My enjoyment of the X-Men movies over the years has been pretty up and down. They started well but soon became a bit of a mess, I didn’t even care very much the standalone Wolverine movies. First Class and Days of Future Past then became my favourite superhero movies and Apocalypse just pissed me off. My late brother Nick was a huge X-Men comic book fan, with a huge cast signed poster of the original X-Men movie up on the wall of his living room. I remember him telling me about the Old Man Logan story (on which this movie is very loosely based), along with all the other alternate crap that goes on in the comics and just puts me off reading them (I’m easily confused). Despite having not read any of the comics though, it’s clear that Logan is finally the movie that gives both the comic book readers and cinema fans the Wolverine they’ve been waiting for. My brother would have absolutely loved it and it’s definitely one of those movies I wish he’d been here to watch with me.
It’s 2029. Logan is now an old man, working a relatively quiet life as a limo driver, keeping a low profile in the desert and caring for an even older and more fragile Professor X. Logans mutant regenerative abilities are fading and when he unsheathes those adamantium claws, it hurts. That’s not to say he’s not afraid to use them though and a brutal and bloody confrontation with some carjackers at the start of the movie show us that he’s still someone who’s not to be messed with. Xavier too isn’t quite the man he once was, requiring black market medication in order to stop him from having brain seizures that result in powerful telekinetic earthquakes. His brain has been classified as ‘a weapon of mass destruction’, and it’s unstable. They’re both living a pretty lonely and bleak existence until Logan is approached by Gabriela, a woman desperate for his help. She’s caring for a young girl called Laura who appears to have some amazing but familiar abilities.
What follows is unlike any ‘superhero’ movie seen so far, especially those involving the X-Men. It’s a far cry from the portrayal of these heroes that we’re used to, with all complex over-the-top CGI and mass destruction. Instead we’re treated to a gritty, post apocalyptic style road movie, tinged with deep sadness, plenty of heart and a shit load of long overdue rage and carnage. There’s still the odd moment of humour to be found though – Logan helping Xavier on to the toilet being one such example of the two grumpy old friends trying to work together. I loved how the X-Men comic books featured in the movie too, with Logan thumbing through them in disbelief at the sensationalised versions of what life was actually like being an X-Man.
Young Dafne Keen is superb as Laura, and fingers crossed for more movies of this kind featuring her. Stewart and Jackman are both spot on too, and if what they say about this being their last X-Men appearance is true, it truly is a perfect send off for them. Outstanding.