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Wolverine Tries Living His Life As Logan...As Well As James
The future of the X-Men does not look upbeat, given the scenario of the movie Logan. Set in 2029, Logan (Hugh Jackman) has aged as a result of forced experimentation. This experimentation has led to the virtual extinction of mutant humans, with none being born for 25 years. He has a serious drinking problem, and lays low under his true identity of James Howlett, making a living as a limo driver in Texas. One day, a nurse named Gabriella Lopez (Elizabeth Rodriguez), recognizes Logan and asks a big favor of him. She's on the run with a girl named Laura (Dafne Keen), who has the strength and the weaponry of Wolverine. Gabriella offers Logan a huge sum of money to take her to a safe haven in North Dakota. He soon encounters Donald Pierce (Boyd Holbrook), the security chief at Transigen, a Mexican genetic engineering facility where Laura and Gabriella once were. Pierce wants help finding the pair, but Logan again refuses.
Another reason for Logan's refusal is that he and the mutant tracker Caliban (Stephen Merchant) have been caring for the ailing Professor Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart). Professor X now goes in and out of lucidity, which often leads to tremors in the area surrounding them. Wolverine and Caliban use medicine to control Xavier's episodes. When Logan finally accepts the job, he finds Gabriella dead, and Laura in hiding. Pierce and a contingent of Reavers pursue the pair to the hideout, where they and Xavier escape. Pierce forces Caliban to track the trio, which leads to a violent encounter in Oklahoma. With Pierce and the Reavers is Dr. Zander Rice (Richard E. Grant) and another Transigent creation named X-24 (also Jackman), which seems to be a lab-enhanced version of Wolverine.
Logan has been billed as the final Wolverine performance for Jackman, as well as the final turn as Xavier by Stewart. The story in Logan continues a story thread in X-Men: Apocalypse, and shows the effects of confinement Wolverine experienced during his time in the Weapon X project. His body has lost some of its healing ability. The same has happened to Xavier, except that Weapon X played no part in the deterioration of the 90-year-old professor. While superhuman ability plays a role in the movie, director James Mangold, whose credits also include Walk The Line, puts more of an emphasis on action as Pierce relentlessly follows Logan and company on their journey. Viewers might wonder, though, why, given the events shown near the end of the film, Pierce didn't come after the surviving X-Men to help until Laura went on the run. Still, Mangold presents a moving portrait of men showing their greatest humanity in the face of possible mortality.
Jackman gives a strong performance as Logan, a man who has witnessed more than a century of inhumanity, and sometimes has been a part of the atrocity. Here, he tries to stop a bigger atrocity as he learns about Laura and her man-made gifts. He sees the X-Men comics that Gabriella had in her possession, and thinks they're just stories. Yet, Logan knows he has to see for himself if the stories have any truth, since a story is better than letting Pierce have Laura. Stewart shows an even infirm Xavier still can have influence over Wolverine. When he sees motorist Will Munson (Eriq LaSalle) in trouble, Xavier convinces Wolverine to pull over and run around driverless trucks to assist. Keen makes an impressive screen debut as Laura, a young warrior who speaks little but defends herself with the same sort of intensity as the man whose DNA helped to create her. She also shows some comic skill as she grabs whatever she wants in a convenience store, unaware of the concept of payment. Holbrook is sinister and merciless as Pierce, the Transigen chief who will do anything to stop Laura and anyone abetting her.
Over the course of seventeen years, Wolverine has played some role in every X-Men-related release. Logan brings a sense of closure to the saga of Wolverine. In Logan, viewers see a man living with the effects of his time in the Weapon X project, and coming to grips with other aging mutants. The days of the big differences between Howlett and Xavier are over, as they and Caliban to protect a young mutant from forces who see her as expendable. Logan is a somber reflection on a man who has tired of fighting, yet does so once again. Logan might be to the X-Men franchise what The Shootist was to the career of John Wayne. Logan ultimately shows that time is finite, even for those with unusual attributes.
On a scale of zero to four stars, I give Logan 3.5 stars. A fitting way to end to close the Wolverine trilogy.