The Poly Spotlight

REVIEW: Hugh Jackman’s final performance as Wolverine includes masterful direction, incredible acting and brutal action.

By Danijel Bilaver, Staff Writer

Logan is directed by James Mangold and stars Hugh Jackman as Logan, also known as Wolverine, for the last time. The film is set in the near future where Logan takes care of the ill Professor Xavier in a hide-out on the Mexican border. Their plans of hiding are put to a halt when a mysterious girl enters their life in dire need of protection. This is a brilliant film that perfectly embodies the comic book genre. Logan is a perfect farewell to Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine and the perfect representation of the comic book character.

Hugh Jackman once again delivers an outstanding performance as Wolverine. Ever since the first X-Men (2000), Jackman’s performances continuously bring joy to audiences. It is hard to imagine anyone else as this character; in this film, Jackman truly embodies Wolverine. This is his best performance yet, and it is the perfect way to end his journey as this character. Patrick Stewart delivers a phenomenal performance as he portrays Professor Xavier, who suffers from a degenerative brain disease. Logan and Xavier’s relationship in this movie is beautiful. This is the most vulnerable these characters have ever been depicted as, and the only thing they have left in their lives is each other, which audiences find absolutely enthralling. Every character in this film is put into a grueling situation that is much more compelling and realistic than we have ever seen in a comic book film. Logan isn’t a movie about Wolverine saving the world; it is a movie about characters saving each other from their own demise. 

James Mangold returns to direct from the most recent Wolverine film: The Wolverine (2013). In the previous film, Mangold was just getting his feet wet, but Logan is encouraging him to dive in all the way. Logan is a masterfully directed film that puts the comic book genre in a new and unfamiliar area because it explores superhero character’s vulnerabilities rather than their strengths. The film has both a Western and Road-Trip element (meaning they are going to different locations), which is very novel because audiences typically do not see those mixes of genres in comic book movies. Mangold allows each character to shine, allowing the audiences to feel the impact of each scene where they are in peril or internal pain. The film’s direction is nearly flawless; it is perfectly paced and the characters are all brilliantly developed.

One of the most interesting things about Logan is that it is the first Wolverine movie that is R-rated. The movie takes advantage of its R-rating by creating a brutal, bloody film. Every action sequence is meticulously filmed, and the most exciting it has ever been in any Wolverine or X-Men film. Audiences finally see Wolverine embrace and push past his limits as a character. However, Wolverine is not the only character that has his share of violence in the film. The young girl, Laura, played brilliantly by actress Dafne Keen, has her share of brutal sequences as well, and she is very similar to Wolverine. She has two claws that come from each of her hands and lets her anger get the best of her, much like Logan. Keen was exceptional as this character and worked well with Jackman and Stewart. Audiences will love seeing the full effect of Wolverine’s anger and violence with this R-rating.

Logan is an emotionally raw and violent film with complex themes and characters. It has superb action sequences that are realistic because of their detailed violence. For the last 17 years, Hugh Jackman has brought immense joy to audiences everywhere as Wolverine, and he gave the movie everything he had one last time. Jackman will be missed as this amazing character, and many praise him for all the passion and hard work he has put into Wolverine. Logan is not just a movie more comic book movies should aspire to be, but one that more movies in all genres should aspire to be.

 

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