A review by Pablo Lacalle (14 years old)
It may contain mild spoilers
Hugh Jackman, the famous Australian actor, has been playing Wolverine for 17 years now. Making his debut appearance as the adamantium-clawed mutant in 2002s X-Men, Jackman rapidly became a fan favourite as the character, reprising the role over nine movies and even a few videogames. So popular was Jackman’s performance that, to this day, he is the only actor to play the role of Wolverine in live action, which was why it was so exciting and tragic when he decided to play the character for one last time. Set to be his swansong, Logan was to be directed by James Mangold (who made the fun, but flawed The Wolverine) and reunite X-Men veteran actor Sir Patrick Stewart with Hugh for the last Wolverine film. However, after the disaster that was X-Men: Apocalypse people began to worry that Logan would follow the same track. We were soon proved wrong after the arrival of the first trailer (set to Johnny Cash’s Hurt) which cemented the opinion that this was an entirely different film altogether.
Álvaro Romero (15 years old): “A fast-paced, hard-eyed action movie whose comedic moments did in no way take away from its relentless, gritty, breathtaking action, Logan is a movie packed full of surprises and emotional rollercoasters, whose wild and exhilarating ride will leave you out of air and wanting another go. Undoubtedly Hugh Jackman’s best movie yet, and one of the best superhero movies I’ve seen in a long time, whose grisly and sombre tone struck an altogether different note to some of Wolverine’s other movies, but is all the more impressive for it. It’s a ballsy, engaging movie grounded in its fascinating characters, and its tearful and emotional ending will leave even the most jaded of critics moist-eyed. I would definitely recommend this movie.”
Logan is set in the year 2029. The film purposefully keeps us in the dark, a welcome alternative to ten or so minutes of exposition, but little gems are dropped here and there so we get an idea of the scenario. The world is changed, with strict border controls between the U.S and Mexico (NOT a jab at Trump’s America, as many would complain). There are drastic differences in 2029 (tigers are extinct apparently) yet more importantly, no mutants have been born in 25 years. The only remaining ones are an aging and Alzeihmers ridden Charles Xavier, Caliban (Stephen Merchant) a mutant tracking albino, and the star of the show Logan himself.
James Mangold goes to great lenghts and shows vividly that this is no “tights and spandex” superhero film. Logan is old, beaten, weary and a shadow of his former self. Ravaged by his failing healing factor and poisoned by the adamantium that grants him his invulnerability, Hugh Jackmans perfomance is brilliantly rough yet tragic, as this once great hero is forced to work as the equivalent of an Uber Driver and bargain every day for drugs to control Xavier’s psychic outbursts. Jackman fully showcases the anger, hurt and apathy in Wolverine’s existence, which juxtaposes neatly with Stephen Merchant’s Caliban, who provides both funny and insightful moments. Sir Patrick Stewart provides one of the best performances of his career as a Xavier torn apart by guilt and struggling to control his mind, whilst also giving the film a few humorous moments (this Xavier is slightly more liberal with his language). The most stellar adition to the cast is 12-year old actress Dafne Keen as X-23, a savage female clone of Wolverine. Say what you will of child actors, Keen makes a fantastic debut as one of the sweeties yet at the same time most badass characters in the entire movie. Logan also provides some entertaining and well thought-of villains in the form of the Transigen Corporation, and the cybernetic bounty hunters they employ called the Reavers. Amongs these is Boyd Hollbrook as Donald Pierce, the metal-armed, southern leader of the Reavers. Though not as groundbreaking a villain as Magneto or the Joker, Pierce fits the tone of the film perfectly and is extremely fun to watch.
As an R-Rated movie, Logan has free rein over all the violence and gore they care to dish out and they do so magnificently. Rhythmic, brutal action sequences are aplenty in this movie, and the R-rating fully delivers on the savagery that X-23 and Logan’s claws can wreak amongst enemies. One of the best sequences is marvellously directed and brimming with tension, as Wolverine tries to fend off Reavers during one of Xavier’s paralyzing psychic blasts. The third act, where Wolverine charges into battle once more (sporting his trademark sideburns) will incite cheers from the audience. But Logan is not just gore and blood. The movie is tragic and heartfelt, with outstanding monologues by Patrick Stewart, striking imagery and a grounded, realistic feel that encompasses the tragedy that is Wolverine’s immortality. One scene, when Dafne Keen recites lines from cowboy-movie Shane is so beautiful and moving it had the entire Cinema as a sobbing wreck by the end.
All in all, Logan provides a perfect end to Hugh Jackman’s run as Wolverine, and sets up a whole new universe of possibilities for a budding universe of the X-Men. One of the best and most impressive comic book movies I have ever seen, and a worthy finale for the Wolverine saga.
to my friend Álvaro for his fantastic review, we went to see the film with other friends from school and I’m really glad he enjoyed it as much as I did.