This isn’t a story about super heroes, it is a story about humans who come to terms with themselves, their actions, their past, and the decisions they make relevant to the future they have a part in creating. It isn’t a story about good overcoming evil, but one where both qualities are questioned and reflected in each individual. A story where blame is shared with everyone having their respective demons. The message tied within the grim desperation surrounding the events is that of accepting both the good and bad inside you to make the steps necessary to move forward. Logan is a story of liberation, life and humanity.
Right from the start you become aware of the harsh reality dictating mutants and in particular of the “burden” afflicting those mutants fortunate enough to have survived until now. Misery and fear embrace them constantly leading to lives filled with sorrow and disdain void of any optimism and hope. In short mutants have been cast into a reality focused on ending their very existence.
We are introduced to Logan in a broken state, one devoid of his past greatness slowly succumbing to the death awaiting him. Having endured surviving as one of the last mutants he has resigned himself to living a life free of his past identity. Despite being who he is, Logan wishes, well on the surface expresses to wish for nothing more than to not be entangled within mutant business. Yet a mutant is what he is and contrary to his own despair the film sets Logan up for a journey to be entangled in just that. A journey that allows Logan to embrace not only his mutant self, but the self which he has locked behind his adamantium cage for decades. After 17 years of on screen presence we finally get to see the man behind the claws. The Wolverine does make an honest attempt at exploring Logan’s emotions regarding the loss of Jean and his own partial immortality where he reflects on the reality that he will be alone in the future once everyone he knows is dead, but it doesn’t explore the man that Logan is to the extent that this film does.
Driving the journey is Laura/X-23 played by Dafne Keen who embraces the role sublimely. Throughout the early parts of the film once the plot is set-up there is a constant tension between Logan and his desire to help Laura. We understand his pain, his reluctance and his apprehension towards being hopeful yet as their journey together with Charles progresses through joy, pain and Logan’s own emotions, we begin to the notice a bond forming and together with Logan we experience this father/daughter relationship blossom. And not only is the relationship between Logan and Laura highlighted but the relationship between Logan and Charles is also focused on. Charles represents a father figure to Logan and throughout Logan’s dismissal of Charles’s optimism, he does in the end understand in his own way what Charles tried to convey to him regarding life and living. It is the characters and their interactions with each other that makes Logan such a profound journey of liberation.
Being R-rated, the actions sequences are expectantly brutal and bloody yet it is not a mindless brutality, it conveys emotion and reflects the characterisations of the character. Through Logan’s battles you notice the desperation engulfing Logan and the life Laura has known up until now. They are characters who come alive during battle and through those moments you get to witness the raw emotions of each of them. And iconically, it is in those moments that Logan and Laura begin to understand each other. Through their battles, the pain which they experienced in their past and relive through their dreams, tell the story of who they are.
The film is meant to convey the bitter reality of living as a mutant yet throughout that conveyance it also succeeds at conveying the necessity of bonds and the supportive nature of relationships. Despite their differences being mutants, they are inherently as human as a human. Logan pierces through to the heart and embraces our heart with it’s story of hope and life. I highly recommend anyone to go out and see this film, it is a fantastic film from start to finish.
Enjoyment level: 9.5/10