When Hugh Jackman put on the adamantium claws of the mutant Wolverine for Marvel’s adaptation of the X-Men comics to film, I suspect he didn’t think he would be playing that character for the next 17 years, including a three-film arc featuring only Wolverine. “Logan ,” the last of the Wolverine films shows an aging hero, bitter towards the world but with a heart in the right place that motivates his defining moments.
This is the most violent X-Men film I’ve ever seen. The violence was not unexpected, given the genre of film, but even for me (whose tolerance level for on-screen violence is fairly high) this was over the top, mostly because a good bit of it was perpetrated by children. This is definitely a film for adults only, and if you’re not a fan of the series, then don’t bother.
But if you are a fan and want to see the Wolverine’s story to its end (and know how to relegate the decapitations and other killings to the realm of cinematic storytelling), “Logan” gives the character an amazing sendoff.
“Logan” is really a Western/road trip movie. Set in 2029, Logan and Caliban (Stephen Merchant) care for an ailing Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart). They are the only mutants left, or so they think, until Charles senses the presence of a new mutant, a child, and she’s in trouble. Logan, whose own body is on its last legs due to adamantium poisoning, wants nothing to do with the girl, Laura (Dafne Keen), but Charles urges him to help her.
The posse after them is led by Pierce (Boyd Holbrook), who will stop at nothing to find Laura and bring her back to Dr. Rice (Richard E. Grant) who has been using the DNA of dead mutants to create an army of soldiers, training them as children to be killing machines. Some compassionate nurses at the facility steal the children away, heading for a place that will accept them as they are. Laura and her caregiver, Gabriela (Elizabeth Rodriguez), get separated from the rest. When Pierce kills Gabriela, Logan reluctantly agrees to take Laura to the rendezvous.
Logan is a man who follows his conscience. He does what is right, even though every adamantium-enhanced bone in his body tells him something else. He doesn’t want to care for Charles but Logan cannot abandon the man who helped him find purpose in his life. He doesn’t want to help Laura but Charles enables him to see that she is like he used to be and worthy of his care. He doesn’t want to stop with the Munson family but Charles, like the friend he is, encourages Logan to see what family and love really look like… and that family and love are worth dying for.
No matter how reluctant he is on a personal level, Logan listens to the better angels of his nature. Just when he is free to walk away, he chooses to aid, care for, and protect the vulnerable, regardless of the cost to himself. To Dr. Rice and Pierce, the children were only pawns in a play for power. To Charles and, eventually, to Logan, they were people with inherent human dignity, who only wanted the chance to live their lives to the full. Logan’s choices made those lives possible.