Wolverine fans know that he is a loner, only intermittently joining forces with the X-Men, and his stories often show the influence of classic western sagas. “Logan” is set in the west, and its dry, dusty terrain fits the somber tone of the story. Logan/Wolverine is old and tired. His legendary powers of healing are slowing, and so is he. He and Caliban (Stephen Merchant, looking like Uncle Fester in “The Addams Family”) are caring for Professor Xavier, who is also losing his powers and near the end of his life. The time of the X-Men seems to be ending, too. No new mutants have appeared.
Or, so everyone thought. Logan is threatened by Pierce (Boyd Holbrook), who says he is looking for a woman who is looking for Logan. And she finds him, and offers to pay Logan a lot of money to transport a little girl to the Canadian border. He does not want to do it, but he needs the money to take care of Professor X, and when the woman is murdered, he feels that he has no choice.
Professor X, who struggles with dementia, keeps insisting that the girl has some special qualities, but Logan refuses to believe him…until the tough guys show up and she dispatches them with some very familiar-looking adamantine claws that pop out from her knuckles. Time for a road trip, including an encounter with a sweet farm family and with many perils and threats along the way.
The action is well-staged, though brutal even by comic book movie standards. Jackman and Stewart are always watchable, but the story drags (the movie is well over two hours), and we know where it’s going at every step. One big plot point has to do with Logan’s belief that the story in the comic books cannot be true. He may be persuaded otherwise, but we never are.
Parents should know that this film includes constant and very graphic comic-book/sci-fi peril and violence with many disturbing images and many characters injured and killed, and brief non-sexual nudity.
Family discussion: How does this movie show the influence of classic westerns? Why does Caliban stay loyal?
If you like this, try: the previous Wolverine and X-Men films