Review: Logan is one of the best comic book adaptations

Logan starring Hugh Jackman

Logan starring Hugh Jackman - Credit: Archant

Logan marks Hugh Jackman’s final outing as Wolverine, revisiting a role he has played eight times before, which started with X-men in 2000.

Where as the ensemble X-men films have generally been successes, that has not been the case for Wolverine’s two previous solo outings which have underwhelmed audiences.

Logan is Jackman’s second collaboration with director James Mangold, after working with him on 2013’s The Wolverine. A film that, despite its flaws, showed that Mangold had an understanding of the character.

Set in 2024, in a time where mutant births have died out, we find an ageing Logan working as chauffeur and caring for an elderly Professor X, again played by Sir Patrick Stewart.

After being contacted by a runaway employee from a shady government program, they are left to care for Laura – a young girl with strikingly similar abilities to Logan himself.

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What follows is a cross between a road movie and a modern western as Logan and the professor attempt to keep Laura out of the clutches of Boyd Holbrook’s menacing Pierce and Richard E Grant’s sinister Doctor Rice.

The film has a dark and grisly tone that is a long way removed from that of other recent comic book adaptations, but it works brilliantly.

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Jackman’s portrayal of Wolverine has always been a high point of the X-Men franchise but he is able to take things even further with this film’s 15 rating.

Director Mangold doesn’t hold back either with bad language and brutal violence aplenty, but it never seems out of place and fits well with the post-apocalyptic setting.

The film’s driving force is its characters and it has some impressive supporting performances. Stephen Merchant’s surprise casting as Cable works well.

Stewart revels in playing an elderly cantankerous version of Professor X and newcomer Dafne Keen is a revelation as Laura – managing to portray both her innocence as well as her feral rage, without uttering a word for most of the film.

But this is Jackman’s show and he hits new highs with his performance as Logan. His chemistry with Laura and the professor is thoroughly engaging and he embodies the characters frustration as his body slowly starts to break down.

The final third produces an emotional and fitting finale which makes this film stand out from the pack and shows that there is more than one way to adapt a comic property.

In years to come this film may well be regarded as one of the best.

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