[Review] Logan, a nice farewell for Hugh Jackman?

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It all starts with a questioning. How are we going to leave Wolverine at the end of the screening? Because yes, Logan is the last film in which …

It all starts with a questioning. How are we going to leave Wolverine at the end of the screening? Because yes, Logan is the last film in which its star actor, the Australian Hugh Jackman, plays the famous mutant. And after having seen him walk, not without pitfalls, this role during the last 17 years, it is with a legitimate apprehension that the spectator prepares himself in the back of his seat, ready to do battle once again with one of the the most tortured characters of the Marvel firm.

A film apart
James Mangold begins his story by setting real benchmarks. Logan is not a superhero tale intended for lovers of positive films. If he had already directed the contested (and questionable) Wolverine: The Fight of the Immortal released in 2013, the 53-year-old American director seems to have taken a whole different direction. Logan will be gloomy or not. Hugh Jackman himself had expressly requested that this latter film be in direct accord with Mark Millar’s comic book series Old Man Logan.

We quickly understand that we are in front of a work apart in the chronology of superhero films of recent years. If one gets lost in taking into account the Avengers, Spider-Man and other Deadpool, Logan quickly gets out of the way, as if to seize a form of freedom that he has been seeking for a long time. Forget all the stereotypes that were those of Wolverine during the last eight feature films he appeared. This time, the character wants to be more tortured than ever. We understand that beyond being the end of an era for the fans, it is above all a score created to measure for Hugh Jackman.

We therefore find ourselves in a world without mutants, or almost, in 2029. Wolverine, despite deteriorating health, continues to survive and hides, somewhere in Mexico, one of his last living friends: Professor Xavier. The latter, who is no more than a shadow of himself, is protected from his fate by Caliban, which we had already seen in X-Men: Apocalypse (in its young version). But as the last representatives of their race get lost in hiding their powers from the world, a little girl with powers similar to Logan’s arrives and will be the starting point of an adventure far more perilous than it seems. .

For two hours and fifteen minutes, the film plays with our feelings, tries to remind us of the good memories of the past and of the first X-Men directed by Bryan Singer 17 years ago. We remember those moments lived in the company of Wolverine, the terrible trials he endured and the events that made him a killing machine, whose reason fortunately took over the primitive side. The realization of James Mangold seeks above all to pay tribute to this anti-hero who has become cult in the eyes of many spectators.

But the strength of the feature film is to succeed in creating and maintaining a heavy atmosphere, leaving little room for good feelings and lightness. We try to think that Wolverine will find the resources to carry out this ultimate adventure, as if we felt, with our eyes riveted in front of the screen, that what is unfolding is much more serious than what we could legitimately get. ‘wait.

Logan then takes the turns of a post-apocalyptic western and we understand better why the director said he was influenced by works like The Man from the Lost Valleys or The Cowboys. We couldn’t help but notice that the photography flirts with Mad Max and the desert landscapes portrayed by George Miller. More successful, it clashes with the rest of the saga.

A tense and controlled atmosphere
The story we are told is dark, violent and ruthless. The bias of wanting to stick absolutely to the original comics and to obtain an R classification in the United States (prohibited for minors under 17) makes it unique compared to what has always been presented until today. While it can be argued that this will have some ramifications for the film’s global box office results, the fact that Hugh Jackman gave up part of his salary to allow the production to come to fruition shows just how actor is involved. And you can feel it throughout the screening.

The 48-year-old Australian delivers a subtle performance, a mixture of darkness and nostalgia, as if saying goodbye to this character meant the end of a part of his life for him. His Wolverine, whom we loved so fiercely for 17 years and to which we clung despite his few bad performances, gives us chills. Above all, he confirms that he is one of the most complex superheroes ever created. Throughout the screening, we expect everything and then nothing, as if all the traces left by the actor until then had been useless and that it was, beyond a last calculated representation, of a last stand that we will have to learn to keep buried with us.

And how can we not mention the young Dafne Keen who plays Laura Kinney in the film? The one who is also named X-23 (code name of the project similar to that experienced by Wolverine) is indeed the second star of the feature film. Surprising narrowly, extremely convincing and very skillful when it comes to revealing her feelings, she could well be the new Wolverine, failing to persist in wanting to replace Hugh Jackman.
As for Patrick Stewart, he reveals another face of his Professor Charles Xavier, the opposite of what the spectators had become accustomed to. Old age also attacks the one who is for many the spiritual father of mutants and the creator of the X-Men and we are surprised not to recognize a character who has nevertheless always followed a path marked out for him.

But what makes Logan a quality film is his belief in wanting to beat expectations. The famous action-humor-adventure trio dear to Marvel-branded productions is erased to reveal a more mature cinematic object, certainly more free and in the end, better controlled. The overall rhythm knows only rare breathlessness which nevertheless always have a precise goal to bring the continuation of the story. Certain passages are overwhelming, arousing in the viewer a primitive form of emotion, as if to remind us that man and beast are one in Logan. All the pieces of the puzzle are placed out of order, but tend towards one and the same goal that one awaits with undisguised impatience as the minutes go by.The violence of the film, stylized, is there to show us the true face of the one we have all come to appreciate despite the tumults of his life and the few mistakes in the course that have occurred after more than fifteen years.

Conclusion
Logan is a great superhero movie and without hesitation the best achievement starring Wolverine. Hugh Jackman leaves us with a high-flying performance, punctuated by poignant moments. We can only thank James Mangold who understood the essence of this character who has been flouted in the past and who deserved a release worthy of the greatest. Truly set apart in Marvel filmography since the early 2000s, the film will appeal above all to fans of the comic book and of the character brilliantly played by the Australian actor. Hugh Jackman takes his bow in the most beautiful way and one can only be playful.