This is the perfect send-off and ending for Hugh Jackman as Logan. It was heartbreaking, full of action and a fitting conclusion to Logan's story.
Weaknesses: There's not much to dislike about Logan. If I had to pick something, it would be that the villains aren't very defined. Most of the film plays out like a lengthy chase. With the focus on Logan/Laura/Charles, and rightfully so, the antagonists get pushed to the side. While X-24 (a younger Logan clone) proved to be a formidable foe, I never fully got invested or interested in Donald Pierce (Boyd Holbrook) or Zander Rice (Richard E. Grant).
Overall: 2017 was a year for great superhero films for the most part. I've seen all the Marvel ones and this was on par or above Spider-Man and Thor, which were excellent. The violence and action scenes were top notch, but it was the emotional moments and character work that made Logan stand out. This was easily the best standalone Wolverine flick and possibly the best film to feature the hero of all-time.
Logan obviously is different from what we've come to expect from a superhero film with its rated R tag. And the film doesn't waste any time letting us know we're in for a violent ride. The movie opens with a very bloody fight scene. However, for me, I felt the extra violence and gore helped with the overall aesthetic of the story instead of detracting from it. This is a battered and beaten wolverine, violence is very much part of his life. And even when he tries to escape, it seems to follow him. This is a very strong theme in the movie and the intense violence helps portray how all the fighting and violence is breaking Logan down.
This realistic and violent look at Wolverine is a bold idea. Of course with the success of Deadpool this film isn't as much of a financial risk as it may have seemed years ago. Thankfully, James Mangold was brought on to direct Logan. And with themes of dwelling on the past and past regrets that seem to hearken back to Mangold's more successful works like 3:10 To Yuma, and Walk the Line. It isn't surprising he does such a good job getting those feelings across here.
Mangold does have a lot to work with here. The cast all fits beautifully in there roles. Granted, no one here is going to win an Oscar or anything. But these characters are completely fleshed out and believable. I believe them, and more importantly, I care what happens to them.
This movie hits all the notes we would expect of a superhero flick. There is a clear line between good and evil. There are some great action sequences speckled throughout. And the dialogue beautifully connects the film to the rest of the cinematic universe, without it seeming heavy handed or distracting. There are many references to previous X-Men films that were worked in without making the story arch pause to allow them to happen.
So we've established that this movie is a great installment in the superhero franchise. However, there were a few aspects of this movie that helped it stand far above an ordinary superhero movie.
First, the relationship between Professor Xavier and Logan works so well. The past is something that is brought up a lot throughout this movie. And Logan and Xavier have been through so much together. And now, it is just the two of them. This is displayed beautifully throughout the film. Of course, for fans of the series, this closeness is incredibly sweet and heartbreaking. Throughout the series Xavier was the only one who believed in Logan. And would let Logan come back every time he faltered. They hint at this in the film with their banter. And Xavier does give Logan a hard time. But it is clear that Xavier cares deeply for Logan.
Also, this is a very aware superhero movie. And all of this violence and gore could have easily been mishandled and become a repetitive and pointless part of the film. But there are points all through the film where Logan expresses his emotional, and now physical, pain from living such a violent life. This very human look at a superhero's is something that has always proven to be incredibly difficult to pull off. But, when done right, has the potential to make a very engaging and entertaining film for lifelong fans and for less avid fans. And this film very successfully intertwines that human element in a superhero universe.