Logan

★★★

Billed as the final movie to feature Hugh Jackman as Wolverine, Logan also completes a trilogy of stand-alone Wolverine movies that has shifted genres with each outing.  X-Men Origins: Wolverine was a military special ops action movie, The Wolverine was a Japanese martial arts film, and Logan is firmly entrenched in the Western aesthetic.

Set in the future, a very elderly Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart) is frail and epileptic, kept isolated in desert territory near the Mexican border by Logan to keep the damage from his telepathic seizures to a minimum. Logan is making ends meet as a limo driver and formulating a plan to whisk Charles off to an offshore life on a boat. Plans are interrupted by a woman who shows up with a young girl (Laura) in tow who turns out to be Logan’s genetically engineered daughter, both pursued by a mechanically enhanced psychopath, Donald Pierce (the slimy-sexy Boyd Holbrook) and his goons The Reavers.

While the movie has been suitably lauded for intense and compelling performances by Jackman and Stewart, I was positively sickened by the level of violence, which goes beyond anything an X-men movie has ever portrayed.  That much of that sickening violence is committed by a pre-teen girl just makes it all the more disturbing.

Also, while the efforts of the writers to build in Western themes to this film seems to have tickled critic’s fancies, I in fact was left baffled by the shoe-horning of the plot of Shane into the film in the scenes where our fugitives take refuge on a horse farm.  Aside from doing nothing to advance the movie’s plot, it is out of character for Logan, knowing they were being pursued by ruthless killers, to have stopped there and knowingly put this family in such danger.

So I can recommend this movie if you have a strong stomach and a tolerance for plot holes, mainly for the performances and to see the swan songs of two characters that Jackman and Stewart have been playing now for close to two decades.

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