, where the super powers are incidental to the story about family, the smaller roster focusing on new comer Laura, a ten year old girl with a unpleasant past falling into the care of an ailing Xavier dependant on the care of an aging Logan.
The sci-fi elements is present as a hang-up of the series but is downplayed as unnecessary in this film with only a particular scene played out early on getting most of it out the way, set only a few decades in the future where self-driving trucks ride the freeways and Trumps wall stands tall on the Mexican border, a world lacking in mutants now hand waved away with simple, quick explanations that are all you need to get on with the more grounded telling of super powered mutants on a road trip across America whilst pursued by bionic soldiers. I know it doesn’t sound like that’s a believable thing but this movie pulls it off and all without anyone putting on a spandex mask.
Stewart performance in this is grand as the bearer of the world most powerful mind steadily losing control of his faculties, and the quiet, angry performance of Dafne Keen playing Laura by mutely throwing dark stares around to test the patience of Hugh Jackman’s who must see her to safety. Jackman has defined the Wolverine roll more and more over the years, looking more and more like the character as he aged but Logan really captures the worth in not to recasting him. Delivering a stripped down performance of a scarred and very haggard Logan, the name Wolverine left behind him in the past with the other X-men as any hint of a costume just emotional baggage weighing heavily upon him that only gets heavier as they are hounded by a sha
Logan will drag you through the dirt on its way through its story but ultimately leave you happy to have gone the journey, it is a great finale to the performances from two of the franchises best actors that keeps strong on both the quiet moment and the loud and violent ones, all the stronger for a story and characters you can actually care about. Go see it.