In the not-too-distant future of 2029, the mutant we all know as Wolverine is forced to live a secretive life on the Mexican border, taking care of an ailing Professor X who seems to quickly be losing his mind. As one of the last mutants in existence and the species on the brink of extinction, there hasn’t been a new mutant born in the past two and a half decades; or at least that’s what this world has been led to believe.
Though Logan starts with a brilliant fight sequence that shows just how powerful the anti-hero still is, it quickly becomes an emotional and heart-wrenching romp through some of the darkest days the fan-favourite characters has ever seen.
As we all now know, this is Hugh Jackman’s final outing as the adamantium-clawed classic former member of the X-Men, and it is without a doubt his most riveting and stirring performance of all. Here he is allowed to explore all facets of Wolverine’s personality; he’s a violent killer when pushed to the brink, often emotionless, stubborn and less-than-level-headed. Under those layers presented by Logan however, the mutant is clearly an empathetic being with real heart. Throughout the movie, he faces the toughest challenges that any member of the X-Men team has faced on the big screen to-date, including facing up to the realities of his own sickness, pointed out early on in the flick by his close friend, Caliban (Stephen Merchant). It’s honestly one of the most stunning tales a live-action superhero adaptation has ever bestowed upon its audience.
Though it’s not been explicitly confirmed, Logan may also serve as Patrick Stewart’s big finale as Charles Xavier. In many instances, he’s a shell of the genius he once was. At other times, he’s one of the most brilliant and intriguing characters the big screen’s seen. Throughout the entire film however, he’s somebody you cannot help but root for, whether or not his behaviour is best for all those involved. Compelled throughout his health problems to fight for a world in which mutants can thrive and survive once more, he acts as the moral compass for Logan’s blunter, more brash side.
Then of course, there’s the third piece in the Logan puzzle, with the film bringing about the introduction of young, new mutant Laura, aka X-23. Played impeccably well by Spanish-British actress Dafne Keen, the character is instantly one you want to find out more about. She’s an enigma; vicious and in high demand, with abilities that are hugely similar to that of Logan himself. You could say that she’s an evolution of Wolverine in fact, with two claws able to protrude from each of her hands, as well as one from each of her feet. With fantastic acrobatic skill, she’s one of the deadliest mutants the world has produced, but unfortunately she’s living in a time when the majority would rather see her dead than alive.
One of the most persistent in taking Laura out of the picture is Pierce; the film’s perfect villain played by Boyd Holbrook. He’s a man who headed a facility where mutant soldiers would be formed, trained and kept in seclusion until they could be of some military use. What Logan soon discovers however is that Laura hasn’t just been built thanks to the intelligence of those who worked on her, but his own genetic code was used to bring her to life.
Director James Mangold and the team working on Logan did extremely well to remember that whilst Laura is a mutant who can do extraordinary things, she is still a child. Her childish nature is often the source of some much-needed comedic relief; she goes to press every button for every floor in the elevator of a casino-hotel for example, because she’s hypnotised by the flashy lights. She enjoys rides on mechanical horses and doesn’t see the problem in picking up whatever she likes from a store without stopping to pay for it. It’s this that helps ground and humanise the young mutant, as well as her clear desire to be loved and accepted by those around her. She simply wants a place to call home.
A work of cinematic brilliance, Logan is beautifully shot with even the finest details making themselves known on screen. Colour is bold and full of life, making the transfer from the big screen to Blu-ray a fantastic one. There doesn’t seem to be any compression issues and, for those who want to enjoy the film in a different light, the Blu-ray comes with a second disc that presents Logan Noir; the same film but in black-and-white. It allows fans of the film to experience Logan as if it were the first time all over again. The audio mix is just as terrific, and for those who have impressive home sound systems, it should allow some incredibly atmospheric settings. Dialogue is clear throughout, even when whispered and typically quiet. Subtle moments remain just that, but the mix draws viewers right into the midst of the drama. From the first few minutes, you’re enjoying the ride and forgetting about the world outside of the one you’re watching on screen.
The Blu-ray Extras
As mentioned, there’s the terrific Logan Noir to enjoy for those who want to watch the flick in black-and-white. Then there is an array of brilliant special features for the biggest fans to enjoy. There are the usual additions of audio commentary, with director James Mangold stepping in to chat about the film as you watch it play out, a selection of deleted scenes that are fun to watch and a series of featurettes that come together to form a documentary, delving into the behind-the-scenes goings-on that those creating Logan had to face, such as designing the world, casting the film and crafting both the story and the score.
Stocked to the brim with cast and crew interviews, this collection is the ultimate stroke of brilliance for those fans who want the best experience with Logan they could ever have. Flawless throughout.
Logan is available now on Digital Download, Blu-ray and DVD from Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment.