Since the first X-Men film 17 years ago (17!), I’ve been a huge fan of Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine. And it’s not just me, as his popularity with the fans have seen Jackman appear in 9 different films across the X-Men universe. Now as Jackman prepares to hang up his claws we are promised a Wolverine solo movie that will put the others to shame. But can Jackman’s Wolverine end on a high?
It’s 2029, most of the X-Men are dead and no new mutants are being born. Wolverine spends his days drinking and working as a limo driver looking after a senile Professor X (Patrick Stewart). When he’s forced to take care of a young girl named Laura (Dafne Keen), who’s being chased by bad guys, Logan is forced into one last adventure.
Have you ever seen Wolverine in a movie think ‘what I really want to see is him older, drunker and really, really violent’. Then you’re in luck as Logan is the film for you! From the start this is a very different Wolverine movie to what we’ve seen before, more brutal, more sombre and surprisingly with a heavy emotional weight. Oddly enough this is one trilogy that does the opposite from what most movie trilogies achieve, in that they get better with each film. Not only that it’s one of the best comic adaptation and not just for an X Men movie. It may be because Director James Mangold takes inspiration not just from the Old Man Logan comic but also from Westerns, Shane in particular being a huge influence while there’s also hints of Children of Men and even Mad Max. It’s as far away from the quips and yellow spandex universe as you can get. In this near future we get to see Logan as we haven’t seen him before and it really allows Jackman to show his acting chops and emote in a way we haven’t witnessed him do in this franchise.
As for the supporting cast there’s no weak link. Teaming Logan with a kid could have been a disaster, instead Dafne Keen is a revelation. This girl will be one to watch. Then there’s Patrick Stewart in what is rumoured to be his last turn as Professor X. It’s great to see different sides to his character then what we’ve seen in previous films. This Professor X is much more frail but still potentially as powerful as before. If this is his last time as Charles Xavier he ends it with the gravitas he deserves.
If the film has one flaw it’s that at 2 and a half hours it does feel long. In the middle stretch I really started to notice it. However for the majority of it’s running time there’s enough to keep you glued to the screen to make you forget how long you’ve been sat there. I must admit I had a little tear in my eye as the film came to a close.
Rating 4.5/5 – a beautiful swan song for Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine
I used to love watching the X-Men cartoon as a kid, so I’ve always had a soft spot for the mutants. Despite a few fumbles along the way (particularly The Last Stand and Wolverine: Origins), I’ve enjoyed the big screen version of the X-Men. But with time travel and a huge ensemble involved in this sequel will it be an epic adventure or an overloaded mess?
In the future robots called Sentinels are killing mutants. Things have gotten so bad that Magneto (Ian McKellen) and Professor X(Patrick Stewart) have come together with a small band of surviving mutants to try to set things right. When Kitty Pryde (Ellen Page) is able to send Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) back in time (it makes more sense in the film-kind of), he tries to bring together the younger version of Charles (James McAvoy) and Erik (Michael Fassbender) to stop Mistique (Jennifer Lawrence) from making a terrible mistake that will affect all the mutants.
Ok first up the bad points. Anyone who reads this blog knows how much of a fan I am of Jennifer Lawrence. However this was not her best film. Not that she was awful but she looked like she bored the whole way through. It may be because her character Mistique didn’t have a powerful character arc this time around. Most of the time her character was just there to be in the middle of a power struggle between two men. Boring. I also didn’t understand how the character Kitty Pryde got the power to send Wolverine back in time in the first place. Maybe I missed something.
Thankfully there is plenty of good things in this movie. The highlight of which is Quicksilver (Evan Peters), one of the new mutants brought into the film franchise. He’s of particular interest because his character is appearing in both this movie and in The Avengers: Age of Ultron. Based on what we’ve seen here, Marvel Studios have got their work cut for them trying to beat this version. Peters’ speedster Quicksilver has just a few scenes but his Quicksilver is funny and interesting. The sequence when we see things from his perspective as he speeds up and everyone slows down is brilliantly realised. The humour, the music, everything is perfect. I’m also glad they kept him to just those scenes as he could have been overused but instead it’s one of the memorable moments of the film.
Out of the future mutants I was really interested in was Blink (Fan Bingbing) and her portal creating abilities. I hope we get to see more of her. While it could have been mutant overload with the two timeline worth of characters sharing the screen, the film never feels messy and it easily flits back and forth between the two settings. There is also a lot of welcome humour amidst all the drama. Jackman’s Wolverine has a lot of the best lines and it’s always fun to watch him step back into the role. It’s also great to see both versions of Magneto and Professor X again, and we even get a scene where both Charles face each other for a pep talk.
Occasionally this movie drags a bit in between the action. However it tends to pick itself up again quite quickly. And I have to say I love the ending. The last few scenes are great and leaves you eagerly anticipating the next film.
Rating 4/5 – exciting, fun and full of action, in other words a great summer blockbuster