It seems like you have to look high and low to find someone with a negative thing to say about James Mangold and Hugh Jackman’s latest (and probably last) Wolverine film.
The critical and fan response to Logan has been immense—as evidenced by its #1 Ranking among ComicBook.com voters—nearly outmatched by the box office success its seen in the weeks since its release. And while the main X-Men franchise has delved back into the past to show the origins of the team of mutant superheroes, Logan provided a refreshing take at these characters near their end.
James McAvoy, who plays the younger version of Professor Charles Xavier, was in Austin promoting his appearance in the new film Atomic Blonde at its SXSW premiere, when he was asked his thoughts on the new Wolverine film.
“I know I’ve got another 40 years of making these movies,” he joked.
“It was cool. It was really awesome. And I thought it was beautifully done,” McAvoy elaborated. “And just really great to see these stories that we’re seeing told a lot, actually, just taken somewhere incredibly different.”
McAvoy’s words echo those of director Mangold’s, who stressed the best way to make each of these superhero films fresh and unique is to go in a different direction without being beholden to the previous films in the franchise.
Mangold stated his desire to place Logan so far in the future on the X-Men timeline was so that he was unburdened by previous events to the point where he almost had a clean slate for his film.
And while Logan does a good job of referencing both the X-Men universe and the previous films in the solo Wolverine franchise, it manages to stand on its own. It doesn’t require having seen every past event—just a passing knowledge of who the characters are and what their relationship is to one another.
In that respect, having seen a handful of X-Men and Wolverine cartoons is probably the most basic requirement for getting enjoyment out of Logan, and even that’s a stretch. It’s a damn good movie all on its own.
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Logan takes place in the year 2024, where mutant births have become extremely rare. The defenders of mutant kind, the X-Men, are long gone, and the only remains of them are an old and struggling Charles Xavier and a weary Logan. Logan's vaunted healing factor has slowed, and at times doesn't seem to work at all. When a young mutant needs his help, Logan has to unsheathe his claws once more. His job isn't over yet.
Logan stars Hugh Jackman (Logan), Boyd Holbrook (Donald Pierce), Patrick Stewart (Charles Xavier), Dafne Keen (Laura Kinney/X-23), Doris Morgado (Maria), Stephen Merchant (Caliban), Elizabeth Rodriguez (Gabriela), and Richard E. Grant (Dr. Zander Rice). James Mangold is directing and helped on the screenplay along with Scott Frank and Michael Green.
Logan is now playing in theaters.