LOGAN Movie Review
By Victoria Alexander, Film Critic
Las Vegas Informer
One of next year’s nominees for Best Actor must go to Jackman. His Logan is as moving and complex as dramatic characters demand. Boyd Holbrook is a charismatic villain.
Its 2029 and mutants have been successfully removed from society. One mutant, Logan (Hugh Jackman) has not been eliminated…yet. He is now an alcoholic and his “powers” are not what they used to be. His healing ability is getting weaker and his hair keeps turning from grey to black and then back to grey.
Logan is a limousine driver working to support his friend Professor Charles Xavier (Sir Patrick Stewart), who has turned into one ornery old dude. Charles needs constant 24 hour care due to a brain disease. He’s got dementia with shorts bursts of reality. With Logan and Charles is another mutant, Caliban (Stephen Merchant), who also helps with Charles’s worsening moods. Caliban made a brief appearance in
X-MEN: APOCALYPSE. In addition to the returning characters, the film was crowded with a ton of other mutants. Caliban hardly made an impression on non-Marvelites.
Caliban’s superpower is the ability to track mutants. He can sense other mutants, regardless of where they are, and then track them down. But Caliban must keep out of the sun – a rather disadvantage to a tracker.
Caliban has a major history in the X-MEN universe but here he is Charles’s caregiver, nurse, cook, and disrespected companion. He’s weak, defenseless and very sympathetic for a man with such an X-Men mythology. However, where else can Caliban go? How he would support himself?
Charles needs drugs to keep him in a passive state since if he is upset or irritated by anything, he has a reality-breaking seizure which affects everything surrounding him. A whirlwind of disruption occurs that no one is able to subdue – until he is given his pills.
This need for money for illegal pills and a boat to escape the U.S., forces Logan to accept a lot of cash to drive a little mute girl, Laura (Dafne Keen), to a haven for her safety. Laura read about this mutant haven in Canada in a comic book. When her caretaker Gabriela (Elizabeth Rodriguez) is brutally murdered, Logan is forced to take the girl to the warehouse where Charles immediately can tell Laura has special abilities. I assume when Laura was 25 miles from Caliban, he knew she was coming.
She’s a feral little creature with a backpack.
The girl is being hunted by a group, The Reavers. Their leader is charismatic, sexy Pierce (Boyd Holbrook). He has also been altered like Logan. Logan is a legend to The Reavers. The enhanced Reavers have been tasked under the direction of X-Men adversary Donald Pierce (Boyd Holbrook) on behalf of Dr. Rice (Richard E. Grant), who heads Transigen. Instead of naturally occurring mutants, Transigen creates mutants. And they created Laura and many more like her in Mexico.
Many of the mutant children escaped Transigen-Mexico when nurses, who had cared for them since they were born, found out there would be a wholesale cleansing of mutants and allowed many of the children to escape.
When the Reavers find the hideout, we see exactly what Transigen created in Laura. She is a fierce, mean-spirited killer with metal claws just like Logan. Charles recognizes the genetic connection between Logan and Laura.
Logan, Laura and Charles escape, leaving Caliban to be captured. The trio head to El Paso in the limousine followed closely by Caliban and the Reavers.
Unfortunately, when a decent ranch family encounters the runaways, and offers them assistance, only bloodshed is ahead. Charles thoroughly enjoys the common, ordinary life of the family and urges Logan to do the same. The family is being harassed by people who want their land and Logan goes about helping them. The family’s hospitality is not repaid.
Directed by James Mangold and written by Scott Frank, Mangold and Michael Green, LOGAN is a triumph. There are no latex costumes or mutants flying around demonstrating superpowers to mere hard-working humans.
Jackson is fantastic! The entire X-MEN franchise needed are re-hauling and LOGAN has set its new course.
Stewart is adorable and is clearly enjoying playing a character not straitjacketed by the X-MEN protocol.
Finally, this is not a typical X-MEN movie.
For a complete list of Victoria Alexander’s movie reviews on Rotten Tomatoes go to: http://www.rottentomatoes.com/author/author-3571/
Member of Las Vegas Film Critics Society: www.lvfcs.org