HE is the best there is at what he does.
Those are the words usually reserved for X-Men icon and comic book favourite, Wolverine. But in Logan, the character’s swansong, that mantra is more fitting for actor Hugh Jackman.
The Australian star has played Wolverine nine times over 17 years in various films set in the X-Men universe. Some of those movies have been great, others have been big let-downs but the common thread has been Jackman’s muscular – in more ways then one – performances
He has given his all to the character but perhaps never more so than now. Fans of Wolverine will be extremely satisfied with this brutal, bloody and bruised send-off to an icon.
Set in the near future and loosely based on Steve McNiven’s Old Man Logan graphic novel, world weary Logan (Jackman) cares for an ailing Professor X (Patrick Stewart), who is now in his 90s.
In previous films, Logan – or Wolverine – has been more or less unbeatable with rapid healing abilities and a skeleton and retractable claws laced in a fictional indestructible metal called adamantium. But in James Mangold’s movie you finally get to see a vulnerable side to the ageing character.
His healing ability has weakened and one of his claws no longer retracts properly. He spends his time attempting to hide from the world until a young girl called Laura (Dafne Keen) arrives who appears to be able to mimic his mutant abilities.
Pursued by a shadowy corporation, Laura brings out the reluctant hero and fiercely loyal protector in Logan. This is finally the Wolverine film that fans have been waiting for and credit also goes to studio 20th Century Fox for giving director James Mangold a free rein.
It is dark, intense and the finale packs a punch. It also does not hold back in terms of violence – how it got through the ratings process with just a 15 is hard to fathom.
Newcomer Dafne Keen is a revelation as Laura, bringing out the insecurity of a young girl and the ferocity of a cornered animal. Patrick Stewart is on predictably top form too as the former leader of the X-Men, Charles Xavier.
The deteriorating professor’s telepathic mind, classed as a weapon of mass destruction, is breaking which raises the stakes in the story even more.
In a world of constant sequels and spin-offs, this standalone tale satisfyingly brings closure to a beloved character.