Logan is the Wolverine movie I’ve always wanted. Shockingly good. Easily the best X-Men related movie Fox has made to date, this is the kind of story telling the mutant side of Marvel desperately needs.
Set in 2029, Logan is exhausted and not doing well. Working as a limo driver in the southern parts of Texas, he’s resigned himself to staying on the fringes of society. Stay low, make enough money to take care of the ailing Charles Xavier. While struggling to keep things together he runs into a young mutant girl that pulls him into a fight that he can’t stay on the sidelines for.
This movie is Wolverine stripped down to his essence. The loner, the maverick, the samurai, the tempest that’s struggled to keep it together his entire life. Gone are the over the top globe trotting theatrics of the previous Wolverine (and X-Men) movies and it’s done to great effect. Simple works for Logan.
When we join him, it’s clear the past few years have not been kind to him. Then we see Professor X who is holding on by a thread, his illness making one of the world’s most powerful mutants a ticking time bomb. It’s alluded to that when Charles first got sick, something terrible happened (I like that it’s never fully addressed). Another deep scar for them both. This world they live in has gotten very dark. This gives Logan a singular goal: keep himself and Charles safe. Get away to make Charles less of a threat to the population. That’s all there is to his life. Then he meets Laura which pulls his past into the present. The hero must come back.
And what a hero he is. The R rating lets the action lean into Logan’s powers in all of its brutal glory. A living weapon that is devastatingly brutal in close quarters. Laura is no slouch either, she’s an absolute animal. This is no “save the world” story. It’s kept close to the chest, just like the action scenes. Ferocious and impactful, each scene makes its mark.
They found a hell of an actress in Dafne Keen for Laura. She’s perfect in every way. It’s really like watching a young Logan so their interactions together work. It’s a complete arc from his desire to run to the acceptance that he’s needed and needs others. You can’t be alone and be happy. It’s the connections and decisions you make on behalf of others that matter.
This movie is a series of correct decisions. It’s restrained when it needs to be and pops off when it must. No dialog is wasted. Some of the most powerful moments come after the storm and are whispered to those that matter.
Logan: It wasn’t me.
Logan smiles: So that’s what it’s like.
A triumph of a film, let alone a genre picture, Logan is fantastic.