Logan ★★★★

"Don't be what they've made you."

Logan is Hugh Jackman's last outing as Wolverine AKA Logan AKA James Howlett, a role Jackman has played for 17 years since Bryan Singer's first X-Men film back in 2000. This time, the story takes place in 2029, mutants are now a dying race, and Logan is keeping himself busy as a limousine driver in order to finance a boat for him and Professor Charles Xavier. He eventually learns of Laura, also known as X-23, a young child with powers similar to his own, and he must help her get to safety along with other young mutants on the run from the Alkali-Transigen corporation, who has been keeping tabs on the current development of mutants.

As someone who has never seen any of Wolverine's standalone films, but someone who has seen every other X-Men film, I wasn't entirely sure what to expect outside of a good film, based on the critical and audience reception of the film. I definitely got a good film out of this, one of the greater character pieces among superhero films, but it also stutters on certain aspects.

What I liked the most about Logan was its direction. James Mangold did his best to show the faltered world of mutants by portraying the main characters at their most vulnerable, both physically and emotionally, while the film also thankfully does not hold back in terms of its use of violence. Logan is shown not only as the feral warrior and magnificent bastard I have enjoyed in his previous outings (let's face it, I like Hugh Jackman and his performances, but James Howlett is a bit of an asshole as a character), but he is also shown as a man at the brink of death, due to his faltering body giving into adamantium poisoning, and also a man who has been wounded mentally due to past tragedy and an implied involvement in the massive reduction of mutant presence in the current world. We see Charles Xavier in a similar manner, giving in to a degenerating brain and his sense of guilt over aforementioned past tragedy, and he also gives off a great and funny performance here. The film had a general western feel to it, and it felt fitting, taken the circumstances of the plot into consideration, as the death of long-living superhero is given the gritty treatment he deserves. Respect to Mangold's direction and writing on my behalf, especially since he got great performances out of Stephen Merchant, who gives us a rather sympathetic, yet poignant portrayal of Caliban, and Dafne Keen as Laura/X-23, who was the badass surprise package of the film. It is also worth noting that X-Men comics exist in this universe, and honestly, I kind of loved how they were used to inspire hope in Laura, even if Logan does his best in terms of debunking them.

While I praise the direction and writing a lot, I also have to say it has a tendency to trip over itself at times. A blatant reference is made to the classic western Shane, a film I admittedly haven't seen, but with the amount of references and shots taken from it in this film, I could easily what plot points were borrowed, and it did come off to me as if the film couldn't completely carve out its own identity. It didn't help either some of the dialogue had a tendency to spell out plot points without any degree of restraint, and the clichéd last-minute exposition video made by Gabriela felt contrived, as I kept wondering why the fuck Alkali-Transigen allowed anyone to film their experiments instead of getting immersed into the haunting surroundings Laura had found herself in. I also have to point out that the antagonists were way too bland for my liking, and I wonder why Boyd Holbrook was cast in this. He felt extremely out ouf place, and his Donald Pierce would have benefitted from being played a more charismatic actor. Holbrook might not be as bland as Jai Courtney or Joel Kinnaman, but he's pretty damn close!

In conclusion, Logan was damn fine finale to Hugh Jackman's run as Wolverine. There's no holds barred, and it is great sight to behold. It is definitely my second favorite X-Men related film, with Days of Future Past still remaining at number one for me.

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