Movie review: Logan, out with a roar

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Hugh Jackman returns as an aging Logan trying to eke out an existence for himself and his old mentor, Charles Xavier, in a world where mutants have become virtually extinct.
Pro – Wolverine
Logan is a great Wolverine movie. Anyone wishing the previous movies had more of Wolverine’s signature fighting style and the edge that makes the character so popular will be incredibly pleased with this film. Hugh Jackman saves his best work for the character’s (alleged) swan song. The material and “R” rating helps here as well. Patrick Stewart is outstanding as Professor Charles Xavier, and again the script gives him lots of room to utilize his impressive acting skills.
Pro – The Story
Logan is a great story. It deals with a variety of issues, the trials of aging, mortality, family, duty, and redemption, but in a way that is organic to the story being told. Part of what makes it so compelling is it’s not a superhero movie so much as a movie that happens to include superheroes. Logan is a former member of the X-Men, but a very similar story could have been told if he were a former Green Beret or NYPD officer. It was refreshing to have a film explore the humanity, and even vulnerabilities, of its superhero protagonists, without feeling like it had to have the fate of the world hang in the balance. Logan leaves a lot of unanswered questions, but these provide depth and a space for the audience to wonder and pontificate, rather than coming off as plot holes.
Neutral – Rated R
It’s important note that while excellent, this film is extremely gritty and violent. There is plenty of blood, more than a few gruesome uses of Logan’s claws, and very strong language. That’s not bad per se, but this is a much different tone and film than the previous X-Men/Wolverine films. I didn’t realize this film was R-rated, and while that might seem ridiculous given I write this column, I can see more than a few people making this mistake because these exact characters played by these actors have been in PG-13 films up to this point. This is not a superhero film for all ages. Make sure you are aware of who you take, and understand what they are going to see.
Logan is gritty, violent, and an absolutely wonderful film. Blockbuster season is here!