Originally published on CommonSpace.
Logan (Hugh Jackman) has a habit of begrudgingly being dragged into situations rather than make the first move, and that’s no different here, but where before he refused because he didn’t care or couldn’t be bothered, this Logan is battered and bloodied, physically unable to keep up.
He and Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart) are elderly shades of the people they were at the height of their powers.
Xavier is communicating mentally with the young Laura (Dafne Keen), determined as always to protect those hunted because of their differences. After a bloody massacre, Logan turns into Hanna as the trio attempt to keep their heads down while searching for safety.
A warm home welcomes Logan and his companions, something which his anger and lack of self-worth have kept him from having. This sense of a lost and misspent life is prevalent, as the ageing X-Men come to terms with what they have done, and what they have missed out on.
Jackman completely unleashes Wolverine, fully realising a character he has spent almost 20 years cultivating. Restrained by age-certificates until now, this 15-rated film dispenses with filters on violence and language, allowing this interpretation of Logan to turn it up to 11.
Far from just a swearier and bloodier Marvel film, this is one for the grown-ups, with issues of mortality, violence towards minorities, and collateral damage in war taking centre stage.
Dafne Keen is excellent as the stoic and aggressive, yet still childlike, Laura. It’s a visual performance due to her silence for much of the film, and her expressions and attitude nail the character as she is – just another bloody Wolverine.
One of the strongest entries in the X-Men series, Logan gives familiar faces greater depth, is maturely paced, and earns its adult tone allowing it to navigate fresh territory.
If this is Jackman’s last outing as the titular hero, then it’s a strong entry to bow out on.