Director: James Mangold
Cast: Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, Dafne Keen, Boyd Holbrook, Stephen Merchant, Richard E. Grant, Eriq La Salle, Elizabeth Rodriguez
Plot: In the near future, Logan, now a tired man looking after an aging and weak Charles Xavier, finds himself in charge of protecting an 11 year old mutant girl from her former captors.
Review: Wolverine's long 17 year journey through film comes to an end at last here, and it is bloody well done, pun not intended.
It's the future, and the X-Men no longer exist. All that's left is Logan, no longer the Wolverine, who works as a limo driver and looks after Charles Xavier, now 90 years old and prone to seizures, which for a telepath, causes everyone around him to suffer tremendously. One day, a Mexican woman asks him for help to get to North Dakota; she and an 11 year old girl are on the run from dangerous people. Logan reluctantly agrees since he needs the money, but things go south pretty quick when the bad people show up, all armed to the teeth and they have no issues about killing. Here's where we discover that the girl is special. She is a mutant, who is related to Logan, and is pretty much like him too.
If you're a comic reader, you would know that the girl is Laura Kinney aka X-23, Logan's clone daughter. She is played here by Dafne Keen, who is simply superb in portraying a feral child with claws. Watching her take down men twice her size is a lot of fun, and Keen's performance as a younger, more animalistic version of Wolverine is remarkable. She is yet another child actor bound for greatness.
Hugh Jackman's ninth and final appearance as Logan may be his best one ever. With his healing factor failing him, Logan is dying a slow death, and has become more vulnerable and resentful than ever. Essentially he's still a good man, which is why he can't turn his back on Laura when she needs him. Jackman is intense and emotionally tired as Logan, and he couldn't have done a better job. Patrick Stewart, also making a final appearance as Charles Xavier, puts in a splendid performance here as a near senile man, prone to dangerous seizures. Gone is the man who taught mutants at his school, and only a shell of a professor remains. Stewart's performance is so tragic, and yet it still carries hope. I think Jackman and Stewart ought to be seriously considered for Oscars by the Academy here.
Boyd Holbrook and Richard E Grant are solid as the film's villains, particularly the former as Donald Pierce (whom comic fans will recognize as leader of the Reavers). Also worth mentioning are Stephen Merchant as Caliban, a mutant who helps Logan take care of Xavier, and ER's Eriq La Salle as a farmer who gives refuge to Logan during his journey.
Director James Mangold, who had directed The Wolverine, pulls out all the stops in ensuring Logan gets a memorable farewell. Most obvious here is the R rating, which makes this X-Men film the most violent one you'll ever see, and no cartoonish Deadpool type violence here. This is as bloody and brutal as it gets, as people get clawed, stabbed and decapitated. So don't bring your kids to this one, folks. But more importantly, Mangold, drawing some inspiration from the Old Man Logan comic arc, presents a story that is touching and sad at the same time. It's definitely not the average X-Men type film, or even an average comic book film for that matter. Logan is like a modern day western, and Mangold even uses Johnny Cash's music and excerpts from Shane to make it work. Despite all the brutality that takes place on screen, it's really a beautiful film.
The only issue I have with this film is the editing, as it felt a bit long at times. But honestly, Logan is a phenomenal film overall. As Wolverine has always been my favorite character, it made me feel sad to see him go, but I think he couldn't have gone out a better way than this. Recommended. (9/10)