<Review by: Sailesh Ghelani>
Directed by James Mangold. Starring Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, Boyd Holbrook, Stephen Merchant, Dafne Keen, Richard E Grant, Elizabeth Rodriguez
Running time: 2 hours 15 minutes
As this universe bids farewell to the old X-Men, Logan and Professor X get touching, if extremely violent, goodbyes in the intense Logan.
No matter how many films and Broadway shows he does, Hugh Jackman will forever be remembered as Wolverine aka Logan.
Logan is less super hero film and more of an action-thriller with a substantial body count. Don’t expect most of the people in the film to survive till the end! Also, probably not a movie you’ll want your 10-year-old to watch.
It is, however, great adult action entertainment that stands apart from the formula, humour-filled, CGI-enhanced drivel that Marvel serves up every year in the name of the Avengers. Logan is real, gritty, hard-hitting, ferocious filmmaking.
In the year 2029, mutants have been wiped out by the evil Dr Rice. A handful of mutants live in hiding scattered here and there. Logan (Hugh Jackman) is old, tired, sick and abusing different substances to speed him along the road to death. By night he drives a to-hire Limo and by day he takes care of Professor Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart) and nonagenarian mutant with a brain that has degenerated into an out of control killing machine. Logan gets him drugs and his assistant Caliban (Stephen Merchant) the tracker plays nursemaid.
But a new mutant child named Laura (Dafne Keen) changes Logan’s plans as she decapitates brawny bad guys with her claws on her way to Eden – a mysterious place where old and new mutants apparently seek sanctuary. Logan and Charles must take a road trip that leaves in its wake a river of blood in order to get her to safety. In the bargain, we learn about Logan, his misery, his guilt and his love for Charles, who has always been his father figure.
The first half of the film, Laura doesn’t speak and that’s the most intense and enjoyable part. Watching her eyes contort with anger as she swirls in the air ripping off heads and dismembering bodies both disturbing and fulfilling. This isn’t a film that plays nice where it comes to who gets to live and who dies.
Patrick Stewart and Hugh Jackman get to show a different side to the personas, which is a welcome change. There are very few times when you even realise you’re watching a work of fiction. Raw emotions, pain, longing, regret, hope and fear are on display far more than CGI. Which is a treat. It’ll make you cry, grimace, get angry and be at peace. The X-Men were our first modern introduction to superheroes way before Marvel’s Avengers and so will always hold a special place in a fan boy’s heart.
PS: I’m still a bit confused about how Professor X’s character was resurrected from the dead but then the X-men timeline has gotten quite confusing.