Before I talk about what’s good and what’s bad about this particular movie. Let’s start with a history lesson about the titular character. It’s been 17 years since the very first X-Men film came out. It became one of the most successful superhero films which went on to spawn sequels, prequels, & spin-offs. The X-Men franchise launched the career of Hugh Jackman as Wolverine. An iconic superhero with claws, animal like senses, & has the ability to rapidly heal injuries.
In the year 1974, Wolverine/Logan first appeared in his comic book debut featuring another iconic superhero, The Incredible Hulk. A year later, his next appearance finally established him as a member of the X-Men. As the years went by, Wolverine became more infamous as he finally got a series of comics in his solo adventures. Frank Miller who later moved on to write Batman: The Dark Returns, Sin City, & Daredevil comics, contributed with Marvel to write various storylines involving the character starting with Wolverine Volume #1. (This storyline was also loosely adapted to the 2013 film “The Wolverine”)
After X-Men: The Last Stand was released in 2006, it was time for 20th Century Fox to develop a spin-off film about the origin of the hot headed mutant’s mysterious past to come to life on the silver screen under the name “X-Men Origins: Wolverine.” As the film was released in 2009, it went on to become a box office success, however negative reactions from film critics & fans pointed out a lot of problems with this spin-off.
There wasn’t another Wolverine related film, until four years later, Fox decided to give Hugh Jackman a chance to star in a proper spin-off film called “The Wolverine.” This movie was the first collaboration between Hugh Jackman & film director James Mangold, who directed critically acclaimed films including Girl Interupted, Walk The Line, and 3:10 To Yuma. After the film’s release, it was a major improvement.
Hugh Jackman revealed the various reasons why he decided to put away the claws, is because he’s been battling skin cancer, and Jerry Seinfeld, a personal friend of his, stated to him that “The audience is going to dip over people to say, “Oh Please Go!” I understand what Seinfeld meant, it’s like a lightbulb that always shines a lot of energy, but eventually, it’ll just wear off and no longer work.
James Mangold also returned to direct Logan. Patrick Stewart reprises his role as Professor X, which is also his last film playing the character.
If you wanna watch this movie, it is a requirement to watch all the X-Men films to remember the good ol days before the last hurrah. This is also a SPOILER FREE review so feel free to read all about it!
Excellent & Negative Elements
Excellent: The plot of this film is inspired by the critically acclaimed series called “Old Man Logan”.
Fun Fact: The black outfit Wolverine mostly wears throughout the movie, is perhaps a nod to Johnny Cash’s iconic black suit. James Mangold directed the Johnny Cash biopic, “Walk The Line.”
Unlike most X-Men movies which are story driven, this picture is character driven filled with drama to show you how much Wolverine/Logan has gone through in the previous films. The superhero genre is deconstructed into a realistic mood. Think of it as “Unforgiven” meets Alejandro González Iñárritu’s “Biutiful.”
Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, & newcomer Dafne Keen, all did an amazing job as the characters they portrayed on the silver screen. Hugh deserves Bonus Points for his last hurrah. His compelling performance is next to Javier Bardem’s Oscar nominated performance in Biutiful.
James Mangold did an excellent job on directing the picture. He also wrote the script.
The tone of the movie is similar to Unforgiven about an aging outlaw’s one last job similar to Wolverine’s one last mission.
Chemistry between Wolverine, Professor X, & Laura/X-23, were balanced naturally.
If you grew up watching Wolverine or X-Men, it’s gonna be one heck of a sob fest. I have no choice but to give each sad moment a truckload of Extra Points with one scene that managed to make my eyes watery like a bowl of chop onions close to my face.
This depiction of Wolverine is brutal, battered depressed, angry, while he still has redeeming qualities. Again watch the previous X-Men movies and you’ll understand why he turned into a broken tin can.
Action Sequences are filled with blood & gore similar to most Wolverine comics. I think the decision to make it hard R was to really show the fans what defines Wolverine as a ferocious one man army, kinda like The Punisher. If you have a weak stomach, be prepared you might need a barf bag. Hugh reduced his salary in order to make the movie for the fans who want to see a bloodbath.
Practical Effects were used heavily, while the C.G.I. Effects were used sparingly.
Cinematography was very well done to make it resemble the old west for the outdoor scenes.
Johnny Cash’s song “When The Man Comes Around,” plays during The End Credits Sequence. A possible nod to James Mangold’s Johnny Cash’s biopic.
Negative: For the first time in a Wolverine related film, there wasn’t anything wrong with this picture. I’ll have to give this an Extra Point for The Cast & Crew for making this picture as flawless as possible.
Final Verdict: A, FOR APEX! (the highest rank for my grade scale)
I don’t want to give away any important plot points. Go out and see this movie. You’ll be very satisfied to see Hugh Jackman’s final swan song as the character that made him an A-list star. Logan is now one of my favorite movies of all time.
P.S. Hugh Jackman if you’re reading this, I want to thank you for portraying one of my favorite superheroes of all time. Next to Batman, Wolverine, Rocket Raccoon, Groot, Spawn, Raven & Punisher. I grew up watching the X-Men cartoon from The 90’s before the film series happened. Godspeed Mr. Jackman you’ll always be Wolverine because you’re the best & what you do. I hope you earn an Oscar nomination at The 2018 Academy Awards.