PLOT- James Mangold directs this final installment of the stand-alone Logan films, a branch of the X-Men franchise. Set in the near future, Logan (Hugh Jackman) is living just across the border in Mexico, working with Caliban (Stephen Merchant) to care for Charles (Patrick Stewart), who is sick and experiencing dementia. Charles is unable to control his powers and must be sedated with a regular course of medication. Logan is earning money by working as a limo driver and his alcohol problem is spiraling out of control.
Logan encounters a nurse, who reveals to him that she has been working at a clinic in Mexico that has been using mutant DNA to breed children to be used as warriors. When the children refuse to fight, the clinic shifts to a new project and attempts to destroy the children. With the help of sympathetic nurses, some of the children manage to escape, and now this nurse, has delivered Laura (Dafne Keen) to Logan. Laura has the same abilities as Logan and she was made with his DNA. The nurse asks Logan, offering him money, to take Laura to the safety of Canada.
When the clinic officials arrive at his Mexico hide-out to recapture Laura, Logan finds himself fleeing to the United States, with a wild child and a very sick elderly man. As Logan is trying to protect Laura and Charles, he is also suffering from an illness. Do they stand a chance against stronger forces hell-bent on capturing them? Can Logan survive his illness?
LIKE - Marvel films are hit and miss for me. However, I have an affinity for the X-Men franchise. I love the characters and that the films often have a decent story. Admittedly, not all of the films in the franchise have been good. The first stand-alone Logan film, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, was dreadful. However, I have enough faith in them, that I keep seeing each one on the big screen.
Start to finish, Logan was fantastic, and a great end to the story of Wolverine. What worked for me the most, was the emphasis on story and character development. The triangle between Logan/Charles/Laura, showing the three generations interacting, was powerful. Laura has never had a family and there are touching moments as she looks to Charles as a grandfather figure and to Logan as a father. The best moments are the ordinary moments, when their mutant powers have nothing to do with anything. For example, there is a lovely scene with Laura and Charles watching the classic movie, Shane, in a hotel room. This made me think of watching westerns with my uncle, how he shared his love of those movies with me. There is also a powerful sub-plot where the trio meets a farming family and is invited into their home for dinner. They experience a warm welcome, a home cooked meal, and they are even invited to spend the night. The normal moments are the most powerful.
Enough about the quiet moments, let's talk about those kick-ass action sequences. Logan is filled with intense action. The woman sitting next to me was literally sitting on the edge of her seat! I'm not sure how many of her own stunts she performed, but Keen holds her own fighting alongside Jackman, and they make a dynamic team. Logan is the first in the X-men franchise to get an "R" rating, and it is well-deserved for its violence. Heads (plural) roll, guts fly, and limbs are ripped off. It's exceptionally gory, and much of the gore involves kids. Besides the fighting violence, the subject matter of kids being experimented on and tortured is tough to watch.
I found Logan to be the most emotionally impactful film of the franchise. Don't bother waiting through the credits for an extra scene, as Logan simply ends without extras, fitting with the somber tone of the story. The film was preceded by a Logan specific teaser for the next Deadpool film. Very funny!
DISLIKE- Nothing. Logan is a solid action film, with strong characters, and a great story.
RECOMMEND- If you like the franchise, you should go see Logan. Visually, Logan is a film to see on the big screen, with the energy of a crowded theater. We even splurged for an IMAX screening and it was well-worth the extra money.