Logan could be one of the most divisive Marvel movies of all time. Hardcore fans of the Wolverine mythology may appreciate this dark, R-rated send-off to the most iconic and sardonic of the X-Men superheroes. But I was not prepared for, and did not enjoy, the grim final farewell (or so it appears) to Logan/Wolverine, portrayed for nearly 20 years by the multi-talented and seemingly ageless Hugh Jackman. I’m not a huge X-Men fan (I prefer the Avengers), but I’ve always had a soft spot for the bitter, sexy, ripped, self-healing Wolverine who was blessed and cursed with immortality and killer claws. This Wolverine is different. He’s bitter, aging, self-loathing, and just no fun at all. Apparently, that’s what the filmmakers were going for. And that’s what some film critics and fanboys are raving about. But I don’t like hyper-violent, bloody, raw, and depressing. Especially in my Marvel movies. Deadpool earned its R-rating with unexpectedly entertaining raunchiness and wit. Logan gets its R-rating from a string of curse words and a very high body count. Heads will roll… literally.
Here’s the gist: The year is 2029 and Logan is lying low as a self-employed limo driver in Texas, near the Mexican border. He does not look well. He drinks – a lot. Mutants have become largely extinct. And he’s living in a dusty compound with an albino mutant tracker named Caliban (Stephen Merchant) and a frail, telepathic Professor Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart), who is suffering from some sort of degenerative brain disease that causes seizures that debilitate those around him. Their quiet, isolated existence is totally upended when Logan gets roped into helping a young mutant named Laura (Dafne Keen) evade some powerful bad guys who’ve been experimenting on her and other kids with mutant genes. Laura needs Logan to drive her to a safe haven called “Eden” that may or may not exist in South Dakota. He’s reluctant, but the Professor is adamant that they help this girl with powers eerily similar to Logan in his heyday. What transpires is a warped family road trip movie wrapped in a horror film that plays like a modern western. The film finds its heart – and the future of the franchise — near the end. But the journey is a brutal one.