‘Logan’ redefines superhero

By Grant Dillard, Contributing Writer

For almost two decades, Hugh Jackman has shined in his portrayal as the famous Marvel character, Logan, more commonly known as Wolverine. Being the last Wolverine film with Jackman playing the character of Logan, it would only be appropriate for “Logan” to be the best Wolverine film that it can be, as well as being a great way for fans and critics alike to say goodbye to Jackman’s portrayal of the character. Thankfully, “Logan” is an emotional and action packed send off, while also being one of the best superhero movies of all time.

“Logan” is set in 2029, when mutants are nearly extinct, with Logan and Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart) being among the very few remaining and in hiding. Logan works as a chauffeur, raising money for Xavier’s medication, as he is suffering from a degenerative brain disease that causes him to send out dangerous psychic paralysis attacks to other people. When a woman asks Logan to drive a girl named Laura (Dafnee Keen) to a safe haven in North Dakota, he accepts knowing that she’ll pay him greatly for it. Shortly after, he, Xavier and Laura find themselves being pursued by Donald Pierce (Boyd Holbrook) and his army of cybernetic soldiers, the Reavers. Along the journey to the safe haven, Logan and Xavier find there is more to Laura than they think, which ties into a sinister plot that led to the near extinction of mutants long ago.

For his final performance as Logan, Jackman gives it his absolute all. This is the most broken down and down-to-earth portrayal of the character that moviegoers will ever see and Jackman fully commits to his role. Thankfully, this isn’t the only great performance in “Logan,” as Stewart can be quite funny as a cranky old man, while also providing some of the film’s most emotional scenes. However, the show-stealer has to be Keen as Laura. Even without speaking any dialogue, she has this imposing stare and presence that makes her very intimidating towards others, even when she doesn’t attack anyone. She also handles her action scenes very nicely. It’s the best child performance since Millie Bobby Brown as Eleven in “Stranger Things.”

Viewers should know going in “Logan” is not a traditional “X-Men” film. Not only is the film very dark and grim in tone, but it’s also the most violent film in the series. But that doesn’t mean “Logan” is a bad film, by any means. There’s a lot of blood and severed limbs, but it never feels gratuitous. It feels necessary to tell the story. Still, this isn’t an “X-Men” movie to take the kids to. Though the film is a serious story, it’s not without its humorous moments. Thankfully, they don’t feel tacked on and end up compromising the film’s tone. Humor is used at the right times. Also, the climax isn’t a gigantic CGI-filled, world-ending battle like in “X-Men Apocalypse” or any other superhero film. It’s mainly Logan against Pierce and the Reavers in a forest setting. These differences in tone and storytelling help “Logan” stand out as its own film, instead of a typical superhero movie.

The only minor flaw of the film is the character of Caliban, who helps Logan look after Xavier while they’re hiding out. It’s not that he’s a terrible character, but it feels like he could’ve been switched out with anyone else. Nothing about him really stands out. Still, he functions fine for the story and Stephen Merchant does a good job in the role.

Great action, a good plot and powerhouse performances from its main cast helps “Logan” succeed. Not only is it a great film for Jackman to end his run as Wolverine on, but it’s also the best “X-Men” movie, as well as one of the best superhero movies of all time.