It’s hard to imagine that it has been seventeen years since we first saw Wolverine come to life in X-Men. Portraying the classic self-healing berserker is a tall order, but Hugh Jackman immediately captivated audiences with his commitment to the character. Ten X-Men appearances later, it’s hard to see anyone else follow in Hugh’s footsteps after Logan, especially after giving his best performance as Wolverine. Logan could not have been a better send-off for Hugh Jackman and watching it, though bittersweet, is a rewarding experience for anyone followed the X-Men series since day one. To celebrate the tenth and final appearance of Hugh, here are the top 10 reasons why Logan is the best X-Men movie so far.
1. The Setting
If I didn’t know any better, I would think that Logan is a Western flick. It doesn’t help that most of the scenes are in Texas. The setting really sets the grim mood of the film and is reminiscent of the Old Man Logan comic book.
2. R-Rated Treatment
Deadpool’s dent in the industry made it possible for us to finally have an R-rated Wolverine movie. Logan doesn’t disappoint whenever the claws went out. Rest assured that the brutality and violence don’t cheapen the movie, but enforces the grim setting of the film.
3. The Fight Choreography
If you ever wondered what Berserker Barrage would look like in a film, then look no further. The fight scenes are brutally gritty as they are graceful. Wolverine’s more practical and straightforward style is complemented by X-23’s calculated movements. The moments where they fight together are just fun to watch.
4. The Themes
Mortality, regret, retribution – these are just some of the themes that ground and deepen Logan’s plot. The dialogue is playful at times, but the message is impactful. There’s a certain heaviness with each line that sticks through the delivery of the film’s incredible cast.
5. Superb Acting
The movie is an acting masterclass with gut-wrenching performances by Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, Stephen Merchant, and Dafne Keen. Not since The Dark Knight have I been convinced that a superhero movie should be nominated for an acting category. The acting alone is enough reason to go see the film.
6. Self-Contained Story
Anyone who hasn’t watched a single X-Men movie will appreciate this film on its own. Though being set in the same cinematic universe, Logan doesn’t rely on the X-Men franchise to excite the audience. The hardcore fan might find this disappointing or even confusing with the plot holes in the complete cinematic narrative, but the end-product justifies these oversights with its top-notch quality.
The biggest revelation of the film is Dafne Keen and her portrayal of Laura Kinney. There’s an intensity and ferocity in her eyes throughout the film that speak volumes even in her most silent moments. Her fight scenes are reminiscent of her comic book counterpart, that it seems like she was ripped of the pages. Fans will love her and I can’t wait to see where they take the character from here.
8. The Mutants
What I really meant is the lack of mutants. As an X-Men fan, I though I’d be disappointed by the lack of mutants, but the situation is integral to the plot and it allows for the main cast to develop their characters further. Fear not as there are shiny CGI moments with mutant powers providing the eye candy we’re used to; it’s just not the focus of the film.
9. The Villain
I’m not talking about the oddly charming and charismatic cyber-enhanced Pierce, played by Boyd Holbrook (although he was effective in the role he was given). The real villain that Logan faces is himself, more specifically, his mortality, mistakes, doubt, and self-loathing. The internal struggle is evident in every scene thanks to Hugh Jackman’s performance. More than the blood-filled fight scenes, the battle that Logan has with himself proves to be the more triumphant victory.
10. The Ending (Don’t worry; it’s spoiler-free)
The fact that the movie had to end is a tragedy, but I couldn’t have asked for a better ending. It’s exciting, poetic, and fitting. I don’t want to say too much as I don’t want to risk giving away too much, but know that you will leave the cinema satisfied with how the film ended.
It’s a pity that it took ten movies to get it right, but the wait is definitely worth it. At long last, we finally have an accurate and memorable film about the lone-ranger berserker with more wounds from the past than the people he has killed (and that’s a lot of people). Logan deserves all the positive review it’s been getting, if not for its masterful execution, then for its courage to show a vulnerable and almost human side of Wolverine.
Logan is now showing in theaters.