Logan: A Brutally Intense and Gripping Superhero Drama that Pierces through the Heart
Logan. Laura. Dystopia.
How do you give a beloved yet battle-scarred mutant anti-hero a proper sendoff that he truly deserves? Claw his heart out, separate his flesh from adamantium, dissect his whole being and leave just enough of his ‘healing powers’--not to cure him or numb the pain but to prolong the agony so as to make sense of his predicament before the inevitable happens.
‘Logan’ is not your typical ‘super hero’ film because if you remove the ‘super powers’, it feels more like a claustrophobic western that chronicles the last throes of our anti-hero’s life in a dystopic world. He has accepted that the end is near; he just wants to go out in his own terms.
The year is 2029 and mutants have been almost hunted down to extinction. Logan and fellow exiles Caliban (Stephen Merchant) and the ailing Professor X (Patrick Stewart)--whose episodic seizures produce psychic shock waves that can injure or kill hundreds of people--have sought refuge in an abandoned smelting plant on the outskirts of El Paso, Texas to survive, but barely. They’re wasting away—shadows of their former selves--and noticeably bitter because they’ve lived quite a life and have seen some shit! Their seemingly despondent existence only found a sense of purpose when one day, a mysterious girl with extraordinary powers appeared at their doorstep. Amidst the despair and abject suffering, they must once and for all get their acts together to protect the girl from the dark forces that are out to kill her.
Director James Mangold helmed this brutally epic saga perhaps for the very last time and did so with such proficiency and care. He meticulously fleshed out every character in the film and expertly crafted a taut and violently dramatic story without being contrived and hammy. Hugh Jackman on the other hand, delivered in my opinion, the most visceral performance not just in the Wolverine franchise but perhaps in his career. It’s amazing to think that he’s been slicing and dicing mutants and people in the silverscreen for the past 17 years and still he’s able to reveal layers of the Wolverine we haven’t seen before.
The drive to 'Eden'.
The supporting cast was magnificent as well. Patrick Stewart was delightfully unapologetic in his rendering of a befuddled Professor X and Laura/X-23 (played by Dafne Keen) was captivating. The seamless combination of her innocence and ferocity was fascinating to watch.
What I especially like about this film is that it’s populated with equally flawed characters with disparate agenda but with one common language—violence! Once the slashing begins, it becomes a glorious free-for-all bloodbath and its damn beautiful to watch! Having said that, the movie doesn’t feel like a comic book at all because there’s a real sense of urgency. You actually feel worried about the welfare of the main characters because they’re painfully relatable and it’s almost natural to get emotionally invested in them.
‘Logan’ is a grippingly violent superhero drama that pierces through the heart. It is a skillfully crafted and satisfyingly moving elegy of a superhero franchise that we’ve come to love for almost two decades.