Derek Dimino, Staff Writer |
A deep interpretation of the demise of Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine, “Logan” displayed the extreme vulnerability and ultimate evolution of the inner motivations of the rough-edged superhero.
Right from the opening scene, “Logan” was captivating, filling the screen with blood and unadulterated cursing, as a salt and pepper-haired Wolverine drunkenly defended the only livelihood that remains for him: his limousine.
In a raw film more similar to “The Batman Trilogy” than its predecessors, the audience is continuously guessing how the once beloved hero got to this dark point in 2029. Only living with a dementia ridden Charles Xavier played by Patrick Stewart, and a mutant-clairvoyant Caliban, played by Stephen Merchant, viewers are sprinkled with hints as to how the former X-Men ended up so desperate and alone. Brief mentions of a “Westchester” incident suggest that whatever happened may have occurred at Professor Xavier’s school and may also be why all the other members of X-Men are dead.
Within the first few minutes of the movie, we learn that Charles Xavier’s dementia sometimes results in seizures, temporarily paralyzing people in the area. While the paralysis is only temporary, extended periods of paralysis can threaten the lives of everyone around.
Thus, Logan’s initial sole mission was to get Professor Xavier and himself on a boat called the “Sun Seeker” and sail off to live in the middle of the ocean. This is not only to protect Charles from a corporation killing off mutants, but also to protect the general public from Charles’ debilitating seizures.
In Professor Xavier’s first appearance, within a mindless rant, he reveals to Logan that there’s another young mutant who needs his help. Unwilling to believe that Charles may still have some control over his powers, Logan blows off any mention of others like him existing.
Since Logan is trying to make money to get Charles and himself on a boat, Logan continues to chauffeur people around in his limousine. One night he’s called to a motel, where he’s met by a nurse, Gabriela, played by Elizabeth Rodriguez. Begging to be driven to North Dakota, Gabriela claims that her boyfriend is trying to kill her and her daughter Laura (Dafne Keen).
Though immediately resistant to the proposition, Logan agrees after being tempted with a large sum of cash, but cannot leave until the next day. Lo and behold, when Logan returned to the motel he finds their room door broken in and Gabriela dead in a chair. With no sign of Laura, Logan takes off, but little does he know she snuck into his car, which he drove back to his home with professor Xavier. After some convincing from Charles under heavy gunfire, Logan agrees to lead Laura on her journey to North Dakota.
With the plot finally set in motion, we see Wolverine becoming more and more purpose oriented. The film quickly took on the who’s-saving-who dynamic, as Logan starts treating Laura like the daughter he’s never had, while in reality it was his daughter all along.
Logan is still adamant about protecting Charles, so the trio start taking on the form of a family, especially with the no-nonsense, dad-like attitude Logan exhibits towards Professor X and Laura.
After “the most perfect night [he’s] had in a long time,” Charles meets the angel of his death, X-23. While proclaiming how he finally understands what happened in Westchester, and how he knows how awful it was, X-23, without a word sticks his blades through Charles’ chest, letting him bleed out in his bed.
A bitter and emotional farewell for such a beloved character, but fitting nonetheless. Charles Xavier is killed by a mutant replica of Logan, ironic only because Wolverine was Charles’ biggest struggle through all of his years as a mentor.
With Logan left to finish the journey with only Laura, the love he has toward her is prevalent. While slightly drifting away from the idea of living life out in Canada with Laura, he realizes that Laura is the only life he has left, and he immediately springs into action to defend her and the mutant children that had also escaped from the Mexican research facility.
It is evident that Wolverine needs Laura and the children as much as they need him. The kids hold the antidote that allows Wolverine to return to his old strength, and the kids need wolverine to protect them from the mutant-hunting organization.
Logan’s last battle in the movie was the most important of his life, for it was with himself, X-23. Throughout all the X-Men movies Logan has always struggled with an internal battle between his powers and what he actually wants. Defeating X-23 with the help of the kids, Logan finally seemed redeemed for his past. Logan could finally rest.
The movie was the best Wolverine movie so far, and certainly the realest portrayal of the trials and tribulations hero’s face since “The Dark Knight Rises”. While losing two of the most popular X-Men was devastating, the result of Wolverine’s selfless action’s left audiences with warmer feelings than Marvel has reached before.
With plenty of room to build forward or backward from this movie, the next film will have to jump the highest bar yet.