Logan. You still have time.
I suppose it’s all been said about this gripping, devastating film. I for damn sure will not spend a lot of time talking about how it’s really a western; I think we’ve all heard that about fifty times too many. I’m basically going to echo the basic response to Logan, the grim, brutal and excellent film about the aging Wolverine and the young girl he takes under his wing. The performances are nothing short of excellent. Both Hugh Jackman and Patrick Stewart are franchise best, giving performances nothing short of award-worthy; they’ve both said they aren’t playing these characters again and this is the perfect farewell for them both. Newcomer Dafne Keen is a real revelation in what is, amazingly, her feature film debut; she instantly establishes her as a performer to watch with a charismatic and ferocious performance. Of the supporting cast, Boyd Holbrook and Elizabeth Rodriguez both really nail fairly small supporting parts. This film is a really wonderful one, probably the best of the X-Men franchise. This franchise has always been surprisingly good at relationships and pained character moments, but the central trio of this film and the relationships in that trio are as good as the franchise has gotten. The film is unflinchingly grim, especially when we learn the reason none of our other favorite characters from previous films are present. It’s ultimately a really beautiful movie and a deeply effecting one; it’s incredibly moving and a tour de force from Mangold, always an underrated director. This is as good as comic book movies get, a story saturated with real emotions and real characters. Mutants have always been at the heart of this franchise, but watching this movie, it’s hard to think of comic book characters more human. 4 stars.
tl;dr – dark, brutal film builds gripping, emotional drama out of its characters by virtue of amazing performances and a fantastic screenplay; the comic-book movie at its best. 4 stars.