THERE WILL BE SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW!
You have been warned.
I want to start this review out by saying, I went into the theater with some pretty high expectations. Being the first X-Men movie (Deadpool may have had a few X-Men in it, but it doesn’t count as an X-Men movie – come at me!) with an ‘R’ rating, I expected cursing and tons of blood. I was not disappointed.
Logan is by no means as crass as Deadpool, but it is just as gory, if not more so. The makers of this movie pulled no punches (hehe, I’m so punny) and there were plenty of blood-soaked adamantium claws to go around. Old Man Logan did not hold back, and when he attacked, it was with the intention to kill. There are claws through the chin, claws through the temple, shredded torsos, severed limbs and even a severed head or two. And the combat scenes are gloriously choreographed. I was especially impressed with Dafne Keen’s fighting. It’s hard to really envision a lanky 11 year old girl being all that threatening, but she tore at her opponents with an insanely bestial kind of ferocity that was horrifying to watch.
Speaking of Miss Keen – lemme just say, HOLY SHIT! This little girl was on fire for this film! She was a perfect combination of brooding, contemplative, weary and feral while still seeming innocent and delicate. I was hugely impressed. Even more so because she spends the greater part of the movie completely mute except for some grunts and screams. Brava, Miss Keen, brava.
Jackman and Stewart were also in top form, but that is to be expected by such grizzled vets. Jackman played his Logan much the same way he’s always played Logan. He was course and gruff and a little big-mouthed, though he was admittedly more reserved than usual. I mean, in a world where most mutants no longer exist, it only makes sense that Wolverine is less eager to out himself. He did have some pretty beefy emotional bits. He perfectly blended Wolverine’s angst with Old Man Logan’s strife and I can’t lie to you, I definitely cried more than once. Then there’s Sir Patrick Stewart who gave us a Charles Xavier that the world has never seen! Professor X has always been witty and quick with a comeback, but ‘cantankerous’ would never have been a word used to describe him until now. He unleashes an Xavier with no small amount of sass, and even a bit of a potty mouth!
Xavier’s fraying mental stability comes with some catastrophic side effects and Logan has had to hide him away in a metal tank south of the border, keeping him constantly drugged so that he won’t have more of the seizures that have caused the government to label his brain a Weapon of Mass Destruction – and killed the other X-Men. As a result, Xavier is very muddled when we first see him. He has a difficult time recognizing Logan and he doesn’t seem to know where he is or why. This confusion translates to aggression – which is actually a very common phenomenon in Alzheimer’s patients. The new, somewhat salty Professor X plays beautifully off of Logan’s surly character and the two have dynamite dialogue. Xavier treats Logan less like a pupil, and more like a long-term companion, or even a son. (This movie has some serious daddy-issues, folks). It is only when little Laura joins the dysfunctional duo, that Charles seems to start returning to his gentle, lucid self. The interactions between these three are magnificent. The dialogue is fluid and natural and the viewer can see how all of the characters affect one another.
As a huge X-Men fan I would love to tell you that I am horribly disappointed by the deviations in X-23 canon, but I can’t. The writers took some serious liberties when it came to the story line, but I was so absolutely enthralled by this film that I can honestly say that I didn’t care in the least! This movie took Wolverine and X-23 and made them truly it’s own. X-Men fans know that X-23 is a product of the Weapon X program. She was a singular experiment, like Logan himself. But, Logan turns X-23 into a project instead of a person. It includes something like 10 or more other children – all clones created by the younger Dr. Rice from mutant’s DNA, designed to be perfect soldiers. Among them is the mutant Rictor (perhaps someone is starting to lay the base for some “New Mutants” action that has been rumored about for the past year!? An especially likely possibility considering Cable is coming to the big screen soon!). Now, this isn’t how X-23, or Laura, comes to be in the comics, but it gives the character a bit more of an emotional bond and serves as a driving factor for the film’s plot – Get Laura to Eden to join the rest of the X-23 program.
The biggest shock to me was the appearance of the brand new X-24! This was a totally unexpected, and completely unforeseen addition. X-24 is a character created especially for the film. He is a fully matured, much more mindless and rage-filled clone of our dear Wolvie. As hard as it was to watch Old Man Logan get his butt kicked by various baddies, watching him hand himself his own ass, was emotionally confusing. I was pumped to see a “glory days” version of Wolverine in action, but horrified to watch “golden years” Logan getting torn to shreds. It was incredible. Well done, writers. I can’t even be mad that X-24 didn’t exist in the universe until now. He was an awesome addition that had my stomach in knots.
Really, this whole movie was a bit of an emotional roller coaster. One minute I’d be worried that Logan wasn’t going to make it, then next I’d be cringing at the way he lobbed off his opponents limbs. I went from afraid that Laura was in trouble, to watching wide-eyed as she completely incapacitates X-24. And I went from stressed out by the group almost not getting away, to crying my god damn eyes out, to pity, to “Jesus, dude, have a freaking heart!” And that was, like, a five minute scene. I’m telling you guys, all the feels.
In all, I’d have to say this was the most beautifully shot, wonderfully written X-Men movie yet. The action was intense, the dialogue was natural, and the acting was superb. It’s a shame this is the last go for Jackman and Stewart, because this was the first of the films to truly showcase their skills. But, I’m not at all disappointed in the ending. It was a poignant way for Logan and Professor X to finish their tenure with the X-Men franchise. I highly recommend you go see this. And take some tissue.