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Arts in Review

Logan: Jackman ends X-Men career with masterful performance



   Note: Spoilers

Logan is the final installment in Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine career. Although not the best performance from Hugh Jackman I’ve seen (I mean, it was no Jean Valjean), Logan offers a new spin on the Wolverine character, and Jackman fits the bill.

We first see Logan asleep in the back of his limousine. He wakes up to a gang trying to steal the vehicle’s hubcaps. After taking a few hits, looking old and pathetic with an alcohol bottle in hand, his anger kicks in. This is when we first see the Wolverine character we’re used to, and he basically goes crazy, beating the guys senseless, and leaving you to think maybe he isn’t so old and pathetic after all.

We then discover that Logan is a retired Wolverine. He’s now an alcoholic limousine driver in Texas. He lives in an old abandoned warehouse on the Texas-Mexico border where we are also introduced to Caliban (Stephen Merchant) and Charles, also known as Professor X (Patrick Stewart). Here, Logan takes care of Professor X who has Alzheimer’s and seizures that can cause time to stop and affect everyone around him. As the film progresses, we meet Laura (Dafne Keen) a young girl who is also a mutant, just like Logan. Logan takes on the task of taking Laura to a supposed safe place for mutant children called Eden, which is 2000 miles away. This is where the action begins, and the character development unfolds.

Jackman’s performance is good, but nothing spectacular. Logan’s character is an angry old man with a really bad cough. Jackman does a really good job of convincingly portraying this, even though it isn’t a complicated role. However, Keen’s job of portraying the mutant little girl is just okay. Her character doesn’t speak for at least the first half of the movie so besides the action scenes, there isn’t much there. However, Keen makes up for the lack of dialogue with a performance in her action scenes that is on par with Jackman, and incredible for a 12-year-old. Both performances improve towards the end of the film.

Laura finally begins to speak to Logan, in both Spanish and English, and things get considerably more emotional. In Logan’s final scenes, Jackman delivers a heart-wrenching performance that reminds the viewer what he is capable of. Keen also steps it up, showing more emotion and involvement than previously in the entire movie.

Logan differs from the Marvel superhero movies we have been accustomed to over the last few years. With Marvel’s release of Deadpool in 2016, it started a new age of R-rated superhero movies. Although Logan doesn’t include any of the controversial sex scenes or dirty jokes from Deadpool, it does include the same level of action. Logan had a higher level of violence than any of the other Marvel movies. This appealed to older audiences, the people who had nearly grown up with the X-Men movies. It gives us a feeling of closure and makes the movies more interesting for an older demographic.

Logan also takes a more realistic approach with its graphics as well. Think about any of the Avengers movies or Guardians of the Galaxy. These movies specifically include aliens who invade Earth, where epic battles take place and whole cities are destroyed. Not only the aliens are CGI but the explosions, the characters, and almost all of the action scenes as well.Logan doesn’t have any of this, or at least if it does, it isn’t noticeable. The fight scenes and action feel organic, raw, and real, helping to connect the viewer to the characters and the movie. This is refreshing in an age where almost all movies contain CGI and over-edited action scenes.

With 93 per cent on Rotten Tomatoes, I know I’m not the only one that would confidently recommend this movie to anyone who is a Marvel or X-Men fan, or just looking for an action movie with an intriguing story.

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