I remember walking out of the cinema after the credits for Logan ran, thinking, “that felt right.” As a conclusion to the stories of Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) and Professor X (Patrick Stewart), this film felt like the right way to end what X-Men began. That isn’t to say Logan is necessarily perfect. However, despite its flaws, it stands out among the many, many superhero films of the past few years as a gripping powerhouse of a film; it is more than worth seeing.
Set in the near future, the world depicted in Logan is believable, bleak, and brutal, a combination which is perfect for a film about mutants in their twilight years. We find Logan working as a limo driver and splitting his time between dealing with unlucky carjackers, caring for an elderly Professor X and drinking away his sorrows. Everything changes however when he’s introduced to X-23, a girl who he’s told is very much like him. They are to join forces and hunt down a new enemy.
From that point onwards, the film is comprised of break-neck action sequences balanced with moments of genuine emotion, making it the grittiest and yet most human of the X-Men films to date. Both sides of the film are handled brilliantly, with the violence being bloody but not gratuitous and the emotional beats real and often shocking. The tale Logan is trying to tell is a dark one and the stakes are much higher despite the small scale, compared to films such as Apocalypse. But it’s also a touching tribute to the relationships of both Logan and Professor X with their best days behind them and the new father-daughter relationship that develops between Wolverine and X-23. In a way which few X-Men films have, this film made me truly connect with the characters and their plights. Logan also benefits from the fact that it stands almost entirely as its own film with no real requirement to see the previous Wolverine films to fully enjoy it. Given how many cinematic universes are being released and developed, this makes for a refreshing change of pace as it leaves no dangling threads for future films. Instead, it ends the story of X-Men we saw 17 years ago in a violent, satisfying manner: a fitting conclusion.
That does not by anyway mean that Logan is perfect. Its villains are not as nearly well developed or nuanced as the heroes, which means that when the film focuses on them, it’s not as engaging as when Wolverine, Professor X and X-23 are simply interacting with each other. Thankfully, the villains don’t remain the focus for long; the true core of the film is the family which the three protagonists are building. And that is Logan’s strongest point: it makes you care more about the people than the spectacle, which is both rare and much-needed in comic book films.