By John Rocker and Aaron Halls, Free Press Staff
The year is 2029, Logan (Hugh Jackman) works as a limo driver in southwestern America while trying to care for his old friend and father figure Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart), who is slowly losing his mind. Things take a turn when a young mutant named Laura (Dafne Keen) is on the run from a mysterious group and seeks Logan’s help to get her to a safe location.
What Did We Like?
A: An aspect of Logan that I loved was how small scale and personal it felt. Director James Mangold allows for the film to take its time in allowing the characters to interact and for the human drama to take precedence over the gritty action sequences in many cases. This makes it a standout compared to the summer blockbuster feeling of most superhero films released today. This also allows us as audience members to spend more time with Logan, Charles Xavier and Laura and provides an excellent showcase for the actors/actresses inhabiting the roles.
Hugh Jackman has always been perfect as Wolverine/Logan, but here he gives his perhaps greatest performance as the character, still conveying Logan’s world-weariness, rage and pain, but with an internal desire to help the people closest to him. Patrick Stewart is excellent here as Professor X, giving a heartbreaking performance as his character deals with dementia. Newcomer Dafne Keen is magnetic as Laura. She had to portray many moments of silence, and Keen conveys a lot of emotion with her facial expressions, body language and reactions, which makes her character a standout among already great, well-realized characters.
J: The opening scene alone makes a distinct point to the audience, which is “Hey, this film is rated R!” It’s visceral, it holds nothing back and it’s a delight. That’s how each action scene felt. It’s a reminder that while comic book films are entertaining, there’s real violence happening. It’s just that most films dumb down the damage that’s being done.
Logan cranks the action up to eleven. Despite being a “comic book movie,” this film has a human story to tell. It’s about accepting what you’ve done in the past and how to move forward from your mistakes. The stakes are personal and don’t have the typical, “We have to save the world!” thing that most comic book films have been pulling.
What Did We Dislike?
A: I have no major problems with Logan. There were a couple of scenes that felt a little long and the pacing seemed off, but it did not take away too much from the overall experience for me.
J: I have several issues, but I don’t want to give too much away. The one I will talk about is similar to Aaron’s. There’s a spot at the end of the second act where it feels like the characters are fumbling around until they get to the next location.
Who Do We Think This is For?
A: If you are a fan of X-Men, Wolverine or violent and mature character studies, I think you will enjoy Hugh Jackman’s final outing as the character.
J: This is a film for those who have been wanting a true Wolverine film since 2000. That being said, having knowledge of this character isn’t necessary to enjoy the film. If you’re looking for a film with great characters, emotion and brutal action, then this one is for you.
A and J: A Must See