Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

"The film overdoses on violence. There is no escape from it."

X marks the spot as the franchise gasps its last. Logan is a postscript to Mutants Go!, the weirdos creed that captivated a decade of fantasy action junkies.

Wolverine is half the half man he was, grey bearded, limping from an old wound, avoiding human contact, in denial of practically everything, especially emotional attachment, hating life, working as a limo driver, hiding from the world, any world, and keeping Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart) alive on prescription drugs he buys from a bent hospital porter.

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Is this the best Marvel Comics can do, a sunset song for superheros, emphasising the fallibility of special powers when they lose their potency? Wolverine/Logan (Hugh Jackman) lives alone while Xavier and Caliban (Stephen Merchant), the albino, are holed up in a disused factory that looks like the city of desolation in Mad Max.

When Laura (Dafne Keen - remember her name), a wild child with familiar attributes, such as retractable steel claws and an attitude of manic aggression, tags along after escaping from a secret lab where a posh English scientist (Richard E Grant) is experimenting on the ultimate killing machine, Logan's life, no longer protected by anonymity, begins to resemble a wrecking ball.

From then on the film overdoses on violence. There is no escape from it. The 15 certificate is a joke, a sick joke. Heads roll (literally), flesh is ripped to pieces, death stalks every sun-baked highway. The scientist had been working on a class of kids, Laura being one of them, who nurture their special powers, not unlike the original X Men, only younger. When they break free they go on the run and suddenly the purpose of the film becomes apparent. The franchise is not dying after all, only growing into another generation of freaks with beaks.

Jackman is supreme. He gives a performance, when following the dots would have sufficed. Considering the fist-to-claw battering he receives he should be dead. Whatever he was paid he deserves every bloodstained nickel.

Logan says, "Maybe we were God's mistake." Not according to the box office.

Reviewed on: 02 Mar 2017
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In the near future, an ageing Wolverine and Professor X must protect a young female clone of Wolverine from an evil organisation.
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Director: James Mangold

Writer: Scott Frank, James Mangold, Michael Green

Starring: Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, Dafne Keen, Stephen Merchant, Richard E Grant, Elizabeth Rodriguez, Boyd Holbrook

Year: 2017

Runtime: 135 minutes

BBFC: 15 - Age Restricted

Country: US


BIFF 2017

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