15 – 137mins – 2017 – 3D
WOLVERINE: THE X GENERATION
13 months ago, Deadpool delighted 20th Century Fox by making a pretty penny at the box office despite being the first superhero blockbuster of the Marvel Cinematic Universe to be certified 18. In a profit-minded climate where tentpole releases are skewed towards the money-maximising 12A rating, Deadpool took a risk and it paid off. Perhaps this is why Fox were more supportive of The Wolverine director James Mangold’s grisly-toned concept for the ultimate send-off for the X-Men’s signature star.
The year is 2029, a quarter of a century since the last mutant was reported. The genetically enhanced have almost passed into myth, with comic books continuing their heroic adventures in a dystopian society. Logan (Hugh Jackman) is greyer, grislier and more furious than ever before, living a bleak existence as a limo chauffeur while living on the New Mexico border in a squalid shack with albino Caliban (Stephen Merchant) and a senile Charles Xavier (Patrick Green Room Stewart). Logan begins with a “Fuck!” and the most brutally violent showdown of the series so far, and the tone is set for the next two hours and fifteen minutes. Strap in!
With a grim, ragged, dustball aesthetic which recalls Mad Max and old school westerns, Logan is the most intense and personal of the ten X-Men films to date. There is no risk to humanity or the end-of-the-world (most recently seen in the aptly-titled X-Men: Apocalypse), but this is a quest to invest in with our reluctant hero saddled with a withdrawn 11-year-old (Dafnee Keen) with devastating yet familiar abilities. Can Logan get young Laura to a safe haven dubbed Eden, or will deadly cyborg Donald Pierce (Boyd Holbrook) manage to derail their plans by bringing Laura to vengeful Transigen scientist Zander Rice (Richard E. Grant)?
Based on Mark Miller and Steve McNiven’s Old Man Logan comic book serial, Logan is a rampant rollercoaster of blood, sweat and tears. Elongated though it may be, Mangold infuses the popular adamantium-clawed protagonist with a melancholic, philosophical mind and a heavy, brow-beaten heart to off-set his macho posturing of the past 17 years. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll wince at the sickening injury detail, but above all you’ll wish Hugh Jackman’s contract was renewed indefinitely.
CR@B’s Claw Score: