By: Muneeb Arshid

Well, what do you know, we got ourselves a great X-Men film. Something that was really amiss from last year’s slate from Fox Studios. And when I say a great X-Men film, I mean a great superhero film in general.

Logan will make you laugh, hurt you (physically and emotionally) and leave you in a distraught state making you wish that this was the type of film that regularly came out from the superhero genre behemoths.

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Hugh Jackman as James “Logan” Howlett in Logan

Logan follows Logan, the Wolverine that we all know, in the year 2029, living conspicuously in Texas after Mutants have seemingly disappeared due to severe persecutions by the government. He drives a limousine to hide his true identity but we find out that he is hiding his past across the border in Mexico. Eventually, the past catches up

Eventually, the past catches up with him and he becomes responsible for a young girl named Laura (Dafne Keen) who is part of a group of children who have been raised at Transigen, a company responsible for the X-23 project that has been breeding mutant children like Laura. Now, there is a special connection between Laura and Logan which forces Logan to take care of her and eventually accompany her to North Dakota so she can be safe with the rest of her friends.

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Dafne Keen as Laura and Hugh Jackman as Logan in Logan

In the meantime, Logan has to deal with his own health issues, with a degrading Adamantium skeleton that is starting to poison his body, to a special visitor that he is taking care of at his compound in Mexico. Yes, that visitor is Professor Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart), who’s special mind has now degraded to a point where even he has trouble taking control of what might happen. However, it is still the same Xavier that we’ve come to know, and possibly, one of the better performances in this universe.

However, as the title alludes to, this film is all about Logan. This is the quintessential Wolverine film that we’ve been waiting for. It has taken almost 17 years for that to happen, but we finally do get it. And the timing does make sense, Logan might not have made much sense had it been released earlier in the universe; but this far down the line, it’s about time we see a gritty, dark, real film about the Wolverine, a character for whom a dark, sultry film makes the most sense.

 

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Hugh Jackman as Logan and Stephen Merchant as Caliban in Logan

 

Hugh Jackman always seemed out of place in the previous incarnations of the X-Men films, films that were much more jovial than the brooding character that we’ve become accustomed to. Okay fine, Jackman didn’t have much to do with that, he was just following through with the scripts, but the Wolverine was always an odd one. Until now; now it makes sense as to why his character was so broody and pissed off all the time, however, it never would’ve made sense until we got a stand-alone Wolverine film centred around the titular character. The previous two stand-alone films didn’t exactly accomplish that, but Logan definitely hits the ball on a film that fits the character.

The film itself is immaculately made, from the way its shot to the beautiful score used to the sparsity of the action sequences. It really does feel like a superhero drama interspersed with a few action sequences. At points, you even forget that this was a superhero film, rather you’re glued watching this character piece about someone who has always been an intriguing mess. And that is where the film succeeds. Director James Mangold makes you forget about the genre and makes you focus on who this film is about and that is something that the superhero genre hasn’t necessarily figured out just yet. Fewer characters can make a very strong film rather than pumping up a film full of “162 characters”.

 

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Sir Patrick Stewart as Professor Charles Xavier and Hugh Jackman as Logan in Logan

 

Logan sets the bar for the 2017 releases of superhero films quite high and we’ll have to wait and see how the rest of the year fairs in this genre. Next up, will be a much more light-hearted film in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 but there could another gritty film out there that could top Logan. We’ll just have to wait and see.

Logan receives a grade of A (9.1/10) from the The Film Lawyers.

 

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