Logan tells great story

Unlike many superhero films of late, Logan is refreshingly old-school and human.

There is tremendous restraint and maturity in this current X-Men franchise release: in the acting, the directing and the lack of CGI extravaganza.

This movie, the third and final film of the Wolverine series, represents actor Hugh Jackman’s swan song in a role he has played for 18 years.

Taking place in the year 2029, we find that the world has changed; mutants have (mostly) been eradicated through a type of biological warfare that disabled genetic mutation in the population.

The once invincible Wolverine has fallen on hard times. Broke, beaten and unable to heal like he used to, he’s a dull shadow of his former self. His skin is mottled and lined, his trademark mutton chops have fused into a bushy beard and his eyes are bleary from alcoholism and world-weary exhaustion.

Wolverine got old!

Eking out a meagre existence living under the radar, Logan now drives a limousine. Once a week, he drives over the Mexico border to visit 90-year old Charles who is hidden away in a derelict industrial facility tended to by the albino Caliban.

Charles now suffers from intermittent senility and seizures and must be medicated lest his considerable psychic power be unleashed. There are hints of a catastrophic incident years ago that necessitated Charles’ current fugitive status and the need for his regular sedation.

Caliban is also weary of playing nurse to Charles for the last year and despite talk of escaping to a remote Mexican Oceanside town, all three participants seem to know even as they discuss it that it is a pipe dream that will never happen.

What upsets this dystopian apple cart is the arrival of Gabriela (Elizabeth Rodriguez – Orange Is The New Black) who desperately needs Logan’s help. She is a nurse on the run from a “big pharma bad guy” and is harboring a young girl, Laura (Dafne Keen – The Refugees).

They need Logan to take them to a place called Eden in North Dakota where they will be safe. Promising him $50K to do the deed, Logan senses his opportunity to finally escape with Charles to the bucolic seaside retirement they have talked about. He grudgingly accepts the task.

One of Wolverine’s through lines has been his reluctance to be a super hero or to get involved and this time is no exception. He never asked to become a mutant and now more than ever, it is a burden.

The adamantium that was put into his body is now poisoning him. It’s an irreversible process that can be delayed with the right serum, but not corrected.

Enter the rogue geneticist Dr. Rice responsible for all the havoc (Richard E. Grant - Jackie) with a venal cohort (Boyd Holbrook – Gone Girl) and an army of paramilitary cyborgs. They need to get Laura back and will do anything it takes to retrieve their property.

What ensues is a traditional chase film that leaves a bloody trail of bodies as Logan, Charles and Laura flee north and to freedom.

Wide-eyed, silent and almost feral, Laura is full of surprises as the movie unfolds and we find Charles bonding to her as a grandfather would and Logan reluctantly assuming the role of guardian.   

Logan is rated R for a reason – it is a violent film and not for the faint of heart. However, there is mature storytelling here and real restraint on display through much of the film so when the violence does erupt, it happens in an organic way that serves the genre.

Hugh Jackman gives his best performance yet as the titular character Logan. His relationship with Charles and Laura fully humanizes him and is a touching and appropriate close to his character.

Patrick Stewart is quite brilliant as the aged Charles slipping in and out of lucidity and provides the film with much needed levity and tenderness.

Newcomer Dafne Keen is perfectly cast as the mysterious Laura and I predict we will be seeing much more of this girl in the years to come.

Solid acting and overall smart film making make Logan a movie worth seeing. If you are an X-Men fan, this is a must-see installment and once again, it leaves door wide open for a new generation of future mutant heroes.

I give this film 4.5 out of 5 hearts.

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About the Author

Kim Foreman-Rhindress is a graduate of the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City and London Western Conservatory of music for piano and voice. 

Kim has been performing in theatre and film for over 30 years in Canada, NYC, Palm Beach, Los Angeles, and the Netherlands. She has written several plays which have been produced in Canada and the U.S., and is the founder of Kelowna Voice Lab - helping people find their voice, be it singing or acting. 

A working musician, she performs regularly in Kelowna with her husband, Jim Rhindress, in an acoustic duo Smitten, and with her vintage trio Kitsch 'n Sync.  

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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