Verdict: Logan is the perfect farewell the clawed mutant could get.
Whoever made the decision to make the final Wolverine movie an R-rated one, they have our thanks. This is how it should have been from the beginning. This hero, who had not unleashed his claws wholly with the previous installments, gets to do so now. We see the growing popularity of cinematic universes making movies just to lay down the groundwork for the next. Logan stands apart with its almost non-existent connections to the previous movies of the franchise, delivering a Western flick, which most adults would enjoy. The readers who were fans of these comics are now adults and this movie is for them. As the X-Men franchise is on the brink of adulthood (the first movie came out in 2000), the movie shows maturity, which is rarely associated with fantasy movies.
The year is 2029. Mutants are virtually extinct with no new mutant born in the last decade. Logan (Hugh Jackman) who now goes under his birth name James Howlett is a limo driver somewhere along the southern border of USA. He patiently handles his customers but is not averse to wasting a few thieves now and then. When he is not driving a limo, he goes home across the border. He shares it with Caliban (Stephen Merchant) and a nonagenarian Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart). Logan's only aim is to take Charles and settle on a boat far away from the human population. A nurse (Elizabeth Rodriguez) with a little child called Laura (Dafne Keene) comes seeking Wolverine and following her comes an army for the child. Logan tries his best to not be a part of it until he realizes this last battle needs to be fought.
Movies based on comic books usually show the heroes in the prime of their lives and completely refrain from mentioning what happens as the power fades when they age. Charles Xavier who has always been a symbol of hope in the darkest times is now a delusional old man. If he is not given timely medication, he can cause a temporary paralysis to the people around him, as he loses control over his powers. Logan's healing is not what it used to be and seeing those battle scars is not a pleasant feeling. Caliban is also a mutant with an ability to track other mutants. He takes care of Charles whenever Logan is out driving and is a balance between Logan's strength and Xavier's fragility.
Transigen is a company that hunted down mutant kind to harvest their abilities to create an army of 'artificially created' mutants. Laura is a product of the X-23 program where she was born with Logan's abilities. Dr. Zander Rice (Richard E. Grant) heads the program and after he fails to achieve the desired result with the X-23 program, he is keen on removing all the traces of its existence. Donald Pierce (Boyd Holbrook) is the Transigen program's head of security sent to retrieve Laura. He is a Logan fanboy but he is not hesitant to pull the trigger on him.
Hugh Jackman has truly grown as an actor. There is a vast difference from his first portrayal of the character to the one we see today. He manages to show the fatigue perfectly, which comes with living a long life along with knowing that it is going to end soon. Patrick Stewart's decision to quit the franchise just a month before the release was met with shock from the fans who were barely prepared to say goodbye to Hugh. He has truly delivered a remarkable performance as Charles who doesn't hold the weight of mutant-kind on his shoulders anymore. We see a side of him which will only make us miss his presence more. Laura, played by Dafne Keene, is silent for the most part but lets out Wolverine-like screams as she unleashes her claws on the enemies. Don't let the size fool you, as she is more than capable of protecting Logan in his time of need.
They have refrained from making too many references to the franchise but there a few. There is a scene where Charles recalls the events of the first movie and Logan remarks that the Statue of Liberty was a long time ago. Instead, they have made a lot of references to the Western flicks drawing parallels to the tales of lone gunmen embarking on their battles. The story is more character-driven than any other superhero movie ever made.
James Mangold, who had also directed The Wolverine, is still relatively new to the comic book movie genre. His decision to stick with what he knows and turning this movie around to suit his style is applaudable. He treats the audience as the adults they are by not spoon-feeding too much information. We are allowed to derive our own conclusions with the provided information. He has truly paid a befitting tribute to one of the most-loved characters, as Logan hangs his claws.
Why You Should Watch This Movie:
The movie works as a stand-alone and as a part of a franchise. You don't need more than a decade's worth of information on the mutant kind to understand what is going on here. It is a story of an Old Man Logan who ventures into the battle for the final time. A superhero movie with an aim to humanize him while saying goodbye should not be missed. Fans of the franchise are definitely not missing it. We really hope the others don't either.