It's the end of an era for one of the Marvel Universe's most iconic characters - that's right guys, Hugh Jackman's now-iconic Wolverine will be no more. But is it in Wolverine's style to go out with a whimper? Not in the slightest.
It's the not-too-distant future and no new mutants have been born for 20 years. Professor X (Patrick Stewart) is losing his mind, a mind that has been now classed as a weapon of mass destruction. Logan is driving a limo in a town on the Mexican border and is just scraping by - that is, until a mysterious woman with an even more mysterious young girl arrives and throws Logan right back into the world he has been trying so hard to avoid.
'Logan' is, without a doubt, the most realistic Marvel movie I have ever seen. Before you have a go at me about the premise of mutants with powers, that's not the part I'm talking about. It is actually a deeply character-driven narrative, with real emotions, real consequences and a real sense of gravity. Logan is haunted by his past, a past in which he has seen his friends fight and die until it's just him alone with his memories. Dare I say this is probably one of Hugh Jackman's best performances ever? But the sense of life post-trauma is really there, down to the Adamantium bullet he carries with him at all times. Laura (Dafne Keen) is a wonderful addition to the ensemble, and despite being the youngest member she does a brilliant job - even if it feels like she is channelling a little bit of Eleven from 'Stranger Things'. My only (very slight) disappointment was the underutilisation of Richard E. Grant, who plays a fantastic bad guy, but wasn't given much room to really make him a grand baddie that he is just so perfect for!
It is a beautifully shot film, and unlike most Marvel movies relies very little on huge and impressive computer graphics. This isn't so much a film about grand battles, but more one man's struggle with his past and his impact on the future. The score is such a perfect accompaniment as well that we all need to keep an ear out for Marco Beltrami in the future, it is simple, elegant modern and, most of all, effective. I challenge you all to not be moved in certain scenes.
By setting the film on the U.S./Mexican border, you can't help but wonder about the statement 'Logan' is trying to make. It's all too timely to be a coincidence, and when so much of the plot revolves around crossing borders, you can't help but muse on the notion that it is up to the older generations to help the younger, more persecuted generations in order to build a stronger, safer future. I wouldn't be surprised if the next X-Men film we saw focused on some of the child cast; I'll call it 'X-Men: Generations'.
Logan is haunted by his past, a past in which he has seen his friends fight and die until it's just him alone with his memories.
With an MA rating, Logan's barely contained violence can come to the forefront and, with swearing and generally darker themes, Marvel can make a film that not only feels like a real fan service but can be considered a good film in its own right. It's not one to miss, and while it might be the end of one huge part of the Marvel Universe, hopefully it's the beginning of another: along with 'Deadpool', the start of a grittier, more emotionally real direction for the universe to take. I, for one, couldn't be a happier geek!