As someone who has spent his entire life with these characters (when X-MEN released, I was five), LOGAN resonated with me more than any superhero movie to release this decade. I have countless memories seared into my mind of watching the original X-Men movies, led by Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine and Patrick Stewart’s Professor X, over and over and over again until the tape wore out.
Looking back, Bryan Singer’s X-Men movies aren’t really that good (even X2), but when you’ve been watching the same actors play the same characters for close to your entire lifetime, a movie like LOGAN is able to come along and absolutely destroy you.
This last outing from Hugh Jackman as the titular character is a boundary-free powerhouse filled with just the right doses of adrenaline and sympathy.
On the one hand, we have Wolverine in his final movie, which is a long-requested and unbelievably satisfying R-rated escapade into the madness of the beast we know from the comics. Director James Mangold holds nothing back. This is the Wolverine movie fans have been asking for for over a decade. There are severed heads, limbs, blood stained clothing, and blood splattered walls. Everything any X-Men comic lover who has been baffled by the strange attempts to bring the team to the screen in the past need not worry. This is what fans have been craving for almost two decades.
On the other hand, this is Wolverine’s last movie, and with that comes a looming sense of dread, sorrow, regret, and hopelessness. Hugh Jackman has long been my favorite on-screen superhero. His performance has been truly flawless for all these years. But LOGAN is something truly special. This isn’t just the best performance he has given as Logan, but this is maybe he best performance of his entire career (and it’s stacked with good ones).
How fitting that in a time when people are forecasting a break in the never ending deluge of comic-book movies to the degree of them going “the way of the western,” a comic-book movie would come along and literally go the way of the western.
Every shot of the rural, dirt-filled terrain is allegorical of the aging titular character himself, a more beaten, broken, and filthy man than he was long before.
“The world’s not the same it was,” Logan says to Charles at one point, and under Mangold’s direction, neither is the series.
LOGAN may just be one of the great comic-book movies, and I haven’t been able to say that for a long time.
Saying “It’s THE DARK KNIGHT for the X-Men movies” only cheapens it.
It is an absolute triumph.