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Logan Review (spoiler-free)

Different than most comic book movies, Logan is a brutal, character-driven film that focuses on an older Wolverine. With Hugh Jackman retiring as Wolverine, is Logan worthy of being Jackman's final entry into the X-Men movie franchise?

Logan Review

Introduction

After two disappointing standalone Wolverine movies, I didn't know what to expect from Logan. The X-Men series is full of great but also mediocre films and so I went in hoping for the best but sceptical that it might be another mediocre comic book movie. I can say that I was not at all disappointed.

Plot

Set in the year 2029, the mutant population is dying out. With the X-Men no more, Logan (Hugh Jackman) is in hiding, making a living as a chauffeur while also looking after a dying Charles Xavier (Sir Patrick Stewart). After a nurse reaches out to Logan to help her save Laura (Dafne Keen), a young mutant who is being hunted by a private army, Logan and Charles are forced to help them. Heading North to North Dakota, they need to get Laura to a mutant safe haven before she is taken out.

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Logan Review: Logan and Laura together
Written by Mangold, Scott Frank and Michael Green and directed by James Mangold, the plot is well thought out and immersive. The pacing is perfect, providing intense gory action scenes but also allowing for character development. From start to finish, the movie provided an emotional journey, making sure it tugged at the heartstrings of the audience.

My only problem with the plot is that it lacks a clear villain. The protagonists are being hunted by Transigen, a private military group. However, the film never really shows someone behind Transigen who is pulling all the strings and is a major threat to the main characters.

Characters and cast

A film can have a great plot, great cinematography and great set pieces but without a good cast, the movie will never be a masterpiece. Without a doubt, I can say that this is not the case for Logan which features a strong cast with well designed characters.

In Logan, Hugh Jackman reprises his role as Wolverine, displaying one of his best performances as the character yet. Charles Xavier is once again played by Patrick Stewart who manages to portray an older version of his character while also showing what makes him him. New to the X-Men films is Laura (also known as X-23) who is played by Dafne Keen. Being a child actor, I was curious as to how well Dafne would portray her character but she exceeded my expectations, doing an excellent job at showing the emotions that Laura would be going through. These three characters are central to the story and the writers have done a good job in developing their personalities and emotions.

Logan Review: Laura portrayed by Dafne Keen
The story allows for these three main characters to be developed and throughout the movie, you will find yourself growing attached to them and wanting them to succeed. I would compare the character development to The Last Of Us with ups and downs in the characters relationships.

effects and soundtrack

The first thing that jumped out to me when I watched Logan was the amount of gore in the fight scenes. Logan is often called an animal and this film put an image to that term. Slitting throats and decapitating body are just some of the actions that Wolverine is capable of. The budget of Logan was smaller than most of the other X-Men films but it doesn't need a big budget. The film is not about powerful world destroying mutants, it is about Logan and the person he has become. The violence helps the audience to understand how far he would go to protect the people that he loves.

Logan Review: Setting

Music has never been a strong point in the X-Men franchise and Logan is no exception. Even though the music is suitable to the atmosphere that the film is trying to create, it is nothing special like Star Wars or The Lord of the Rings.

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Conclusion

Logan is a different kind of film to what we expect from modern day superhero movies. Darker and more character driven than most of the other X-Men films, Logan is for people who want to see a more mature take on the character of Wolverine, years after his days saving the world. With an engaging plot and great cast, you will be routing for the characters to pull through as they embark on their emotional journey to find a mutant safe haven.

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