Film review: Logan

In the opening scene of this latest film in the Wolverine sci-fi series, it is clear the ageing Logan isn’t well.

Mar 02, 2017, updated Mar 02, 2017

He is dishevelled and groggy when awoken from a restless sleep in the back of his stretch limousine by a gang stealing his hubcaps. He deals with them, but not as efficiently as he would have in the past.

The once-powerful mutant is working as a limo driver, drinking heavily and obviously the worse for wear (although, being played by Hugh Jackman, he still looks pretty good).

Logan’s mentor, Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart ), is also on his last legs and being cared for by the albino Caliban (Stephen Merchant) in an isolated industrial building in a desolate area south of the US border.

The trio’s unique powers are waning; like everyday citizens, they are just getting through each day, dependent on their various medicines. They are also in conflict because Wolverine believes they are the last of their kind but Xavier senses there are young mutants in the world somewhere.

Logan’s desire for anonymity and a quiet life is interrupted by a woman, Gabriela (Elizabeth Rodriguez), who wants him to drive her and a mysterious little girl called Laura (Dafne Keen) to North Dakota. He isn’t interested, but the appearance of the menacing cyborg Pierce (Boyd Holbrook) helps convince him to undertake the journey to get Laura to safety so that she can hopefully meet up with other young mutants.

Although there is an abundance of fight scenes, the focus of the film is on whether Logan, while feeling like putting a bullet to his head after essentially living life as a loner, may instead search for domestic contentment.

Jackman (for whom this is likely to be his final appearance as Wolverine) and Stewart give powerful and moving performances, managing to combine strength and fragility in their portrayals. Merchant is excellent as the servile, self-sacrificing Caliban, and Richard E Grant is a malevolent presence as Dr Rice, who aims to breed Mexican mutants to serve as ultimate fighting machines in the military. The young Dafne Keen also has a wonderful screen presence, driving the emotional scenes.

Logan has the usual Marvel battles but is more of a domestic drama which works on several levels.

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