Hugh Jackman concludes ‘Wolverine’ legacy

By Ivan Mateo

Hugh Jackman first starred as Wolverine 17 years ago in the X-Men franchise all the way back in 2000 with the release of “X-Men.” The narrative for “Logan” centers on Wolverine and Professor X to provide audiences with a link to the past, while introducing some new characters such as Laura into the fold.

Logan and Professor X have been present in practically all the X-Men films in the span of 17 years. Both Jackman and Patrick Stewart have captured the roles completely, so moviegoers share numerous memorable scenes with each of them.

The film fast forwards to the year 2029 when mutants are a relic of the ancient past. The X-Men are only remembered through the comic books. In order to make ends meet, James “Logan” Howlett (Jackman) is now a chauffeur driver for various types of people like bachelorette party-goers. He often checks his phone for Lyft/Uber-type requests for the next job.

Logan’s body and face have shown the wear and tear of how time plays no favorites to anyone. He appears broken down with the camera often panning to Logan drinking alcohol or taking painkillers to numb the pain of his past and present. His regenerative healing powers have decayed as he has aged, so he has found new means to ward off mental and physical pain.

Logan, along with Caliban (Stephen Merchant), a mutant who can sense other mutants, takes care of an aging Professor Charles Xavier (Stewart). Professor X has also lost control of his powers, often suffering to bouts of seizures where he loses control of his telepathic abilities and affects huge swaths of people.

Logan wants to raise enough money to purchase a boat so he and Professor X can finally escape, but this is not a fairytale.

A company named Transigen has previously experimented on children by infusing the DNA of mutants inside of them like genetically enhanced lab rats. They want to create child soldiers with mutant-like abilities who can be controlled.

Little did Transigen know, children cannot be controlled so easily. Pierce (Boyd Holbrook), the security chief for Transigen, is dispatched to retrieve all of the escaped children.

Gabriela (Elizabeth Rodriguez), a nurse who worked at Transigen, has found Logan to seek his aid in protecting one of the escaped children, Laura (Dafne Keen). Gabriela wants Logan to escort them to North Dakota, where an Eden for mutants may be located.

Laura seems every bit as much as Logan himself. She appears quiet for the most part until someone crosses her in some way, then an explosion of anger and rage occurs.

Her mannerisms and little nuances of a girl with very little experience with the outside world are on point.

Logan’s remarkable transformation from always battling both his inner demons and the crippling feeling of always succeeding alone, to believing in anything again proves nothing short of incredible.

Logan’s regenerative powers have kept him alive for such a long period of time, so he has survived many wars, loved ones dying and more emotional toll than anyone should suffer. All of these years of suffering have taken their effect on Logan’s mind and body.

“Logan” vastly differs from previous iterations of X-Men films. Casting kept the number of characters on the roster for “Logan” relatively thin.

Another vast difference with “Logan” versus other superhero films is the relatively high stakes to what is happening on screen. There is weight in a physical and emotional sense consistently affecting Logan.

Jackman’s facial expressions and body language effectively show the inward and outward strife. Intensity runs high throughout the film because of the exhausting journey and escape Logan, Laura and X experience.

The fight sequences are predominantly the reason “Logan” has garnered an R rating with Wolverine’s close quarters style of combat. Fighting is frenetically physical, featuring styles such as: hand to hand, claw to hand, claw to foot, claw to face, etc. You understand the picture being painted.

Jackman cares so deeply for the X-Men franchise and the character of Logan/Wolverine that he took a pay cut to make sure “Logan” received an R rating.

The story of “Logan” showcases a message of an older generation learning from a new generation in order to preserve the future. Old dogs can learn new tricks and recapture the hope they once had. It is never too late to do the right thing.

If this actually is the final swan song to Jackman’s Logan/Wolverine, then what a sweet farewell indeed.

Jackman has previously said “Logan” will be his last film as Wolverine, but audiences can hope he will come back for a buddy superhero film with Ryan Reynolds to witness the seriousness of Wolverine combined with the snarkiness of Deadpool.

Before “Logan” begins, a familiar face graces the big screen in a teaser trailer for his new film, so be sure to arrive to theaters on time. A hint to this superhero’s secret identification would be he likes the color red.

“Logan” is rated R for strong brutal violence and language throughout, and for brief nudity.

“Logan” is playing in theaters now and the runtime is 2 hours and 15 minutes.

Movie poster for

Courtesy of 20th Century Fox

Movie poster for ‘Logan’

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