From the outset, Logan paints a stark picture of ageing. Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) is not the man he once was. Although he was always presented as a grisly warrior, for the first time he appears to be having difficulty tackling even the most trivial of enemies. Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart) is also showing signs of diminishing in strength. Debilitated by a neurological condition, he can no longer control the enormous telekinetic and telepathic powers he possesses and has thus become both a threat and a danger to those close to him.
Logan exudes maturity, in a way that even Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight film franchise failed to capture. The heroes that we have grown to view as capable of overcoming even the most enormous challenges are suddenly all too human: broken and full of regret.
The fighting is all the more visceral due to Logan’s weaknesses, and it seems that he might fail at any given moment, something that keeps the audience on edge throughout the entire film. Logan comes into contact with a young girl, Laura (newcomer Dafne Keen), who possesses the same mutant abilities as he does and reluctantly agrees to attempt to take her to safety. Being set in the near future, when mutants have been hunted to near extinction, further engrosses us into the caustic world that makes up Logan.
At its core, Logan is a film about the importance of relationships and the way that age shapes us as people. Riveting from start to finish, Logan must be one of the most impressive superhero films of recent memory.
Avoiding the annoying tropes of recent Marvel films, it manages to combine an engrossing narrative with a powerful emotional punch that leaves the audience feeling a sense of sympathy that superhero films rarely achieve.
It’s a film that is well worth watching and will stand out as one of the more original superhero films ever made.
Image: Gage Skidmore