‘Logan’ Is A Beautifully, Tragic Sendoff To the X-Men Universe As We Know It

Logan
8.9 Overall Score

When we tend to think of movie universes about comic books, your mind might immediately go to the Marvel Extended Universe. In fact, the first X-Men movie was released way back in 2000 and kicked off a resurgence in interest in superhero movies. That’s 17 years that we have grown with the franchise that has taken us back and forward through time.

There are few casting choices that make it hard to see anybody else play that character other than the original actor. Hugh Jackman is the embodiment of Wolverine. He has been the character in every single X-Men movie including two standalone movies up to this point. With the dedication to how the character is portrayed and the look, it’s hard to break an attachment to that. Unfortunately, all good things should come to an end. From there, we receive our final opus to this universe in Logan.

There was a hard task in adopting the “Old Man Logan” story line that was plausible not being able to utilize much what makes the comic book story. (Those pesky studio rights!) However, director James Mangold succeeds in making a tragic, western-style send off the universe and characters as we have known them to be. Logan takes place in 2029, where most mutants have died off due to a virus outbreak. You find out early on that this is not the Logan we have grown accustomed to. Aging, scarred, and slow healing – the effects of adamantium poisoning have finally caught up with Logan and have given us a shell of this warrior figure. He’s the rugged antihero that is anxiously awaiting the end.

Now, there are instances within the movie that will satisfy audiences as it very much plays into the hard “R” rating with the ultra-violent fights. The beauty of this is, these are few and far between like the strength that’s fleeting him. Although still hardened and angry, Logan can only induce his rage sparingly because it’s just not enough. He’s staring at his mortality right in the face and accepting what’s to come.

Logan is now a caretaker of Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart) along with Caliban (Stephen Merchant), who once served as the intelligent beacon of hope for mutants and now at the mercy of degenerative brain disease. Within his travels, Logan meets Laura(Dafne Keen) who throws his retirement plans to retire on a boat to sea with Charles a little bit more complicated. The Reavers headed by Donald Pierce (Boyd Holbrook) are on the hunt for Laura. From there, it evolves into a bigger story involving cat-and-mouse chases involving a war-torn anti-hero, a hindered leader, and protecting the future of what they are from a governmental force.

The themes of nurturing are strong within this movie. From the first X-Men, Charles was the one that accepted Logan into the academy and gave him a chance to join the team. Here, the roles are reversed somewhat. Logan takes care of Charles like an ailing father living out his last days, but Charles is still the emotional reason to his anger. In a movie that’s relentless in danger, there are small scenes where a sense of family and comradery, like the first movie show – although in small numbers. Charles also serves as a bridge between Logan and Laura, where they get to understand each other.

Unable to take care of himself like he once used to, Laura grows into the overseer for Logan. This movie puts powerful characters in roles like we have never seen them before. Legacy is also a key component to this movie. Throughout the years, we’ve seen mutants go through time, battle each other, and threats from humans who don’t understand them. There’s one instance that is undefeated – time. Time comes for us all no matter how powerful you may be. You never got a sense that there was finality looming for these characters and Logan makes you have to accept that.

Walking out of the movie theater, you must take a deep breath because it feels like a punch in the gut. The rating was needed for a reason – to give fans the end that they needed in a jarring manner. Given the nature of Logan’s story throughout the X-Men movie universe, you were hoping for a somewhat happy ending – however, we knew that wasn’t possible. Serving as the final time Hugh Jackman will dawn the claws (and Patrick Stewart’s final act as well), Logan achieves the status of being a movie that everyone can see and grieve collectively regardless of your comic book knowledge.

Main Photo Credit: 20th Century Fox

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Author: Murjani Rawls View all posts by
Writer | Photographer | Beast

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