It took 17 years and nine movies, but Wolverine fans were finally given the movie they deserve in "Logan."
Hugh Jackman, likely in his last go-round as the character, goes out on the highest of high notes as he murders, swears and bleeds his way through the near two-hour emotional joy ride. This is not a superhero movie, so don't stroll into the theater thinking your about to enjoy Logan kiss those bad guys to death with his Canadian charm.
Think Deadpool levels of violence ... and then add a 10- to 12-year-old girl chopping people's heads off.
So, yeah, if you're squeamish or a preadolescent mind, "Logan" probably isn't for you.
This is going to be light on the spoilers, but we're going to talk about the plot and Logan's situation starting in the next few paragraphs. So get out of here if you're sensitive to minor spoilers.
"Logan" is set in 2029 in a dystopian-ish world, as he, Professor Xavier and Caliban are living south of the border as some of the world's last known mutants are in hiding. Logan is working as a limo driver, who is clearly near the end of his health as he is coughing and not completely healing after fights.
While we're treated to some comical, lighter scenes to get things started with the world's gruntiest limo driver, director James Mangold gets things started with a classic "don't poke the bear" scene. Without spoiling it, let's just say that James Howlett's tires are probably the last four on the planet that you'd want to steal.
Jackman's scenes driving the car and rushing back to the compound for Xavier just oozes with the character's trademark style of love. While he's not going to talk you up and hug you to health, he will work his ass off for you and most likely make you feel like shit.
That's Wolverine. That's Logan.
It's dark, it's emotional and it doesn't pull any punches from the storyline like the audience almost expected/waited for it to do.
Fans of the Old Man Logan runs will have sticky pants, but don't think that this movie is solely for those folks. This is a great movie, and ugh here comes that line, and not just a great comic book movie.
And while this movie's violence, swearing and pull-no-punches attitude will grab the headlines and most of the talking points, I want to focus on how accurately I feel this version of the character was portrayed.
Jackman's performance stuck with me through this movie and in the next day due to the fact that it's mesmerizing watching someone so perfect for a character get to play that character in the perfect environment.
Charles is in rough shape as the world's strongest mind is infected with a degenerative brain disease, stored away in a knocked-over water tower resembling Cerebro.
Professor keeps having seizures, which we're told caused a massive massacre on the east coast. Logan takes care of Charles, acting as a caretaker watching over his sick father (figure). From the first introduction of Charles, Jackman and Patrick Stewart build on their chemistry by adding a different layer to their relationship.
Once Dafne Keen comes in as Laura / X-23, this movie takes off and becomes this odd Western noir of watching this odd trio on the run from Mexico to the Canadian border. There was something about Keen coming into the picture that eased any ounce of nerves about the direction of "Logan."
She just felt like a pint-size, little girl version of Wolverine right from the get-go.
Keen oozes with some of the same features that made Millie Bobby Brown a star as Eleven in "Stranger Things." Before accusing me of making the easier comparison of two young girls, see the movie and come back and tell me I'm wrong.
Mangold makes it clear from the beginning that Laura is an absolute badass. Her action sequences are seamless, terrifyingly violent and fascinating in the way of a 12-year-old actress making it seem normal.
Seriously, Keen is an absolute badass and she takes this movie to the next level. Without that perfect fit at X-23 this movie could have suffered, but instead it soared. Laura didn't need to talk to make a difference, as her deadpan and natural comedic curiosity make "Logan" the most fucked up father-daughter movie of all time.
That's enough of the spoiler-free discussion, come back midweek for a spoiler take on the movie. I'll probably see it again by that point.
FINAL CONSENSUS: "Logan" is without a genre, it is not a superhero movie, it is not a comic book movie, it's just kind of a badass, violent Western noir with a fantastic core cast. Hugh Jackman delivers the pull-no-punches, vulgar version of the character the world had been waiting for, Patrick Stewart captures a fading Charles Xavier and Dafne Keen has an Eleven-esque starbuilding performance.
While we know nothing about our villains and the film relies on clones to drive the antagonist aspects, Jackman, Stewart and Keen's story is enough to steal the focus from some of the plot's missing pieces.