“Logan” is the latest attempt by Fox Studios to capitalize on its popular character Wolverine, played by Hugh Jackman for 16 years, and is Fox’s most successful attempt.
The movie’s plot takes place many years after any of the other X-Men movies. There aren’t even any X-Men left and apparently there are not any new mutants being born. Professor Xavier (Patrick Stewart) doesn’t run his school either. In fact, he’s barely functioning. Logan, the Wolverine, has been taking care of him for more than a year when the film begins. Then comes a strange girl named Laura (Dafne Keen) who posesses the same powers as Logan and is being chased by a small army. From this, the duo is forced to help her.
It is a different comic book movie than what has been flooding the market for the past few years. “Logan” starts off with a tone more in line with a Conan Brother’s film than an X-Men movie. The actors play their characters as world-weary and past their prime. Ironically, this tiredness is refreshing. It’s different, and that is needed in this saturated market.
The acting in this movie is fantastic. Jackman and Stewert deliver compelling performances, but both are seasoned actors. Keen’s performance was perfect for the role. She conveys a lot of emotion and depth with no dialogue outside of screaming. At least for the first half of the movie. When she starts to have dialogue, the character becomes weaker, although this reflects on the screenplay more than Keen.
There is a huge tonal shift during the second half of the film. The fight choreography in the first half is visceral, and each punch and gunshot wound has an impact on the characters. After the second half, punches are thrown, bullets are taken and the characters keep going with their fights.
There is also the introduction of more children that become important in the latter half. This honestly raises a few questions that aren’t addressed. Mainly in the fact that they are indistinguishable from normal children in demeanor and attitude, despite all on them having nearly the same origin as Laura, who the movie goes out of its way to show as unusual and overly violent.
The color and lighting also become lighter and loses a bit of the grittiness that the first half had. While that isn’t inherently a bad thing, it does create a conflict between the first and second half’s tone.
The first half of the movie is stronger than the last. There is a lot of build-up that doesn’t quite have the impact that it should have, but it’s still a good movie.
Despite its problems, “Logan” is by far the best of the many stand-alone Wolverine movies that Fox has produced. And the film itself is well-made and well-acted. And the plot, while leaving something to be desired, is still compelling enough that you want to know what happens next.