‘Nature made me a freak. Man made me a weapon. And God made it last too long…’
X-Men and The Avengers are both Marvel properties but they are produced by different studios. Following the huge success of Deadpool, Logan moves the X-Men further ahead of their more wholesome, family friendly rivals.
Deadpool will be viewed retrospectively as a watershed moment in the history of comic book adaptations as the film that showed that you can combine an R rating with huge box office returns. Logan is even more bloody and sweary than its predecessor but it is also a much more serious and reflective piece.
Logan catches up with Wolverine and Professor X in the year 2029. Comic book movies have attempted to show the vulnerable side of superheroes many times before with limited success. Director James Manfold finds Logan a broken man and Charles Xavier succumbing to dementia. Never have such fantastical characters seemed so human. Logan teams up with the similarly gifted Laura, played beautifully by Dafne Keen, whilst also trying to protect Charles.
Manfold handles the action sequences with violent aplomb but it is the quieter, more reflective moments that make Logan really stand out from its peers. Hugh Jackman delivers a nuanced and touching performance in his last portrayal as Wolverine and it his powerful, layered turn that carries the rest of the film. The villains are left intentionally vague to focus on the real conflict. Namely, can Logan overcome his own personal demons?
Having said that Richard E. Grant brings a measure of class to proceedings as the antagonist and Stephen Merchant is surprisingly effective in support. It is Keen, Jackman and Patrick Stewart that unsurprisingly steal the show however and it is the chemistry those three characters share that makes Logan so affecting.
Logan confirms that the X-Men franchise is now miles ahead of The Avengers. It is also the benchmark at which all future comic book adaptations should be set. It shouldn’t take an R rating to inject a bit of heart into a comic book movie. It is an art form after all.