Logan – Film Review
Director: James Mangold
Writers: James Mangold (story by), Scott Frank (screenplay)
Stars: Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, Dafne Keen
The year is 2029 and it’s a future much like our own present day! Actually, strangely little has changed other than our favourite super-hero Wolverine/ Logan (Hugh Jackman) has fallen on hard times. He’s driving a limousine that is filled with drunk teenagers on their big night out. He’s left his days of saving the planet far behind and seems relatively content out of the limelight. He regularly visits a small industrial unit just over the border in Mexico, where a man from his past now lives. One Charles Francis Xavier (Patrick Stewart), once the powerful leader of the X-men, now a man struggling to hold it together. He is a man with amazing mental powers, but seems to be losing control of his own mind! When a woman contacts Logan with a job that only he can do, it leads him on a journey into the unknown…
So far, so run of the mill, right? The setting is marginally more interesting than normal, with Logan living quietly amongst us normal folk. This film is directed by James Mangold, and he also wrote the story, as one of four names with writing credits. He previously wrote Walk the Line and Girl, Interrupted, and directed the Wolverine (2013) so this is much the same team as before, but with considerably better results.
It’s the characters that elevate this above our average super hero, fast-food diet. Stewart is very entertaining as the older Xavier, and plays up nicely on his failing powers and frailty. Stewart is an impressive actor, but you rarely see much of it in these adventure stories. This one dwells a little longer on the individuals and is much the better for it. Stephen Merchant plays the mopey albino Caliban and is enjoyable light relief. The other new introduction is a wide eyed child Dafne Keen who also adds to the stew.
The film only holds out for so long with the interesting character development and quirky scenes, and eventually falls into typical battle mode. Would it be a Wolverine movie without? I’m sure most would demand refunds. It is a relatively violent affair and Logan uses his claws more than I seem to remember. As a way for Jackman to sign off from playing Wolverine, it’s probably as good as you could hope for. I enjoyed the first half of the film much more than the second, but I might be in the minority on that score. Easily the best of the Wolverine tales to date!
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