Well, we’ve come to the end of an era. That’s it, folks – Hugh Jackman’s portrayal of Wolverine is over.
But, as ever is the question at these times, was it a satisfactory ending?
I’m going to keep this review as spoiler free as I can, because I honestly think this is one of the best blockbusters I’ve seen in awhile, and hands-down one of the best comic book movies to date.
The plot follows Logan/Wolverine (Hugh Jackman), who is trying to take care of Professor Xavier (Patrick Stewart) in his fragile condition and work towards creating a better life for them, when he’s suddenly caught up in the chase for a new, young mutant, Laura (Dafne Keen). As her backstory unravels, we see our small group of protagonists run to a hopeful home – a safe haven for mutants.
So, what makes this film different to other films in the MCU? First, this film takes place in an alternate world to all the other Marvel films, including other X-Men films, so is it technically part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe? Hugh Jackaman has even stated himself that this is a stand-alone movie, devoid of connection to the timeline of previous X-Men films.
In my opinion, I think having this in a separate universe to the other films not only brings a breath of fresh air to the characters, but also gives the writers and director the space to create something new, without being tied down to tropes. I think we’re all a little tired of some of the tropes that come with superhero flicks – which is one reason why Deadpool was such a success.
Being unattached to these tropes and timelines allowed us to explore superheroes through a separate genre to the usual routine; a western. Without a doubt, this was the correct style to roll with in this world – it gives good reason for us to focus on the protagonists and antagonists without thinking of other people in their world and how they effect them (beyond the fact that they’re the main goodies and baddies, so we’re supposed to focus on them), as well as setting a brooding tone to a story that follows a depressed man who’s trying to do the right thing for everybody. They even have a scene where Xavier and Laura watch an old western film together – a clear parallel (for nerds like myself who enjoy the theory and dissection of cinema) for the audience to quietly acknowledge.
Something that some people may dislike about this film is its ambiguity. We’re not given the details on how the adamantium in Logan is effecting his healing/ageing powers, and the story feels like it cut off without finishing. While I’m personally not too fussed about the lack of details on this fictional metal (I actually appreciate it – it leaves things up to the mind and doesn’t make me feel like things are being spelt out to me), the pace and feeling of the ending was a little abrupt. Without spoiling anything, I knew what was coming – it was obvious (to me, at least), but I feel like we didn’t have a long enough cool down to the climactic ending. There are pros and cons to this, and I’m not entirely for or against it, but I recognise that not everyone will appreciate it.
So, who’s this movie for? Well, if you like gore half as much as I do, you’ll love this film. I may have frightened my friend by how much I was smiling and enjoying any moment that someone got slashed by the claws (sorry Oscar). I wouldn’t say this film was ‘gory’ by my standards, but most certainly violent. Of course, we all have our own limits on how much we can take of something gratuitous, so please bare in mind that this film is not for the faint of heart or anyone who doesn’t want to see someone decapitated.
As this film stands alone, I wouldn’t say it’s a necessity to have seen many/anything previous from the X-Men franchise; as long as you know people with powers exist in this universe, then you’ll be fine. You may ask a few questions to yourself, but it’s nothing a quick internet search (or conversation at your local comic book store) can’t fix.