The X-Men franchise is a strange, haphazard juggernaut with a continuity that’s impossible to explain, but there’s always been a few constants amidst the chaos.
Chief among them is Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine, who’s clocked an appearance of some kind in every single X-Men movie since the series began in 2000. No other actor has played a comics character for anywhere close to as long as Jackman’s 17 years. Suffice to say, there were plenty of expectations riding on his swansong, Logan.
It delivers. After the confounding mess of X-Men: Origins was followed up by The Wolverine, which delivered a strong character arc and keen eye for influences only to capitulate into formula at the last gasp, Logan completes that upward swing in quality.
There are some unavoidable flaws here, but Jackman has completed his stint by finally delivering the definitive Wolverine movie.
WARNING: SPOILERS FROM HERE ON…
It’s deeply surprising to see just how intimate and minimalist Logan is in tone. It’s a movie primarily set in barren, scorched deserts and plains on the fringes of a quietly crumbling society represented in a border area cracked by unarticulated tensions or in a shiny environment of blaring advertising and utter self-absorption, rather than the glossy cityscapes of most comic book movies.
It’s no wonder that the most conventionally futuristic imagery in the movie are the flashing billboards. The only things at threat are the survival of a handful of mutant children who are escaping from their oppressors, and it’s all the better for it.
At its heart, Logan is a story of decay and renewal. Especially in the first act, it doesn’t shy away from the uncomfortable details of the former, painstakingly illustrating the crumbling of body and soul in once mighty heroes.
This decay is felt most acutely in Professor …