With Hugh Jackman taking on the role of Logan/Wolverine one last time, it makes sense that Logan is a pretty bleak movie.  This is a very atypical superhero movie that works pretty well.

It's been several years since the last X-Men movie, and the world is a pretty depressing place.  No mutants have been born in decades, and the X-Men are gone.  Logan has his own problems: He doesn't heal as quickly as before, his frequent coughing indicates some deep health issues, he needs glasses to read, and he may be an alcoholic.  He also takes care of Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart), who needs medication to stay focused and has seizures that can paralyze (or worse) people in his vicinity.  Logan works driving a car, saving up enough money for him and Charles to sail away.  Charles is also helped by Caliban (Stephen Merchant), a sun-sensitive mutant who can track other mutants.

Things change when Pierce (Boyd Holbrook), a cybernetic hunter who leads a bunch of similarly enhanced mercenaries called the Reavers, wants Logan to find "the girl" and deliver her to him.  It turns out that she is Laura (Dafne Keen), a young mutant with healing abilities and metal claws much like Logan has -- as well as a near-feral combat rage.  When her rescuer is killed, Logan becomes a reluctant hero once more, avoiding the Reavers and traveling with Laura and Charles to Eden, a location near the Canadian border where Laura can meet up with other young mutants.
I give Logan credit for eschewing bright spandex costumes and simple solutions for this created world.  Hugh Jackman is terrific, as usual, as Logan seeks a simple life in the face of all his problems, yet winds up a hero again.  Dafne Keen is quite good as the quiet, sullen teen who seems to be on the same path as Logan once followed.  And Patrick Stewart is fine as the much older, profanity-spewing former genius who still has hope in the future for mutants.  Stephen Merchant doesn't have much to do as Caliban, and Boyd Holbrook is a very dull, bland villain.

It'll be interesting to see whether there are more X-Men movies, or if Laura becomes X-23, the successor to Wolverine.  In the meantime, Logan is a fitting (if somewhat flawed) swan song for Wolverine -- or, rather, Logan.

Overall grade: B+
Reviewed by James Lynch

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