Monday, 20 March 2017
Logan (5 Stars)
As soon as I saw the first trailer in the cinema I knew this would be a different sort of X-Men film. If anything, Hugh Jackman himself must have insisted on the film being a change from his previous roles as Wolverine. He said well in advance that he wanted his next film as Wolverine to be his last. After eight films spread out over 17 years he felt that he was growing too old to play the role. He wanted his ninth and last film to be different. He's succeeded.
During Wolverine's lifetime it was commonly assumed that he's immortal. In the chronology of the X-Men films he was more than 100 years when he joined the team. In "Logan" we see that he's not immortal, he just ages slowly. The film takes place in the near future, 2029. His healing powers are failing, and he takes longer to recover from injuries. Some injuries don't heal at all, as we see from the fact that he walks with a limp. He's given up being a hero and prefers to use his birth name, Logan. He's a limousine driver, struggling to make a living.
All of his former companions in the X-Men are gone, presumably dead. The only survivor is Charles Xavier, formerly one of the most powerful mutants on Earth. Charles is suffering from dementia and has trouble controlling his powers. He has frequent seizures that cause everyone around him pain or paralysis. Charles is being kept in a fortified building in an uninhabited territory in Mexico where he can't hurt anyone. Logan visits him and brings him medication to calm him down.
Logan can't escape the past, however much he tries. In Mexico a woman approaches him who recognises him as Wolverine. She begs him to take her 11-year-old daughter to North Dakota, but why?
The film tells a very powerful story. It's a dark story that takes place in a dark world. To say more would give away too much of the plot for those who haven't seen it yet. However much I may have liked Hugh Jackman in the past, in "Logan" he gives the best performance of his life. It's probably the best of the X-Men and Wolverine films so far. I'll have to watch all nine back to back to make sure.
Up until now it's the most successful film of 2017, having earned $523 million at the box office. That's well deserved. It's also my favourite film of the year so far.