This review WILL contain spoilers. The most important thing about “LOGAN” is the R-Rating. It wasn’t the perfect film, but it was just about as close as you’ll get to the perfect WOLVERINE movie. Seeing the blood gush across the screen like a Rainbow Six Terrorist Hunt was as pleasing as hearing Sir Patrick Stewart dropping F-bombs. I’ll get to what I didn’t like, but I just want to be clear that I LOVED everything that came along with LOGAN’s mature branding.
I usually put a lot of weight into the villain of a superhero film, but despite LOGAN disappointing in that department, it managed to do a lot of things well. There were some baddies working against our heroes, but the true enemies were everyone’s flaws. Xavier’s age has dwindled his control over his insanely powerful mind (a “WEAPON OF MASS DESTRUCTION” according to the film), Logan’s adamantium has nearly stopped his healing process, and X-23 is a breathing weapon created by “THE MAN”. Even Caliban gives into his own cowardice, and reverts to his old stool pigeon ways when push comes to shove, which causes him great inner-turmoil.
Dr. Rice and Pierce were pretty generic in everything from character to performance. Richard E. Grant is a homeless man’s Christopher Walken, and Boyd Holbrook is the guy you get when Ben Foster is booked. They were basically just dogs chasing our merry band of Mutants. The worst part of all the evil-doers was when a straight-up Wolverine Clone came to main event the film. It feels like everyone from Iron Man to Superman has faced what is essentially a mirror match in the last 10 years of Superhero flicks, and it was bummer Wolvie went out to such a lackluster storytelling device. I mean, he’s already faced Sabertooth, who is already just a crappier Wolverine.
Stephen Merchant’s Caliban was a scene-stealer, but no one will come close to the breakout performance of Dafne Keen’s Laura/X-23. I’m still not too sure where child acting falls in the big scheme of child labor, but I was genuinely impressed with Keen’s turn. I’ve always been a big fan of the Weapon-X/X-23 dynamic, and it was handled as the main focus of LOGAN. Hugh Jackman may never play Wolverine again, but I doubt anyone else will ever be able to shine as character on-screen.
James Mangold pushed this film in the right direction from the start of production, and he came away with the best X-Men (related) film to-date. Using actual comic books/comic art was a great touch, and shout-out to Elizabeth Rodriguez from “Orange is the New Black” as Gabriela.
Recommendation: See in theaters.