- James Mottram
- 27 February 2017
Hugh Jackman dons the claws of Wolverine one last time in this ballsy and violent swansong
Hugh Jackman returns for the final time as Wolverine, the role that made him a star. It's a real pleasure to see him finally let off the leash, with this glorious swansong. Unashamedly violent, this is Marvel's hirsute, claw-equipped X-Man as you've never seen him before. Unshaven, grey-haired, booze-soaked and ailing, Logan is now hiding out near the Mexican border, eking out a living as a chauffeur.
Inspired by the Mark Millar / Steve McNiven comic Old Man Logan, the film is directed by James Mangold, who also co-wrote the script and makes a far better fist of things here than in his 2013 stand-alone effort The Wolverine. Right from the opening, as Logan slices and dices some Mexican gangbangers raiding his hubcaps, this is a film that knows what it wants to be. Far removed from the earlier, snarkier X-Men movies, it never flinches from the bloodshed that comes hand-in-claw with such a character.
Alongside Logan is a pill-popping Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart), now in his dotage, barely clinging to his sanity, with his mental powers now classified as a WMD. Also joining them is Caliban (Stephen Merchant), an albino mutant with unique tracker abilities. But the story really kicks in when Logan encounters Laura (remarkable newcomer Dafne Keen), a young girl with uncannily similar powers to him. Indeed, her athleticism rather shows him up for the ageing mutant he is.
With various interested parties (including Richard E Grant's boffin) after Laura, Logan turns into a road movie, as our heroes try and spirit her to safety across the Canadian border. The action is superb, from Professor X's paralysis-inducing brainwave to Logan coming face to face with a genetically modified mutant twin. Yet it's the world-weary tone, the low-key setting and the ballsy – and very final – climax that really impresses. To borrow from an earlier X-Men title, it's quite simply first class.
General release from Wed 1 Mar.