Title: Logan (2017)
Genre: Action, Superhero, Drama
Director: James Mangold
Stars (Primary Actors): Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, Dafne Keen
Bias: I'm a huge fan of dark and gritty style superhero comics and films, so I'm predisposed to love R-rated Marvel flicks like Logan and Deadpool. If you prefer wholesome and morally unambiguous heroes, this film may not be for you.
In a Nutshell:
It is the year 2029, and the mutant population has dwindled to almost nothing. Professor Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart), now in his nineties, suffers from Alzheimer's disease and seizures, and is being kept safe and hidden just beyond the Mexico border by Logan, formerly known as Wolverine (Hugh Jackman). Logan's own powers of self-healing are fading, and he is living a boring life as a chauffeur (and alcoholic), trying to outrun his past life. When Logan is approached by a woman begging for his help in getting her and her daughter, Laura (Dafne Keen), into Canada, he ignores her plea. [SPOILERS] When Logan discovers that Laura is his daughter (a test tube baby, created from stolen mutant DNA by a corporation attempting to breed supersoldiers), he agrees to take both her and the aging Professor X to safety. Along the way, this unlikely family is pursued by Donald Pierce and the "Reavers"—cyborgian soldiers who have been sent to retrieve their lost property, Laura, by any means necessary.
After the incredibly disappointing X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009) and the improved, but still lackluster follow-up, The Wolverine (2013), this movie exceeded all of my expectations for what a Wolverine film could be. Although Hugh Jackman has always been impeccable, this is the first time he's been given a script with the gravitas and grittiness befitting his character and acting capabilities. Both Patrick Stewart and Dafne Keen work as emotional foils to a battered and bitter Logan. Although the incredible violence and despair of the film may be overwhelming at times, Laura and Logan's emotional breakthrough at the end adds a touch of true pathos that few recent superhero movies have been able to match.
Dafne Keen as Laura is really the stand-out role of the film: she is equal parts vulnerable and terrifying, oscillating between those two poles with the ease of a veteran actor. [SPOILERS] Her repetition of the dialogue from Shane, a eulogy for her slain father, and the moment where she shifts the cross on his grave to make it an "X" are genuinely poignant and haunting.
To Go, Rent, or to Netflix:
Go see this in theaters—it is worth the extra cost to see Logan and Laura slice and dice on the big screen.
Photo Credit: Marvel Entertainment