Hugh Jackman has played Wolverine for 17 years. The first X-Men film came out in the summer of 2000. I remember seeing it when I was 16 years old. We, as audience members and fans, have been extremely lucky that Jackman has been willing to play the character for so long. But obviously all good things must come to an end and so Jackman has stated that Logan is his final outing as the metal-clawed superhero and it’s an excellent film to go out on.
The film is set in 2029 (possibly making Wolverine close to 200 years old!) and the majority of mutants are extinct. Charles Xavier is still around (played, of course, by Patrick Stewart) although he’s having trouble controlling his powers. He’s prone to seizures now and when he has them, it’s potentially fatal for anyone nearby. Logan is working as a limo driver trying to save money for a boat so he and Xavier can live on the water and be safe from the rest of the world (as well as make the rest of the world safe from Xavier and his killer seizures).
When a woman shows up with a young girl asking Logan to help get them to North Dakota, he initially declines. He doesn’t care about anyone. He just wants to buy his boat and leave. She offers him a substantial amount of money that he can’t refuse. But before he can help, the woman is murdered leaving the girl stranded and chased by a secretive military-esque team led by Pierce, played by Boyd Holbrook. There’s more than meets the eye with this young girl named Laura and Logan eventually starts to feel protective of her.
The film is the first time we’ve had an R rated Wolverine film (or X-Men film for that matter, if you don’t count Deadpool) and it’s surprising it’s taken 17 years for it happen. The violence is brutal but works really well (and makes sense with Wolverine’s claws). The language didn’t bother me but it was a little weird hearing Xavier say the “F” word in the beginning of the movie. It felt out of character but he’s not exactly himself in that scene and, in fact, chides Logan for using language later in the movie, which was funny.
The acting in the film is fantastic. There’s been some talk of Oscar buzz for Hugh Jackman and while it’s nice thought, it’ll never happen. Logan might get an Oscar nomination in a technical category but it’s March release makes it virtually disqualified for the big categories. Movies released early in the year are basically forgotten by Oscar season. Let’s hope I’m wrong.
The film isn’t flawless but it’s pretty close. The villains aren’t the strongest although Boyd Holbrook seems to be having a lot of fun with his character. The movie also felt a tad bit long. It’s run time is 2 hours and 17 minutes according to IMDb, but it felt more like 2 and a half hours to me. I’m basically being nit-picky though.
It’s definitely a movie worth seeing and it’s easily the best solo Wolverine movie we’ve had. I’m not sure yet where I would rank it amongst the rest of the X-Men films but it’s a good bet that it’d be near the top.
I give it an A-