…Show Your Claws
Official SPOILER ALERT: If you haven’t seen “Logan,” proceed with caution.
“Logan,” the final film in the Wolverine trilogy, has been a long time coming. Nearly two decades after his first appearance in 2000’s “X-Men,” Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine has appeared in nine X-Men films to date. There have been highs and lows, with the first two Wolverine films unfortunately falling into the latter category.
Throughout all the films the human and the animal side of this beloved X-Men character have been in constant conflict. On one side, there’s Logan who’s haunted by his past and struggles with his role as hero or antihero. On the other, there’s Wolverine who acts on pure instinct and seems unaware of the body count that’s piling up around him.
With “Logan,” director James Mangold shows us a Wolverine who is finally facing his own demons. Slowly poisoned by the Adamantium used to enhance his powers, he faces his own mortality.
In this film we see a tired and worn down Logan who continues to fight. We see him as a caregiver, first to the ailing Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart), who’s powerful mind has become prone to seizures which paralyze all those around him, and later to Laura (Dafne Keene) a young mutant with powers identical to his own.
Unwillingly tasked with delivering Laura to a mutant safe haven known as “Eden,” Logan finds himself on the run from Weapon X, the same government program that turned him into Wolverine. While dealing with his own failing health and that of Professor X, our antihero struggles to safely transport the group to Eden, despite his own misgivings.
“Logan,” is by far the most graphic of the X-Men films, but it uses this heightened violence for a purpose. Logan will soon have to answer for his crimes, the comic book filter, that once glossed over the lives taken, has been removed. Knowing that his own end is near, there’s a visible struggle with each kill. Not necessarily remorse, but an awareness of the weight that comes with taking another human life.
It takes on the feel of an old western at times. A style that, it’s made clear, is not unintentional. It’s a movie about redemption. It’s very dark at times, but ends with hope. Although, it’s a hope that comes with at a cost.
A far cry from the original X-Men films, it’s the first Wolverine film that truly fits the character. It’s dark, complex, gritty and real. It seems a shame that it took three films to get here, but it’s the farewell that Wolverine and his fans deserve.
…just for fun: