The way my life works, I don’t always get to the movies as much as I’d like. So, while it’s been out for a while, this is when I finally got to see Logan, hence why my review is late by many standards. Even though it’s been out a while, I’m going to try to avoid spoilers.
With the notable exception of DC Comics’ Legion of Super Heroes, the future is never a good place for heroes. Coming back to prevent something horrible from happening is a frequent plot device. In this one, it’s just what happens years down the road.
2029 is not a good time in the X-Men universe. The vast majority of the mutants are gone, and the few that remain are far from the peak of their powers. In fact, as the movie goes on, we learn no mutants have been born for 25 years. Logan is looking much the worse for wear, and Professor Xavier is having serious issues.
Logan is trying to lay low and just barely getting by in a job that you really wouldn’t expect for him. He clashes with some car thieves early in the movie and we see that he’s still Wolverine, just not a really healthy one. His tag line about “I’m the best there is at what I do,” doesn’t necessarily still apply.
Well, if you’ve watched any movie where someone with a violent past who is trying to live it down, you know it doesn’t work out. If nothing else, it’d be a boring story. Enter the damsel in distress with a dark secret, begging for Logan’s help. He resists, but is eventually drawn into her problems, very much against his will. The people after her are exceptionally nasty, and Logan’s hope for a peaceful future goes up in smoke, or maybe a spray of blood would be more apt.
Logan, Xavier, and a new face embark on a quest to find a mythical safe haven for the remaining mutants. They meet bullies and allies along the way. I will say that, in general, you shouldn’t get too attached to anyone in this movie. The mortality rate is high, hero, friend, villain, or innocent bystander. There’s a lot of violence, and a lot of death. In the end, there’s a climactic battle that ends the story… and a few characters as well.
This movie is a lot darker in tone than any of the previous X-Men movies. You know those cool bits where Quicksilver does something funny, or the team banters back and forth a lot? Yeah… don’t look for those here. It’s a grim future, worse as we get the hint about what happened to the rest of the X-Men, as well as the source of the mysterious illnesses plaguing the main characters. That doesn’t mean it’s bad. It isn’t, not at all. But be prepared for a very different kind of story.
What I liked: There’s lots of action done well. Jackman and Stewart are fantastic, as is the new young star. The effects are good, but don’t overwhelm the story. There are some interesting twists and turns along the way. I completely understand why Hugh Jackman and Patrick Stewart have said this is their last time in these roles.
What I didn’t: I’m a hero geek. I don’t like seeing my heroes battered and broken, no matter how well it’s done. This is a very dark future with a really high kill rate. I don’t quite understand how, if Logan is this beat up in the future, Xavier, much older with no physical powers, is still around at all. Xavier says he’s in his 90’s in the movie, but that doesn’t seem to fit with earlier timelines. I get it wasn’t about this, but a bit more detail on what happened to everyone else wouldn’t have been bad. I get why there wasn’t, but the lack of scenes in the credits was jarring.
I thought this was good, although maybe not quite as amazing as some have raved. It was a very serious take on the X-Men universe. I’ll give it a high 3.5 out of 5.