The X-Men universe is one that has lots to offer, and the best use of that has come to fruition in the final chapter of the Wolverine trilogy, Logan. In Hugh Jackman’s 10th incarnation of the tortured and seemingly immortal character, he is broken down even more than we’ve ever seen. Director James Mangold, who also directed Wolverine (and one of my favorite films Girl Interrupted) pushes Logan to the brink where he can no longer count on his usual healing, the X-Men, or even Professor X, once again played by Sir Patrick Stewart. Logan takes place decades after where we left off in X-Men Apocalypse where Logan and Professor X have only each other, and that doesn’t mean much in their current states.
Logan is once again reluctantly responsible for aiding a young mutant, while also looking out for a debilitated Professor X. The pair had been laying low near the U.S./Mexico border in Texas, but with the emergence of Laura, played by Dafne Keen, they’re once again on the radar and forced out of hiding. With Logan and Professor X at their worst, the young mutant is not in the best hands, but with her own Adamantium skeleton, she doesn’t really need them defending her against the reavers that seek her.
Dafne Keen as Laura is a rare talent, not only does she do a tremendous job portraying the young mutant in emotional scenes, the physical commitment of the young actress (though I’m sure most were done by stunt people or CGI) must have been daunting. She was a formidable actress, and not just due to her age. She joins an already deeply manifested world, and manages to etch a place for herself alongside Sir Patrick Stewart and Hugh Jackman. To me, Laura was the missing and unexplored piece of Logan, and there could not have been a better way to end Hugh Jackman’s portrayal of the Wolverine.
Logan however,failed to offer the least action/fight sequences of any previous X-Men film, but made up for it in emotional investment and with a well explored story. The movie’s length was surprising, but the pace worked and it was necessary for what Mangold delved into. I hope the Academy or other awards recognize action/superhero films and the caliber of acting some provide, as they are commonly snubbed due to their genre but Logan proves this should not be the case. It is by far one of the best Marvel films, and the best X-Men film in my opinion.
It is important to note that the inspiration behind the mutants that are the X-Men originates from discrimination against minorities in society, and not to go on a political spiel, but I do believe movies, comics, and art alike can serve to teach us to be inclusive. A young mutant leaving everything behind for safety and opportunity echoes out into real life; it is a common strife faced by many, and we should look out for all those in these situations.