Logan

Logan ★★★★½

Hugh Jackman has played Logan/Wolverine for longer than any of the Bonds and is so indelibly associated with the role that there's never been any question of anyone else essaying it. He's an actor known for being a song and dance man on the boards yet has arguable become the most beloved of the comic book heroes, while never giving in to making the character overly sentimental.

In Logan we meet a broken man, exhausted from years of battle and trying to keep his head down in a world from which mutants have all but disappeared. But trouble never seems to be far away and when he has a young mutant foisted upon him, he finds himself on the run with an equally battered Professor X, played with both gravitas and humour by Patrick Stewart.

What follows is essentially a long chase movie but containing the best character scenes to appear in the X-Men film universe. Jackman is revelatory, giving his character hitherto unseen depth - his eyes evoking a war veteran who has suffered too many battles yet still capable of a brutal rage when those he is close to are threatened. I know I'm not the first to say this but I'm happy to echo others in saying it is a performance which is entirely deserving of higher recognition.

A shout out to young Dafne Keen as Laura, nearly wordless for the entire film yet able to evoke sympathy and surprise in equal measure. Stephen Merchant is initially unrecognisable as Caliban and nicely doesn't subscribe to type, his minor arc evoking a tragic life. And finally Boyd Holbrook, a seemingly indestructible human carries with him menace and malice without going over the top.

This is a comic book film which could work entirely outside the universe of the comic book and still be as utterly engaging as it is and that marks it out as a rarity. A film which transcends its genre while still using its best elements and one which, if it is the last film for Jackman as this now iconic film character, finishes at the summit. Long may Logan run.

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