Do you remember the time, when you fell in love… with Wolverine? Was it when he first appeared upon the comic page – the last pages of the Incredible Hulk #180? Was it during the fantastic run of the 90’s X-Men cartoon where the Wolverine became the linchpin of the series? Or was it on the silver screen, watching Hugh Jackman for 17 years capturing our hearts and imaginations as he defined the role for many generations.
After two lackluster films for the Wolverine, we finally arrive at the bitter end of perhaps an unfulfilling trilogy. In the film, “X-Men Apocalypse”, the Jean Grey character makes a self-prophesying joke that the third installment in most trilogies are usually the worst of the bunch. Oh, how right she was… especially in the X-Men movie world where Fox Studios continues to fall flat with its resolutions to their trilogy installments.
So, will this final Wolverine film capture us like the Weapon X program and bind us to mediocrity or will we be released from our shackles and, with Berserker rage, finally have the film that we as fans of Wolverine have been waiting for and deserve.
Well wait no longer, and retract your Adamantium claws, because “Logan” is a wonderful film. “Logan” is an emotional, character driven western starring mutants. Finally, a third installment from an X-Men trilogy that supersedes its predecessors.
“Logan” offers us the most in-depth look at the lives of Wolverine and Professor X, a film quite self-aware of the previous incarnations of these two mutants, and their respective journeys, but spawns a very fluent, yet interesting character study into the lives of Logan (Wolverine) and Professor X. This is not a movie about heroes vs villains, this is a film about the vicissitudes of life and where it leaves us. And with actors the caliber of Jackman and Stewart, perhaps for the first time artistic can be used to describe a superhero movie.
We are also introduced to the quiet, yet powerfully interesting mutant called X-23 (Dafne Keen), who is a mutant creation based upon the matrix and chemical make-up of the Wolverine. She is tortured with a similar transformation and indoctrinated with his rage, but if Logan has anything to do with it X-23 wouldn’t trace the same torment that has littered his path.
Maybe its poetic justice that now in his life Logan is forced to look back at the beginning by learning and protecting X-23, even perhaps crying out to her:
“Alone at first… the burnt orchard sun descending upon my withered soul, battered psyche and disintegrating body, …spilled over many generations. I have witnessed much over my lifetime… seen many wars and lived many battles. Saw friends and enemies pass me by, back to the earth from whence they’ve come. I’ve seen Wade Wilson ruined and Deadpool restored, shared many conversations and secrets with two different Professor X’s, and also fell prey to a kaleidoscope of broken and roving mutant timelines… and yet I’m still here.
And so, I find myself at the end (maybe?) and as I look back over it all, I wish I could see the world through your innocent eyes. Your eyes conceivably aren’t so innocent and fresh, but I hope X-23, this world won’t jade you, shape you and make you someone you’re not. Anger consumed my life and only now can I see beyond the blurred and crooked crimson timelines that flow from the crests of these weary eyes. Remember, your greatest weapon is not your claws, but your soul.”
The soul of a person truly is what the X-Men are all about. Beyond the powers and abilities, before the changes to bodies and beliefs, at the core is the soul – the common denominator of all humans. And for 17 years, the soul of the X-Men franchise has been the Wolverine character and its portrayal by Hugh Jackman. And if Hugh Jackman keeps his promise, and this is his last hurrah, then it has truly been a glorious ride.
Darryl King is a video director, film writer and avid Marvel/DC comic book/movie lover. Check out his reviews of Luke Cage, Xmen: Apocalypse and Dr. Strange right here on MMT.